Waffle Stitch

I’m working on a new blanket for my couch. It’s in the beautiful waffle stitch. It’s a fairly easy stitch to follow. 

To create this beautiful waffle pattern, you will need to begin by crocheting a chain in a multiple of 3 plus 1. I used an I hook. 

Row 1: dc in 4th chain from hook. Dc in next chain, *dc around next chain, dc in next 2 chains. Repeat from *

Row 2: ch 3, *dc in next 2 dc, fpdc the dc that went around the chain. Repeat from * ending with dc in top of skipped ch in chain 

Odd rows: ch 3, *dc in first dc, fpdc next 2 dc. Repeat from * ending with dc in top of ch 3 

Even rows: ch 3, *dc in first 2 dc, fpdc next dc. Repeat from * ending with dc in top of ch 3

Repeat until blanket is desired size. 


Busy busy

Recently, the judge finally made a ruling on my husband’s claim to his grandmother’s house. The judge ruled that she did, in fact, want him to have the house and all of her belongings. 

Granny grew up during the Great Depression. She then became a military wife. Over the years, she left many things behind as duty stations changed. 

Over the years, her husband brought her many beautiful things back from his deployments. She managed to hang on to many of them. 

This house was the first (and only) home they owned. Granny began saving everything after moving here. This includes the items shed managed to save through the years of changing duty stations and military housing. 

We’ve been dividing everything into what we are keeping and everything else. The everything else is headed to storage where the remainder of the family will have the opportunity to choose any items they wish to keep. 

I’m sore and tired, but I’ve got lots of really cute items to decorate my home with once we’ve settled things. 

The plan is to prepare the house for sale and ultimately move on from here. Move on with our lives. 

For more great photos of the cute things I’ve found, check out my Instagram

Bear B update #adventuresofbearb

I am currently writing this on my iPhone while a storm is raging outside. I decided not to pull out my laptop during such nasty weather. Blogging is just about the only thing I don’t do on this device. I feel limited within the app. 

Anyways, I finally reached someone at the vet’s office yesterday. Bear B’s thyroid is fine. That means that the phenobarbital is what is affecting his t4. We already knew it was affecting his liver. 

The vet called in a prescription for Keppra XR. Bear B takes this medication twice daily, just like the phenobarbital. It is about twice the size of the phenobarbital. After he has taken it for a week, I’m supposed to call the vet to discuss weening him off the phenobarbital. 

The liver is the starfish of the body. It can heal itself and regrow tissue as needed. The hope is that he can be completely weened off the phenobarbital and use the Keppra only. 

The side effects are minimal. The cost is outrageous. Thank goodness for goodrx.com. The pharmacist told me that the total cost was going to be almost $300. That is for a one month supply of medication. No way could we afford that. Thanks to the coupon printed off at goodrx.com, we payed a total of $24. 

Hoping that this new medication brings  a turn around in Bear B’s health and happiness as well as longevity. Keppra is not known to shorten the life expectancy of your dog the way phenobarbital can. I’m excited for the potential of many more years with my fur baby. 

I will keep you posted as he adjusts to his new medication and we eliminate his old. See Bear B in action by following #adventuresofbearb across social media ~or~ follow me on any or all of my pages: TwitterFacebookInstagram, or Pinterest as well as here on my blog. 

Bear B’s blood work results are in…

Last night, I received a call from the vet. Bear B’s blood work results were in. They are concerning.


First, his white blood cell count was a little high. It was 19,000. Ideally, it should range between 6,000 and 17,000. At this time, the vet is not too concerned about his wbc count. Due to the fact that he had a cluster of seizures in the twenty four hours before the visit, a higher than normal count was to be expected.

The most concerning was his liver enzymes. The doctor said only that they were really high. This is a concern that the phenobarbital is starting to do some damage. We won’t know how extensive the damage until we have weaned him down or off of the phenobarbital. The good news is that the liver is really good at healing itself once the toxin is removed.

The last test that the doctor discussed with me was his T4 test. T4 is a thyroid hormone. It was at .6, and normal is between 1 and 4. The vet is going to have them test the blood for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). If the TSH level comes back high while the T4 level is low, then Bear B is suffering from hypothyroidism caused by his thyroid not giving off enough hormone. If the TSH comes back low, then he is suffering from hypothyroidism caused by his pituitary gland and (according to the vet) possibly Cushing’s disease.

I should receive a phone call about those results today. At that time, we will discuss the plan of action. We already know that he plans to put Bear B on Keppra XR. This is another anticonvulsant. The goal would be to reduce or eliminate the phenobarbital. If he does receive a diagnosis of hypothyroidism, he will also start taking Levothyroxine. This is a synthetic thyroid that will provide hormone replacement for the remainder of his life.

As is my way, I hung up the phone with the vet and began researching. Here is what I have found:

Dogs with hypothyroidism may suffer from lethargy. Bear B is definitely lethargic. The people who own his parents had named him Eeyore because he just moped around and didn’t play with the other puppies. He had a belly full of worms, so we always equated it to that. He never became a really active dog, though. We just figured it was his personality. He played, just not a lot and not for very long periods at a time.

Greasy dandruff and chronic skin infections. This is the one that leaves me a little upset with every vet (present one included) that has ever seen Bear B. He gets these rough patches of greasy dead dry skin. He also suffers from chronic acne. I have brought these skin conditions up at numerous vet visits. I always felt there was something to it. They always blew it off as him having sensitive skin. As a sufferer of sensitive skin myself (who recently spent the weekend covered from head to toe in a rash, feeling the itch of it in my lungs) I didn’t push too hard.

Dull, dry coat and excessive shedding. The vet always attributed this to age and stress. Being epileptic is stressful. This excessive shedding coupled with the fact that hair growth is slowed leads to bald patches. This can include rat tail. This is where much of the tail is bare except for a little tuft at the end. Bear isn’t quite there, yet, but he does have a lot of bareness on his once fluffy, full tail.

The one that caught my attention. The one that leaves me the most upset is that hypothyroidism can cause seizures. Why, then, has Bear B never had his thyroid tested before? While it is possible that he does suffer from epilepsy, or that the damage done by the hypothyroidism is permanent and he may need anticonvulsants for the rest of his life, it is also possible that the seizure activity stems from the thyroid problem and he could ultimately be seizure free for the rest of his life.


I will post an update as soon as I hear from the vet and we have a plan moving forward. Also follow me or #adventuresofbearb on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for lots of great Bear B content.

Happy Birthday Birthday Girl!

Today is our little girl’s eleventh birthday. It’s hard to believe so much time has passed. Of course, my Facebook news feed chose a picture from her forth birthday as my on this day photo. I still can’t believe how much she has grown.


We let her open her presents before daddy and brother had to leave for work. She is currently chilling beside me, Xbox controller in her hand, playing the new game we bought her.

I’m almost lost this year just as I was last year. For everybody else’s birthday, it’s my job to bake a cake and cook a dinner. That’s always been my role on birthdays. Last year, my daughter decided she was ready to start making her own birthday dinner and baking her own birthday cake.

We are postponing the dinner and cake until the weekend so that we can enjoy her birthday together. We figured the boys would be too tired on a work night and we stay up later on weekends, leaving time for dessert.

Tonight, I’m making an easy dinner of chicken fajitas. I told her that they will be like a second birthday dinner. I do get to have a nice sized role in this year’s birthday dinner. She wants beef stew pot pies. She wants to use my beef stew recipe, and she wants to make everyone individual hand pies for the pot pies. I get the task of adapting my recipe for her to follow.

We have decided that we are going to cook the stew in the slow cooker. Usually, I use my cast iron dutch oven to cook my stew, but it’s in storage, currently. She chose chocolate cake with dark chocolate fudge icing and chocolate sprinkles for her cake. She picked scooperman ice cream to go with. (I don’t like scooperman, and the idea of it with chocolate was absolutely appalling to me, so I bought some french vanilla, too.)

My kids are growing up on me. They need me less and less as days go by. It’s the hardest part of being a parent. All we can do is hold on tightly as we prepare them for the world, and when they are ready to try their wings, we just have to let them fly, be there to catch them if they fall, and be proud when they soar. It’s our job to let them go.

Happy Birthday, Birthday Girl!

For those who have been following along, Bear B has been seizure free for over 24 hours!