Cold and Crisp

It's one of those bright, cold Oregon spring mornings when the sky is sapphire blue and there is not a cloud in the sky.  The sun is eye squintingly bright.  (I just made up that word, "squintingly".  You know what I mean, don't you?)  George and I went out to feed the birds.  

To our utter delight and amazement (actually I was more delighted and amazed than George was), we saw this little mini-iris growing in with our tulips.  These are the first spring flowers!  (Although technically, I guess they are still winter flowers.)

A few years ago, I gave up on the idea that I could grow tulips in the yard because, apparently, they taste like chocolate to the deer.  Actually, I don't know if deer would like chocolate, but they definitely like tulips. Recently, I've learned there is a systemic product that can be planted with tulip bulbs that will make the tulips taste more like . . . hm, like what?  Perhaps like the unsweetened baking chocolate I begged my mom to let me eat, and then was immediately sorry.

All of that to say (I'm nothing if not tangential) that I ended up planting a mix of tulip bulbs in whiskey barrels up close to the house so that the deer wouldn't bother them.  They don't.  Now we get tulips in the spring, although they are still fairly sparse.  I'm hoping that eventually they will fill the whiskey barrels to overflowing like they do at the tulip farm.  Mixed in with the tulip bulbs were a few random non-tulips.  They have come up with the tulips each year, but this is the first time I've seen them bloom.  This looks like the wild iris that grow along the sides of our driveway.  They are tiny.  Just compare them to the beginnings of the tulips you see to the right.  They are about as tall as my index finger.

After feeding the birds and dancing a jig at the sight of the little blooming iris, George and I sat outside for a while to soak in the rays.  George especially likes this.  You might think with the long shadows everything is casting that it is late in the day.  It isn't.  It's just that our sun is very low on the horizon this time of year.

Can you see that ugly patch of scabby grunge on George's shoulder?  It's from the autoimmune disorder he has known as pemphigus.  For years, we've given him steroids to try to keep it at bay.  At first, he didn't have it at all.  It didn't show up until he was about four years old.  Then it got worse and worse until it was so bad, we were considering putting him down.  We finally found a vet who could give us the correct diagnosis, and thankfully, we've been able to control it with medication.

Originally, we gave him the medicine every third day.  Then it was every two and a half days, lately, it's been every two days.  But this lesion would not clear up.  It's been there since before Thanksgiving.  A few weeks ago, it was a solid weeping, bleeding mass of sores.  Poor guy.  So we've been giving him his medicine every day now for the past two weeks, and it finally seems to be healing, slowly, and not very satisfactorily.  

I'm afraid a pattern is emerging where the medicine works for a while, but then it takes more to control this horrible chronic disease.  Eventually, I'm afraid we won't be able to control it any more, and that will be the end of George.  We're not there yet, though.  He's 11 years old, and so he probably has at least a couple of years left in him.  It's hard to see these terrible lesions crop up though and not be able to control them very well.  George, for his part, seems blase about the whole thing . . . except for taking his medicine.  He hates that.

This morning I sat and finished the hand-sewing on the castle doll quilt.  It's completely finished now.

Next, I'm heading off for my monthly pedicure, so that's probably all the sewing I'll get in all day.  

But I can't finish until I show you the beautiful red and white blocks Linda G. over at Stray Stitches sent me. Linda was my partner in the Block Swap Adventure this month.  Aren't these pretty?

I'm totally into the red and white right now.  I sent Linda a block too, but I can't show it to you yet.  And now, I need to get going.  How's your Wednesday shaping up?

5 comments from clever and witty friends:

Rosetta said...

W la primavera !

Teresa in Music City said...

Oh poor George! He looks like he's happy enough being outside though. The baby iris is beautiful! Are you going to add the red/white blocks to your Just Takes 2 blocks or do something else with them?

Denise :) said...

The mini-Iris is gorgeous!! They are another of my favorites!! Aren't those red blocks lovely!! Great score, there! :)

LynCC said...

What a beautiful little iris! Lucky :)

Dana Gaffney said...

Wild Iris, how beautiful! We have wild orchids here, but they aren't very pretty, I would love to have something that pretty growing wild.
You typing "the end of George" made my heart hurt for both of you. Let's hope for better medicine, he's got a lot of super hero years to go.