Close Call

April 8, 2013 § 1 Comment

This weekend was not great.  For most of last week C battled a cold, which I got by the end of the week…so there was that.  Then C decided to take all four dogs to the vet for vaccinations.  I kind of thought it was a bit much and I couldn’t help at all, with one, working at the shop and two I’m sick!  Anywho, an hour later everyone pulled up to the shop…tongues and tails wagging happily.  I sent everyone home and I followed a few hours later.  A little around 9 in the evening after we ate and then the pets had their dinner…Chico ran over, her face completely red and swollen.  I knew immediately she was having an allergic reaction to her shot.  I once had a cat that had a reaction to vaccinations and it was immediate…I had never seen something like this AND what, 6 to 8 hours from the shot.  So, at this point we knew our vet was closed; but the receipt referenced an emergency care facility 30 minutes away.  I called right away for help and I just want to be sure this facility gets ALL the credit for what I’m about to say – Louisiana Veterinary Referral Center in Mandeville, LA – I described the condition of my dog and asked what could I do immediately and also how to keep her safe for the next 30 minutes of travel to their location…

“oh, hunny, we can’t tell you anything until we see the dawg”

“well, she’s not having trouble breathing, is this serious, do you see this frequently???”

“I guess…often enough, I guess” in a sassy drawl.  So, safe to say, not the most qualified bunch answering phones at this facility.

IMG_0071

Chico after the initial swelling had gone down.

At the same time I get a text referencing how to dose your dog with Benadryl.  So, I made the decision to go ahead and forgo the “quality” care of the “often enough” facility since she showed no problems breathing and in an attempt to give her some immediate relief.  It worked for a bit; but around 11:30 we went through round 2 – hives and vomiting.  It was just heart wrenching; she settled finally around 1am.  Once morning broke we called our normal vet and they were really surprised that she had a reaction and asked that even though she pulled through it to bring her in for a steroid shot.  I know this personally, having been though a rare cancer, when people tell you “wow, this is so rare, it like never happens”  it really doesn’t help for the people going though it!  I should also mention as I’m clutching Chico in the waiting area (because they double booked us), the local funeral home truck pulls up front and starts removing the weeks’ patients that didn’t make it (really no back door here?).  Agggh…what an experience!

So, Chico is back to her old sassy self, but to follow up I did a bit of research and found some interesting stuff about the vaccinations we give our pets.  First and foremost they were developed to protect people and not so much the pets that endure these concoctions.  Most rabies vaccines have traces of mercury, that can cause long term cognitive disorders, allergies, a certain type of cancer at the injection site, and it’s like rare y’all…but yes, death.  Similar to a boxing match, I finally got my vet to fess up to what brand that was given to my dog…it was Nobivac.  You can google it and see my dog’s symptoms were not totally uncommon.  Honestly, heretofore, I’m not sure what we will due for future vaccinations.  We live in rural America and no one here is a real stickler to verify who’s got what and where.  I am learning that there are different rabies vaccines…it’s just up to you to find a vet willing to give you your preference.  Most people seem to recommend Merial IMRAB TF or (Merial PUREVAX  Feline Rabies for Cats) – the TF stands for thimersol free, meaning the mercury is not used in the preservative of the vaccine.

Honestly, it seems like the craziest thing to have almost lost our pet to something considered preventive care.  But even worse, was the way so little information and care was provided by the emergency vet and our own local vet.  And by the way, everyone that we mentioned this tale to that knew of the emergency care facility remarked that you can’t even get through to see the vet until you slap down a credit card.  I’m really glad I didn’t need their services because it sounded a lot more like a business than a care facility.  I hope if you found this post you can make an informed decision about the care for your pet.

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Thrifty Mississippi

April 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Three times a year…more if I’m lucky, I go up to Jackson, Mississippi to pilfer one of my most favorite thrift stores.  It literally takes me three hours to walk the store as every nook and cranny is a treasure trove!  I stocked up on lots of fabrics – more new than vintage this go round, but someone had donated some really high end cottons (yay me!), I even found yarn, buttons, and they had a tremendous sale on books…I snagged some really great books on sewing, needlework and a very interesting copy of how to bind a book (like I have time for that).

My best find by far (maybe ever) was a Eva Gabor wig box in orange…no wig but its so amazing.  It needs a little work but it’s fascinating!

After digging in a thrift store for hours, we like to treat ourselves to a really nice restaurant (talk about a 180)…we are a bit stuck on Sophia’s at the historic Fairview Inn.  If you can get past the hostess who’s a bit of a troll, its a real hidden gem.  I ordered the drum and it was yum yum!  I usually like to walk the grounds, but a cold snap kept us inside; the azaleas were about to pop and an actual dogwood was in bloom…most of them have died out in my neck of the woods due to a blight.

Depsite the rainy cold it was a fun and productive day…my most favorite moment though had to be this in the thrift store restroom:

–Lisa LeBlanc

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The Finish Line

March 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

Two months has been a long wait to fill our apartments; but we finally got the A-OK to proceed with occupancy after the repairs.  Again, I’m not sure why my town of Ponchatoula makes it so hard for businesses to do business here.  It’s a darling town – but you really have to be from here to make it here.  Which is a shame, because we could ALL be a lot stronger if city leaders weren’t so adamant about some succeeding and others struggling.

Anywho, whenever the apartments are vacant I use the lull as a great backdrop for my product pictures.  I’ve even toyed with the idea of switching the shop to upstairs because the views and light are tremendous!  Here’s a sweet pair of vintage sheer strawberry drapery panels – I love the view of one of our old oak trees across the street.

Here’s one of the cute archival papers from Cavallini against the brick wall…all bathed in natural light.  I guess its been the only perk of the vacancy after crazy tenant #1 and #2 left, but I’m glad the two new families are thrilled to be going to each and adding a new chapter to theirs and my life.  *fingers crossed* we are all happy for a long time!

 

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Looking From Above

March 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Back in the early 90’s I had the chance to study “historic preservation” at an authentic French Chateau (through a group that I’m sure crashed and burned years ago).  Though it turned out to be a real place, the experience was a bit more “indentured servant” than educational – so I thought.  I spent 12 hour plus days with a couple that had bought a 16th century chateau, assisting them from digging out hedges, holding flash lights as they fixed roof leaks, cleaning (16th century dirt, for sure).  For barely a 20 year old design student – I was tres unimpressed.

Little did I know, years later I would buy my own chateau…that’s French for old-a** money pit…which I love.  It’s actually, the Old Nehi Botting Company in our town, originally built in 1925.  So, in hind-sight, I wish I could sincerely apologize to my French family from years gone by for being a little American .  I can’t tell you the countless hours we’ve spent doing so much of the renovations ourselves.  And though it sounds like a hassle, it feels like you are actually breathing life back in these old buildings.

This week, though, we let the professionals take this job.  We are in the midst of re-roofing the oldest part of the building and will cap the parapet walls that line the perimeter.  See that thickness…those are 12″ thick walls!  This place is a tank!  Needless to say it’s been hard to stop for a minute and blog – something I really wish I could teach the dog to do!  I should be back in full force next week  – until then, have a great weekend everybody!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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We’ve Expanded…

October 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

I know I’ve disappeared for a while now but it’s with good reason, I promise!  We’ve expanded our shop to now include fabric and notions by partnering with our local quilt shop.

Everything happened quite by surprise.  Nearly a year ago we were shopping our neighbors’ store and C said by the off chance you ever decide to leave think about moving into Nest.  Low and behold, they called the first week in September and wanted to scale back their retail operation and focus more on producing quilts (which are amazing, by the way).  I’ve been itching to really get into fabric and it’s made for a unique opportunity for me to apprentice, in a way and also to help keep and build their clientele.  Also, they never ventured into online sales and I’ve agreed to assist with that…throughout October I will be building the inventory on my site; so check often as I list about 5 to 6 new fabrics a day.

So, for a straight month it’s taken all our efforts to really get them moved into their nook or sewing center, as I like to call it.  Most evenings we leave the shop at 7 or 8pm, eat dinner, bathe and then fall fast asleep.  There hasn’t been much time for anything else, i.e. blogging, but I’m making a very concentrated effort beginning this week to get back to some semblance of normal (like I ever was to begin with!)

Oh, and an early observation about “sewing people” – they seem to be quite the introverts.  Sweet as can be, they each walk in shyly clutching a partially made project…I almost have to coax out what they need.  On the other hand the yarnies that knit and hook are all extroverts.

–Lisa LeBlanc

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A Weathered Nest

August 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

We weathered the storm fairly well; definitely no Katrina like seven years ago but quite a disaster in its own right…and a looong one at that.  We are 50 miles north of New Orleans and winds picked up Tuesday evening, then torrential wind and rain all of Wednesday, Thursday we saw the tail-end with sporadic showers.  I was finally able to leave and drive to the shop Thursday; everything looks fine.  A little water seeped through under the windows but nothing unexpected after 12 hours of horizontal rain.  I will attempt to open this morning; hopefully my internet will cooperate to process online orders.

Waiting out the storm felt like living in a bubble.  For long periods we had no electricity or cellular connection…it felt a little like the “old days”.  I stitched most hours it was light with a dog or a cat on my lap…sometimes both.  We chatted, read, napped.  Occasionally when we would look outside it was like looking out your car window in a car wash.  Only a tiny frog that wedge himself safely in the window of the storm door was our connection to the outside.  I lost a ton of pecans and mourned my future pies; some how my lemons stayed intact and most of my satsumas.  We were lucky in all respects.  Sometimes living in a sub-tropical area is chancy but as a lady put it so eloquently on the news this evening, “maybe one day out the year it’s a disaster; the rest of the days it’s like paradise”

–Lisa LeBlanc

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When it Rains it Pours.

August 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hurricane Tracking Map Cross Stitch Pattern

This is not my first rodeo, but I have to admit my heart sank when I saw TS Issac’s track shift to almost a direct hit to my home and business.  I’ve been through Katrina and another less well known storm, Gustav and I know most things can be replaced, fixed and cleaned.  We are prepared as possible; I went in to the shop this morning to process, pack and ship all online orders (thank you SO much!).  We sandbagged near all the doorways this afternoon and then locked the doors and made a wish that everything would be safe and sound.  Now, my focus is finishing preparing my home for the onslaught of rain and wind.  Oh, and priorities…I did get some new yarn so I can keep busy if the power is out and it is still light outside.  Hopefully, I be back in business shortly!

See you when the skies brighten!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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