Friday, 11 March 2016

Spinning in my Big Girl Pants


After a period of respectful silence and sympathetic glances, people have started asking me how I am getting on.

Nine times out of ten I shrug and meet their eye, explaining that I am simply getting on with it, because what else can I do?  The response varies:  some are clearly challenged by my matter-of-fact reply (did they really expect me to break down?), while others see this as encouragement to prod a little further, to posit their own theories on life and death and rites of passage.
I write this as an observation rather than a criticism.  It is fascinating.

In the past ten days I have had to pull up my Big Girl Pants three times:  driving a courtesy car in the snow when I needed my brakes repaired; taking the dog to The Vet for vaccinations and a pedicure (claws clipped);  and having the property valued for probate. 
This is a whole new level of grown-up that I could do without.
Finding myself alone, properly on my own for the first time in 30 years is hard.
I write that without an agenda – I am not looking for sympathy, though a hug would be nice sometimes.

Make Space cardigan from Interpretations Volume 1
The one that shook my confidence was The Vet.

Hero lost his temper and that was apparently my fault.  I can see The Vet's point – I am now his owner and am therefore responsible for his behaviour.  But Hero is still waiting for his master to come home. I am just the irritating side-kick who feeds him and takes him for walks. 
For a good 24 hours I thought I would have to have Hero rehomed.  But who would want a 14 year old "potentially dangerous" dog?  (The Vet's description.)  So I thought I was going to have to have him put down.  And that made me cry, because that would be breaking my promise to FL that I would take care of his dog.
Oh dear.
But then I talked to other pet-owners and most said their own dogs go "mental" at the vet.  I just need to take control and behave as if I am in charge. 
A personality transplant?!  No problem!
He has to go back for his second round of vaccinations next week.  I have been practicing being stern:  no, you can't walk that way round that tree, you have to come this way!
Poor old Hero.

Zombie handspun mittens - my own pattern
The property valuation was just plain funny.  The estate agent remarked upon the "retro bathroom" and said that "horsey people won't worry about the state of the kitchen as long as it is functional...!"
She left me a leaflet about staging your home for sale, "though clearly you are nowhere near ready for that!"
Snort.

It is just as well I have my knitting and my spinning.
I am absolutely loving my spinning wheel - how did I live this long without one?

I finished knitting my handspun mittens out of "Running With Zombies" Shetland wool from Highland Handmades - so squooshy!


I am now spinning some Corriedale fibre from Porpoise Fur.  It feels very different from anything I have spun before and requires pre-drafting, particularly where the dye is most saturated.  Sometimes the spin travels so fast it shoots through my fingers and I have to brake.
But for the most part I am managing a fairly even spin at something approaching a sport to DK weight. 
I am thinking I will use it to make the Inglis mitts by Ysolda, from the Edinburgh Yarn Festival magazine - the ones on the cover.
It's next weekend, people!
Woo hoo!




50 comments:

  1. Oh, Roo--being almost a year ahead of you in the Widowhood experience, I can sympathize with what's happening, right down to the dog! We/I (so hard to make that change) have two dogs, one of whom was totally devoted to my husband and ignored my existence, the other seemed equally devoted to both of us. And now "my husband's" dog is totally devoted to me, and the other continues to be anxious and needy, almost a year after the fact. And both of these dogs are rather elderly. Getting a house ready to sell is a nightmare. One agent told me it's because the world watches all those TV shows, and that's what they expect to find when they go house
    hunting...as for advice, an aunt of mine once said to her daughter after a tragic upheaval in her life "One day you'll wake and it won't be the first thing you think about". So that's a milestone of sorts. Hugs galore.

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    1. How interesting! I am not a "dog person" so pet psychology is new to me.
      Ha! I watch those programmes too - but I am usually pointing and laughing at the pristine cream carpets :)
      And thank you for the "One day..." comment. One day, just not yet.

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  2. Sending you virtual hugs. I have to muzzle our (usually sweet natured) dog for her boosters. She fights me and the vet - such a shock the first time, but going in prepared has helped. Hope you have a better experience next time. And love all the knitting you are doing.

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    1. Thank you! Yes - I will be ready to ask for a muzzle.

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  3. The vet is an idiot! Change the vet! Because of the experiences our dog has gone through, she hates going to the vet but our vet is very got and understands the issues.

    I am watching my 80 year old mother go through what you are going through and I wish I could change it for both of you!

    Hugs xx

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    1. Good suggestion - and they had already decided between them that I would get the Boy vet next time... fingers crossed he is more assertive with Hero and gets the job done swiftly!

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  4. we have the same situation at the vet with our cat, but we have no good reason for it, she's just stroppy. thinking of you and sending you lots of love. hope things get easier. x

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  5. Oh Roo, have a huge virtual hug from me, (feel free to save it until you feel the need for it☺️)
    'Getting on with it' was my 'go to' reply when folk asked me how I was after my Mum died, some would give you a strange look but the ones who had lost someone close would give you that knowing look or a nod of agreement and just say ' Yes'.

    As for poor Hero and the vet, I'm with Mad about Craft...change the vet!! Is there more than 1 vet in the practice? or speak to one of the nurses, maybe they could help you hold Hero next time.

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    1. Hi Lynne - we are getting the Boy vet next time, and I will know to ask for the muzzle as soon as we get in there!

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  6. Oh dear, here I am worried about Hero. Our vet approaches dogs with a sense of humor - when my old dog was protesting she brought out a 'party hat' which quickly slipped over her nose and mouth and around her chin and ears (basically a fabric muzzle) and quickly did the shots or examination without fear of being bitten. Old doggies seem to get grouchy and grumbly much like old people and they need a little extra attention. The whole experience takes less than 5 minutes for the dog and the 'party hat' is off. If you vet doesn't have one perhaps you could purchase one on your own and bring it along? Just make sure it's not too tight.

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    1. Thank you - yes the Vet does have a muzzle, but she had already wound Hero up into a lather before she thought of it! I noticed we are getting a Boy vet next time, which should be better as he is a real "man's dog"!

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  7. Oh, I live with a dog who freaks out every time at the vet. He has nipped every vet I have ever taken him to. I have given up and muzzle him rather than trying to worry about positioning him AND trying to prevent snipping at the same time. Hero has been through a lot too. He does not understand why FL doesn't come home and is undoubtedly feeling a bit insecure and worried. As long as you prove you will always be there, he will calm down in time.

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  8. Oh, I live with a dog who freaks out every time at the vet. He has nipped every vet I have ever taken him to. I have given up and muzzle him rather than trying to worry about positioning him AND trying to prevent snipping at the same time. Hero has been through a lot too. He does not understand why FL doesn't come home and is undoubtedly feeling a bit insecure and worried. As long as you prove you will always be there, he will calm down in time.

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    1. Thanks Lynn. Getting the muzzle on is the first step, but I reckon a doggy treat could be the way forward on that front "Mmmm - that smells interesting...!"

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  9. I can't seem to get Bloglovin' to recognise your new blog. It thinks I'm already following you, but the new posts aren't showing up in my feed. Do you (or any other readers) have any ideas? Hope you enjoy EYF! I'm working on Kate D's stand, so I think I'll be kept busy with not too much opportunity to damage my bank balance. :D

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    1. Ignore me! It wasn't working the other day, but it is now. I'm a doofus.

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    2. I think it is something I did yesterday that fixed it 😊 see you at EYF 💃

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  10. It's good to vae Big Girl Pants..they come in handy.
    The vet IS an idiot - change the surgery or see another vet at the same surgery (for human "vets"..I NEVER see one particular doctor in my surgery)
    The estate agent is another idiot.
    Make Space promises to look really good :)
    and sending a hug :)

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  11. Oh dear - the vet should be used to coping with anxious and stressed animals, there aren't many that enjoy visiting the vets after all. I had to hold my cat's head last time as the vet was obviously nervous of being bitten - not without reason.

    I once started a list of things NOT to say to someone after a bereavement, based on my own experience (including 'wasn't there anything else the doctors could do?' ... er .... and 'oh, I know just how you feel. When my dog died I cried for days' being two of the worst). I still recall on the other hand the colleague who came up, looked me in the eye and said 'I'm sorry to hear about it'. I hope you've got at least one or two real friends who are able to listen, and talk.

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    1. Write a guide book! I think it would be a best seller 😊 thanks Athene

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  12. I don't know what to say Roo. I have no real experience when it comes to loss. I only wish I could give you that hug, make you a cake and keep you company for a few hours. xxx

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  13. Hmmm, I'd muzzle the vet. Anyone on a dog's wavelength would appreciate the poor boy would be stressed at the best of times. Change the vet if they don't have a vet-sized muzzle. Sending you hugs, Roo.xx

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  14. The Vet sounds like a eejit, frankly. Of course poor Hero is going to be confused and grieving and it's going to take you and him time to adapt.

    It's good to hear from you. Sending *hugs*, as always.

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  15. Big Girl Pants. So relatable. Do it 'cuz ya gotta, but man, the non-fun parts of Real Adulthood nobody talks about. That vet sounds misguided, and oh, how clumsy we humans can be with words (I dump myself firmly in that category). I'm sorry.

    The recent fiber adventures look beautiful, sounds like more yarn goodness is on its way, and do I detect a blue-green theme for you of late? They're very pretty and very soothing colors, at any rate :-). Wishing you a good weekend from halfway around the globe!

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    1. Thanks Jessica 😊 funny how colour comes in waves!

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  16. Dear Roo, I offer all the sympathy I possibly could in the situation you find yourself in. I cannot even begin to image what it means and hope it will start feeling better (even just slightly) soon. In its own time, it will I suppose.
    I wanted to spend a few words on behalf of the vet. I am a vet myself and although I only treat farm animals, have been around dogs all my life. I understand your concern and I am sure that Hero is very confused about FL's absence. I think perhaps the vet who saw him couldn't possibly know this, unless you told them, and it would be a bit unfair to call this vet an idiot just because they were trying to do their job.
    Dogs can react differently to unknown people and even the sweetest dog can turn into a nightmare upon entering the surgery. I expect the vet who saw Hero was trying to stick to a standard 10 minute consult slot and the pressure of doing things efficiently when there was no collaboration from the patient is enough to make you look an insecure, fumbling vet. Especially if this vet was young and perhaps in their first job.
    As I said, I have lots of sympathy for you and your situation. Please, if you can, see if it may be possible to chat with this vet next time (even if Hero will be seen by the Boy vet), and explain a little what you and the dog are going through. She will appreciate it and welcome your feedback. I know I would. Please.

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    1. Oh and another thing - as a crafting person yourself I am sure you appreciate the value of well working hands. Us vets can only do our jobs with working hands. A bite well placed by even the smallest cat can make us useless for days or weeks, even months if it gets infected (let's face it, our pets mouths are not the cleanest of places). To all the people that are so quick at passing judgements on the vet, spare some compassion for the person that relies on their hands health to work. Too often we don't get much sympathy when ww get hurt at work.

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    2. Absolutely.
      Hence my 24 hours of despair. I suddenly saw the headlines about the irresponsible pet-owner who caused the end of a brilliant young life... I know that this could be serious if I don't learn to control him.

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  17. Hugs for when you need some:) big girl knickers come in handy don't they;) xx

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  18. Shame really I can only send a virtual hug. But lovely to read another post from you. The mittens you made are such a juicy colour. Perfect for our cold springs! On non-crafting: I remember when we got our two dogs, I wanted to just pet them and they completely ran rings round me! Firm but kind is my approach at the vets - and a pocket of the tastiest treats. Good luck for next time!

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  19. I am not able to offer you any advice but would like to send you a virtual hug. You are doing a fab job dealing with all the various tasks that need to be done. Hope you (& Hero) have a relaxing weekend. X

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  20. Roo, Hugs for when you need them. Poor you and Hero. Are there no mobile vets who might make house calls there? Might help put Hero at ease to be on his own turf.

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  21. sending huge hug! Don't worry about Hero, the sweetest, kindest, gentle dog I have ever owned only ever bit one person - the vet. Love your running from Zombies mitts, the name did make me laugh too. x

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  22. Thanks for your writing and sharing your journey. I want to add that maybe the vet is the problem not the dog.

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  23. Hugs. Love the start of the cardi. Good idea on the muzzle.

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  24. Oh poor Hero. When my brother died (unexpectedly, car wreck) I had and kept his dog. It took poor Raymond a full year to stop looking for Patrick -- he was just a wreck. And although he wasn't my husband, he'd been my other half ever since he was born not quite two years after me -- being in the world without him was entirely disorienting. As someone noted upthread, there comes a morning when it's not the first thing you think of, and that's it's own kind of sorrow. However, there is a far shore to grief, no matter how long it takes to get there. Crafts help. I survived on crafts and canning and cooking and my garden. And my lovely friends in my small town.

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  25. I like how you're at the point of snorting at life. There's a lot of snortability around.
    I love your knitting etc.

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  26. Sending lots of virtual hugs, for whenever they might help.

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  27. Poor Hero. TicTac was out of the house for four days and Willow was desolate. Humans are not alone in having emotions.

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  28. Like many others readers I'm sending you a virtual "HUG".

    The cardigan and mitten colors are lovely. Looking forward to seeing the finished cardi.

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  29. Poor Hector---and poor you. Our dog belongs - belonged - to our son who lives with his brother now and, even though she adores my husband and me wants to sleep with us every night, when Ash comes over, she goes crazy. She jumps and licks, makes little whimpering sounds. She still wants to sleep with us but she wants him here because he belongs here.

    What a horrible experience at the vet! I would definitely see the the other vet next time. Some of the newer vets try the 15 minutes in-and-out just like, I am sure you know more about this than I do, the doctors for people seem to doing.

    So very sorry you had to have this experience. (virtual hug)

    LindaC

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  30. Oh! Sorry to hear about that - i hope you and hero get on better with the other vet. I'm planning to be at EYF on Friday afternoon - not sure when you are going to be in town - but I'll try to be bold and brave enough to say hello if I see you! I haven't really got the hang of how you should handle the IRL encounter, when you've been reading someone's blog...

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    1. Hi Knitlass - I am only able to be at EYF on Saturday so we probably will not meet. I just scoured your blog for a photo and the only one I could find showed you with a bloody nose! I do hope you don't look like that still! ;)
      I have not yet developed a technique for IRL blog encounters. Sometimes I approach people and chicken out at the last minute in case they think I am crazy :)

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  31. Lots of sympathy and wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. On the vet thing in particular, it's really tough. Some animals just don't do well and I would expect a vet to understand that. Your relationship with the animal is only one part of it - sometimes they work themselves up and it doesn't matter what your relationship is. One of my cats has to be held down by 2 people as she reacts so badly - but as soon as we have left the vet she's back to her normal loving self. Don't feel judged, just think practical. Muzzle, try not to be waiting around too long so he works himself up, etc. Once the nasty bit is over, it does help return to normality quicker if you've managed to stay calm and not show the tension in your own voice I think.

    Vet visits are basically always pretty vile. BEcause even when my pets do behave themselves, I hate the fact that I can't explain to them what's happening.

    And on the house - most of us don't buy that many houses in our lives, but I know that what I care about is layout, light and aspect, and structural survey. Not everyone is driven by a dressed "blank canvas" house.

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  32. Ah, Roo. Those big girl pants. They aren't comfy, I find. Many times, I just want to hide under the covers. Thanks for honestly sharing your experiences.
    Sorry you got stick from the vet. I think that's unfair.
    I think of you and Hero often over the miles here in Aus. I like to read your posts, and to know that you are doing your thing, whatever it should be right now, and whatever is right with you.
    Peace be with you x

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  33. Even the mildest mannered dog would lose their temper as such a fraught time. A different and more sympathetic vet is definitely the way to go. In the meantime....hugs on account for both of you for when needed.

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