So thanks to my friend, I've decided to pick up cross-stitch again, at least for a Halloween-themed project. This isn't my first one, as I completed a pretty good-sized one in the early 2000s and have a smaller one that I did about half of a few years back, but it will be my first one on linen and first time using hand-dyed fabric and floss, so that's kind of neat. We started on Saturday, and I've spent a lot of time working on it since then, even though I had to buy a pair of reading glasses to see the fabric better and have to have a nice bright light to see by. So far I've completed the pattern grid (it's a Halloween sampler, with one letter per grid space) and about a quarter of the lace border (with bats, skulls, and spiders). I love it so far!
When I'm working on it in the evenings, Martok usually ends up curled up near me to snooze, and last night I let him climb up and curl into my lap while I worked. He did very well, sleeping quietly and not interrupting my stitching - pretty impressive for an (almost) seven-month-old border collie puppy. There was even a stretch of time where my pattern sheet was resting on his head, and he didn't notice or care.
Chris got me an adorable little "My Little Demon" plushy dragonesque stuffed toy from a Kickstarter campaign, complete with "Danger" wrapping and a personalized Demonator certificate. Of course, I had to use the Danger wrapping appropriately on my young border collie puppy - they SHOULD come with "Danger" warnings after all!
Last weekend was pretty quiet and calm, so much so that I ended up buying a new shelf to organize all of my fiber craft stuff. I went to Storables and found this shelf, which perfectly fits six of the Sistema bins I use for yarn/fiber storage per shelf, and I bought it immediately upon realizing this. It does add some clutter to my room, but it's providing a lot of useful storage and has allowed me to collect all of the fiber things together (instead of strewn about the place), so that's a worthwhile tradoff. Plus it just makes my organizational heart happy.
One of the things we did do this weekend was pick up our RV trailer after it's long stint at the dealer, where it had various small repairs performed and also had slide rollers installed. These are like little awnings for the slides, which protect them from weather and minimize any dirt/debris/water from being pulled back into the RV when you close up for travel. Plus they dampen the sound of rain on the slides, since the rain will hit the awning and not the slide roof itself, a big bonus in this climate! I'm super excited and can't wait to use it again for a tournament this weekend.
There are a few things that I am keeping in mind these days, of course, with the primary at the moment being Martok's shoulder. He's demonstrated a bit of limping twice in the past few days, and since this is the age when OCD (osteochontridis dissecans) will present plus his sire has thrown pups who have had it, I'm now a little worried that we could be seeing that with him. OCD is basically a cartilage disorder where a piece flaps or breaks off within the joint, causing inflammation and pain and later joint damage if it's not resolved. Martok is exhibiting no pain, full extension and flexion of both shoulders (both manual by me and spontaneously by him while playing), and the stiffness seems to pop up after a nap after exercise, which is different than typical OCD presentation. So it might be growing pains, as it does seem he's doing nothing but growing legs right now, and that's what we'll hope for, but I'm still waiting to hear from the vet about whether we should bring him in for an exam and radiographs.
My other nearly-constant thought companion is of course our lost Curzon. Time is helping heal that wound, but it's still definitely a wound and it's not healed over by any means, nor do I think it will be any time soon. It's hard to make plans for the tournament next month, which would've been his tenth birthday, his ninth anniversary of racing flyball, and his Iron Dog award, all in one weekend. I'm not looking for him quite as often as I used to, but I still miss him so much, especially as little Martok in all innocence displays so many of the silly border collie boy behaviors that Curzon exhibited. Ah, well - if I hadn't loved him so, if he hadn't changed our lives so deeply, then it wouldn't hurt to have lost him - and that is something I couldn't bear.