Sunday, December 12, 2010

In pictures

Apparently we are into lounging these days since most of these photos seem to catch us in our PJ’s!

Playdough holiday cookies by Gracie


Couch snugglesIMG_2769 

Kissy attack.IMG_2811

Star Wars Legos on the Wii


I found them like this one morning, quietly reading books in Gracie’s bed together.  So sweet!


Gracie’s choir performance at a retirement home.

IMG_2785  IMG_2781

Ian and Miss Brenda, our Music Together teacher for years who also happens to do balloon parties and has done the kids holiday party for James office for as long as we’ve known her.


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Things I've learned living out in the country......

Not having close neighbors rocks.

Deer can be really aggressive.  I've seen them chase our dogs, a coyote, and they aren't really very afraid of us either!

Dead mice in the yard don't bother me, it means the cats are doing their job.

Chickens are really sweet and fresh eggs are awesome.

The washboard sound of a dirt road becomes oddly comforting.

I miss having a clean car.

Small town people are generally very nice.

4-H is just as cool as I thought it would be when I was a kid.

You will eat better when fast food, and most restaurants in general, are at minimum a 20 minute drive.  We cook at home a lot these days.  It's a good thing.

Keep the gas tank at least 1/4 full at all times.

Dogs are absolutely definitely happier when they have a yard.  So are children.

Fighting the dust when you are on a dirt road is pointless.  Just accept it and wipe it down when you can.

Burrs are the devils gift to the country.

The stars on a clear night make all the driving worth it.  It's just breathtaking.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving week highlights

James had off the whole week.

We went to our Timeshare for a few days.

We spent Thanksgiving day in Loveland.

The kids stayed in Loveland for 2 extra days with the grandparents.

We rearranged furniture, shopped, went to the movies and went out for dinner, all without wrangling monkeys.  It was wonderful.

We put up Christmas lights and a christmas tree.

Our chickens finally laid an egg.

And that is the last 10 days in a nut shell!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Here’s some of my favorite pictures from the last couple of days.  We had 6 inches of snow at our house and apparently we are in for even more tomorrow!  Winter hit fast but it’s so beautiful out here that I really don’t mind.

IMG_8739 IMG_8747   IMG_8697 IMG_8702 IMG_8706 IMG_8731 IMG_8736IMG_8751IMG_8760

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spider Bite Day 6

A little bit better again today!!

I think I can safely say it’s shrinking.  Very very slowly, but the affected area is smaller and less swollen.  Yay!!!

The worst part of all this now is the bleeding.  It’s just so gross.  When she hits her nose, which is about a billion times a day, the scab will split and there is blood.  Or she rubs against you, peels off scab and skin, and then there’s blood all over you.  It’s nasty. 

But she’s healing!  A couple of the pits in the spot are really deep and I think it’s going to be quite awhile before the whole thing is healed but I think the worst is over.

The spots in her ears and on her tongue are unchanged and I’m not too worried about them.

She’ll be on antibiotics for the foreseeable future to make sure nothing settles in the wound while it heals.  And hopefully, that will be that.

Here’s a few of the resources I used through this whole thing.  There’s a lot more though, I googled for the first 2 days I think!  There’s always the possibility that this wasn’t a spider bite but given the way that it acted and then responded to treatment I think it’s about 99% possible that it was. 

Heal a Spider Bite

Brown Recluse Spider Bite Case Studies- Pet Cases

How to Heal a Spider Bite

Treating a Brown Recluse Spider Bite

I’ll post pictures as it heals but I don’t think I’ll make daily posts anymore, unless things go south for some reason.  Thank you to everyone who has been helpful and thinking about Molly through this craziness!

Pictures today.  It’s a little bloody because I had just cleaned it a bit.  It’s amazing what sticks to a wound on a dogs nose!IMG_8573


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Spider Bite day 5

Still cautiously optimistic.  The spot is not growing and has maybe shrunk a small amount again.  The raw area of flesh is larger as the skin is falling off but the flesh underneath appears a bit healthier today, not quite so pussy and weepy, like it’s maybe trying to heal?  I sure hope so.  I am happy that I can still see hair growing up through the wound so it appears at least so far that the hair follicles are healthy.  Time will tell and really it’s the least of my worries but it’s nice to see that hair appears to still be there. 

Molly is still eating and drinking normally and doesn’t seem bothered by the spot except when we touch it.  The spots in her ears haven’t grown although they are now in both ears now as well as on her tongue.  I am thinking this is maybe a rash reaction to the antibiotic?  As long as it doesn’t get worse I’m just leaving that for now.

How it looks today:

IMG_8568 IMG_8567

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spider Bite Day 4

Things are looking up. 

As of this morning I can say that it appears the venom is not spreading and the whole bump has actually shrunk a bit.  What do I attribute this to?

Activated Charcoal.

Yesterday after the vet told me once again there was nothing we can do and that we just have to sit and wait I took to the internet again, but this time not looking for how bad it can get.  I was looking for anything and everything people have used to fix these bites on their own.  Screw conventional medicine!!!

The biggest issue is getting the venom out.  I knew this from day one and was really surprised that the doctors didn’t agree.  I thought that they would want to cut it out, which I was fine with.  The trouble with cutting though is that the venom isn’t truly visible, so you can cut what you think you see only to have more tissue die because you didn’t get it all.  So the vets wanted to wait and see how far it spreads, then treat once the venom is done moving.  From my point of view though, that’s not a really good solution, because in some cases this venom moves for days, weeks and even months, eating all the flesh as it goes.  HUGE holes are left behind and the recovery can be long, painful, and yucky.

So how else do you get the venom out?  You suck it out.

There are a few cures mentioned for doing this.  Activated charcoal is one.  Baking Soda is another.  Also any kind of paste you would use for bee stings or a bread poultice (and many other types of poultices).  Something that dries and sucks moisture from the wound.

So last night we cracked open a bottle of activated charcoal I’ve had for years and opened some of the capsules, added water to make a paste and then covered everything that was inflamed.  There is no issue with putting this right on raw flesh as well, it will help dry it out and she’s on an antibiotic anyway so that should stop any infection if it was introduced to the wound.  I literally painted her nose with a paint brush and covered the whole spot.  We waited 2 hours and then washed it off and re-painted it for the night.    We have had to use the cone collar she had from getting spayed to keep her from pawing at it but only when it’s wet.  Once it’s dry it seems quite comfortable for her.

Anyway, we washed it off this morning and to our total happiness the swelling does seem to have gone down, it seems slightly smaller in length and width and the bumps that were crawling towards her eyes seem completely gone.  It’s so awesome!  We covered it again and I am going to remove it soon, clean it, and then re-apply.  The information I found said to remove and re-apply every couple of hours the first day and then a few times each day following til it’s gone.  Since we are getting a late start on this I’m trying to let it dry and then remove and re-apply every few hours for at least 24 hours, so til tonight.  Then depending on how things look we will possibly change it out less tomorrow.

We are still supporting with SA as well as two different homeopathic remedies that I dissolve in a small amount of water and then give her like a liquid medication.  I am also going to look into some essential oils which may really help with the healing of the area.

So, now pictures.  It does look somewhat worse initially because skin is now really falling off leaving raw flesh visible.  But in general the entire affected area is smaller, and that’s what we are going for.



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Apparent Brown Recluse or Hobo Spider Bite on the snout of a dog days two and three after the bite.


Photo of Molly before this all began:


When we first noticed something on the 19th it it was just a small bump.  I thought she had been stung by a bee or something.  Within 2 hours of noticing it the bump was larger and oozing pus.  We went to a local vet where they applied topical antibiotics and steroids, put her on an oral antibiotic, and gave her a shot of benadryl and an anti-inflamatory (non-steroidal).  The bump continued to grow.

Photo from 10/20, approximately 24 hours after bite was discovered:


Within 24 hours of noticing bite it had grown considerably in size and swelling and the entire surface of the bite had begun to ooze blood and pus.  We went to the emergency vet where they did blood work and said that so far everything was normal which is a good sign.  Her urine was also normal.  They recommended stopping the topical antibiotic since applying it was causing extra bleeding. 

Photos from today 10/21, approximately 48 hours after bite:

IMG_8550IMG_8552   IMG_8551IMG_8555

Bite has grown in length and width.   You can see from the photos that the surface is beginning to lift off and underneath there is blood and pus.  You can also see where towards her eyes the healthy tissue is starting to bubble and pit as the venom works it’s way through.  We returned to the vet today and they clipped around it and cleaned it but decided not to remove any tissue yet.   They agreed it is still growing.   They said only time will tell.  All of the affected tissue will fall off eventually, probably in the next week.  We are looking at weeks or months of recovery.  If this moves to her eyes or goes into the deep tissue or bone of her snout it will be catastrophic. 

There are also two small bumps inside her right ear which looked like small blisters yesterday and now today are larger, red, and have a black center.  We are keeping an eyes on those too as they may be related.

I should add, we are also supporting her with Vitamin C given as a powder Sodium Ascorbate that we add to her food and I am also going to use some homeopathics that are recommended for insect bites and snake bites.  I figure it can’t hurt!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

The things they say and do

Yesterday while playing outside Ian yelled “Yipees, I don’t want to have a flash flood” and then ran inside to go to the bathroom.

Gracie asked me today if she could dye her hair green and hang candy canes in it like Fancy Nancy on the cover of the Splendiferous Christmas.  I said yes.

Gracie has named the chickens Courage, Lily, and Kelly.  Ian named them Bob, Moe and Jerry.  The rights to who actually got to name them was hotly debated so I said they can have two sets of names and they can each call them the names they picked.  But they both call all the chickens Chicken. 

Gracie said today “I know what I want to be when I grow up.  I want to be a food judge on that cooking channel.”

Ian runs to Gracie’s defense anytime she’s upset these days.  Unless he’s the one who upset her, then he runs and hides.

We went to the circus a few days ago and between the ringmaster and Gracie I must have heard the words “This is the greatest show on earth!” about a million times.  That girl takes something she hears and runs with it, yes she does!

Nothing can make Ian laugh like a good fart joke.

They have decided to be Scooby and Shaggy for Halloween and regularly practice talking like them.  This makes understanding Gracie (aka Scooby) pretty hard at times.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tooth #3

This one came out this afternoon.  Now she has a gap on top!


Gracie’s first time on roller skates.

Gracie was invited to a friends birthday at Skate City.  She did really well considering she’d never ever been on skates before, she even went around the whole rink a few times and managed to not fall too much!  Way to go Gracie girl!


James turned 34 and we had a luau.

Well, we kinda had a luau.  We were going to have a full on luau complete with yummy Hawaiian kabobs but our grill broke bit the big one right as we were firing it up.  So instead we went to the steak house in our new town and then we came home for cake that James mom baked.  And James got a new grill for his birthday, so it all worked out!



    IMG_7912  IMG_7920 


Weekend camping with friends, June 2010

We were finally able to get in another camping trip with our friends this summer.  We went with them 3 years ago, to see pics from that trip right click here.


The moms


Kids dragging branches to make a lean to.


Our campsite up off of Laramie River road


View across from our site.


Gang of punks.


Cutie pie girls.


Boy time under the lean to.


Young moose.


Still a little snow up there!


Kids in the play tent trying to stay dry from the rain.


Ian and I playing in the tent during some rain.


Tree being worked on by beavers.


Columbine flower.