Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Valley Fever

Our Charlie dog got very sick!

After ruling out trachyitis and a sprained ankle the Vet decide to test him for Valley Fever. Sure enough Charlie has it! he started with a cough, then started limping about a month later. During that time his appetite decreased and he was grumpy! We could tell he was hurting and unable to bare weight on his left back leg. We didn't realize that he was running a temp the whole time and that a fungal infection was growing in his lungs and had already spread to his joints. If left untreated or not caught soon enough, the infection would spread to his spine and brain. In that case the disease is fatal.

We hope that we caught Charlie's illness in time, but only time will tell. The Vet said he could easily be on meds for a full year to his whole life. Currently, he takes an anti fungal, anitpyretic and anti inflammatory. We are hoping that he continue to show signs of improvement. And, in the mean time wanted to share this information with our friends and family.

The following article is taken from:

Yes, dogs get Valley Fever! Like people, dogs are very susceptible to Valley Fever. Dogs primarily contract Valley Fever in the low desert regions of Arizona, New Mexico and southwestern Texas and the central deserts of California. Dogs accompanying people traveling through these areas or wintering in these warm climates have about the same chance as their owners of being infected.

Dogs comprise the majority of Valley Fever cases in animals.

Valley Fever is caused by a fungus that lives in the desert soil in the areas described above (Del Rio). As part of its life cycle, the fungus grows in the soil (saprophytic cycle) and matures, drying into fragile strands of cells. The strands are very delicate, and when the soil is disturbed - by digging, walking, construction, high winds - the strands break apart into tiny individual spores called arthroconidia or arthrospores. Dogs and people acquire Valley Fever by inhaling these fungal spores in the dust raised by the disturbance. The dog may inhale only a few spores or many hundreds.

Once inhaled, the spores grow into spherules (parasitic cycle) which continue to enlarge until they burst, releasing hundreds of endospores. Each endospore can grow into a new spherule, spreading the infection in the lungs until the dog’s immune system surrounds and destroys it. The sickness Valley Fever occurs when the immune system does not kill the spherules and endospores quickly and they continue to spread in the lungs and sometimes throughout the animal’s body.
About 70% of dogs who inhale Valley Fever spores control the infection and do not become sick. These dogs are asymptomatic. The remainder develop disease, which can range from very mild to severe and occasionally fatal.

After talking with friends I have found three people who's dogs have had Valley Fever. They all have live on base. Another guys wife got Valley Fever and nearly died from it.

For more info:

The Oasis on Lake Travis

After graduation we went to The Oasis on Lake Travis.
The Oasis reminds me of what Austin love to claim. "Weird Austin" The restaurant had several different decors running throughout and tons of interesting sculptors. I highly recommend it to everyone!

I got to meet hubs babysitter from when he was little and they lived in San Antonio. She was a wonderfully sweet lady and I am thankful that she opened her home to us.

Trying to get my niece to crack a smile for the camera.

The newly hooded Master and her Hub. You can see the shinning waters of Lake Travis in the background.

Me and my guy! So handsome, such shadows.
The gals! Check out those Christmas trees behind us! Aren't they weird!

Mr. and Mrs. Claus

we had a great dinner with friends and family and looking forward to seeing you all again soon.
I couldn't resist taking this picture! Look at all the stuff on that tree. I think the main theme is peacocks and butterflies. It looked gorgeous up close.


"Thanksgiving day is a happy day and we say thank you God" This thanksgiving was a treat! I had to work the night before and I was given instructions that I needed to go right to bed when I came home and when I woke up dinner would be served. I am so blessed! Hub made the potatoes au gait the day before and the sausage stuffing. The day of he only had to make the turkey and the cranberry sauce. It was so good! For someone who picked up culinary skills a year ago, I think his cooking is above average.
We had to get dressed up for Thanksgiving because our goal was to get a decent Christmas card photo out the the event. We tried different poses and still have not decided which one to use! My favorite part was after we finished taking pictures Hub says, "Okay get all this nice stuff out of the way, I'm not eating off it!" I had to laugh! So there I had set the table with the good china, but we used our everyday dishes instead. This is the more serious side! And, this the expression I usually get after I suggest we change our outfits so that we have more pictures to choose from!
We had a great little thanksgiving and hope that you all did too!

Master in the House

Can you guess where sister in law got her master's?
In what field did she graduate with her masters ?Yep, that's right! Congrats! We love you and are so proud of you!
Waiting in line to be hooded.
Almost there.

Adjusting the hood. Looks like a good fit!
The walk, the shake and the diploma.
Awww, all done! whew...

When should I do back from my doctorate??

Friends make the whole thing easier. Congrats we love you!

Christmas at the Home

I decided to hang lights the other day. So, I put on my work clothes, old pants and a tank top. Believe it or not I was burning up trying to get those little lights in the right place. My neighbor suggested I climb on the roof, but I thought a balancing act with the kitchen step stool worked way better.
I love the way the house just glows with Christmas! I would leave lights up all year long...but then I really don't want to be that neighbor.
After all the decorating at the club and the extremely long line at Garden Ridge. I decided my card tree would be all the Christmas tree we would have this year. I was surprised at how I really didn't mind not putting up a tree. Please notice I only have two Christmas cards on my little tree so far...humm. Have you sent out your Christmas cards yet?

My little Santa collection.

I love my sled! Maybe someday it will get recommissioned.
My advent calendar from Julie is one of my favorite Christmas decorations this year. I can't wait to fill it with little goodies and notes someday. I would do it now but Hub really wouldn't be that excited about it.
Not really a Christmas decoration, but also a favorite this chandelier! Okay it is small and not too fancy, but it was the right size and I have been wanting to put a light there for almost three years. We drilled a whole in the top shelf then again in another cabinet so that the cord is complete concealed. I love it!!
Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas at Club XL

Merry Christmas
This year I got to organize and plan the decorations for the OSC Club. After several hours and one hug trip to San Antonio. This is the end result of a slightly rustic/old world Christmas theme.
This tree was decorated with popcorn and cranberry garland. We had dried orange slices and applesauce cinnamon ornaments. The smell was so Christmasy! I even put this tree in my tub that usually holds my garden hoes!
The bar had to be decorated as well. I wasn't too into decorating the bar. I figured most people would be drunk in here and not even care what the decorations looked like. This tree had a Texas/western theme. Really, I just used the same tree they'd used the year before.
The women's bathroom took on a more elegant look. Landy graciously allowed us to use her white feather wreath and I wrapped several "presents" for a little decoration. Confession: most are cereal and diaper boxes. But, they looked good.

The ladies bathroom tree. I spray painted ting ting (or branches off my tree) for a little frosty color.

An amazing master florist, Kelly, made two wreath for the entrance to the ballroom. The picture doesn't do the wreath enough justice. She got several request to make more wreaths and at least two people has request to buy these wreaths when the Christmas season is over. I think we will just save them for next year.

I copied the basic design that Kelly used and made four wreaths for the hall. Yes, I am a copy cat! Kelly also came up with the idea to add the sparkle red material to each table. Excellent touch!
The two identical foyer trees! I was really happy about the outcome here and once again Kelly jumped into add the finishing touch. She and Janette knew they need something extra so they made the bow. It is exactly what the tree needed to be complete.
Two of these light poles greet guests as they enter the Dinning room and the Ballroom.
We were able to decorate four of the main pillars. We wrapped them with garland, lights ribbon and raffia.
The Dinning room and the Ballroom also had matching trees.
Our last project was to decorate the stage where Santa would be taking pictures with the kids. Hubby painted the sleigh for two days to get it just right. We hung snowflakes from the ceiling and hung a boarder to bring a little snowy weather to Laughlin. It was a lot of work but I had a great time.