Cat + Cranberry = Win, Dog + Turkey = Fail

Happy almost Turkey Day! This should be a fun post- it will be the first with an actual veterinary story.

If you want to have lots of fun while making Thanksgiving dinner and your cat insists on helping (how thoughtful) – play the Cranberry Game!

The Set Up

Ingredients: One bag of cranberries, one cat (bagged). The brand of cranberries doesn’t really matter, though did you know that many OceanSpray cranberries are grown in central Wisconsin bogs? But I digress.

Mix for hours of fun.
Oh, But the fun isn’t over! Next find the cranberry in all sorts of unexpectedly wonderful places!
Cranberries are safe for pets… most won’t actually eat them (though they may *roll* on them). Which segues nicely to the FAIL portion of this post.

Don’t let your dogs get at turkey bones people. Seriously. (disclaimer- although I am a licensed vet I am not YOUR licensed vet. This post has general advice and is not meant to diagnose or treat your pet.) Our story concerns a 10 lb little white dog. Let us call him Sparky. Sparky had a GREAT Thanksgiving. He even found a way into the garbage… which contained the neck of a 25 lb turkey. Now, you may not think it possible that the little guy could actually swallow any of this, but Sparky was tenacious. He worked at it and managed to get a turkey vertebrae lodged in his esophagus half-way down his own neck. Sparky’s Thanksgiving got a lot less fun. He gagged, retched, foamed at the mouth and worked hard to breathe all the way to the veterinary hospital, where he had anesthesia and endoscopic removal of the bone. This story had a happy ending, but the moral is: Dogs (and cats) are smart! They WILL get into things! Use common sense, use your human thumbs and make sure the garbage is secure. (Baby locks on cabinets work great!)

Ok, new craft and art stuff coming soon! There will be SPECIALS! And just for reading to the end of the post, CLICK HERE for a beloved family recipe using… you got it… cranberries!

Happy Birthday Edgar!

Today is virtuoso double bassist, composer, and MacArthur Genius Grant award winner Edgar Meyer’s 49th birthday. Not only can this guy play a MEAN double bass, but he can do so in any genre you care to name. I know him best through his bluegrass connections – you may as well since tunes from his Appalachia Waltz CD get featured on commercials and Ken Burns documentaries. Go HERE for his site where you can hear him play and find more information.

To Pom or not to Pom…

This is not really a question. I finished my chunky cable stocking cap and was informed that a pom pom topping would be “awesome”. So after a quick google look what appeared: A wonderful tutorial from Bella Dia. You can link to the tutorial by clicking on the picture… I realized that my ability to make tutorials as lovely as this one may be hampered by the surgical shortness of my fingernails. Anyhow, since I did not need to be a hand model to MAKE the pom pom I finished my hat and VOILA! I then wrote my second ever pattern for the hat and grabbed an Etsy treasury to show off more WMASS objets d’art. And we went running. And ate Chinese food. Good day.

Finally, for all you George R.R. Martin fans out there, visit for the latest in news about the upcoming HBO series. Because Winter is Coming.

Local Goodness and Victorians

Item the first: The WMASS Team has a treasury on Etsy which is gorgeous. Buy local! Buy handmade! But don’t take my word for it (thanks Reading Rainbow). Go to

Item the second: If you like early victorian england, steampunk, deadpan, punny, geeky humor, and sublimely simple drawings, 2DGoggles is for you. Sydney Padua is an artist and amateur (but very determined!) historian… her footnotes alone are worth the price of admission. As if that isn’t enough, she has a tribute to Wallace and Gromit which I will copy here with the greatest admiration and humility. Her site is
Item the Third: I’ll stay on the topic of the 1800’s. I am currently reading Wilkie Collin’s book The Moonstone (because the library didn’t have Woman in White) and I love how a book from over 100 years ago can be just as engaging and funny today as it was then. We just met the Sherlock Holmes character… though Arthur Conan Doyle wouldn’t publish his first detective story until about 20 years later…

Coming soon- a free scarf pattern!

Happy printer dance

Super excited! Yesterday afternoon I made the plunge into photo quality/archival inks for my home printer. The results have been great – I made a few prints of my Winter White Pine watercolor – well, see for yourself… I’ll keep experimenting with the settings and hopefully have more images up before long.

Other news- bit of a disappointment- we went to see Neko Case the other night (great show, don’t get me wrong) but I find out that Neil Gaiman was attending Amanda Palmer’s concert in THE SAME TOWN! At THE SAME TIME! and we missed it. Ah well. Brings me to the next point though:

Neil Gaiman’s blog at It is a fascinating look into the day to day life of a marvelous writer… And full of advice, great links, and goofy photos of a large white dog.

I also finished a pair of toddler’s mittens… much inspiration from Marcia Lewandowski’s Folk Mittens book.Maybe I should end with the fact that Neko’s dog Liza (a big black lab) got to hang out on stage with her. I could segue into the importance of keeping your pets slim and trim. mmmm. Maybe some other time. Ciao!

World Behind and Home Ahead

Greetings to the first post and welcome to the Underhill House. Nothing fancy here- just a little snip of a blog. Lots of warm drinks and a roaring fire. There will be lovely pictures, nerdy fandom, and possibly some relevant veterinary advice.

A few important links:
The (slightly) more commercial end of this venture
Local artisans of Western Massachusetts! Hooray for local!
More pictures and lycra horsey headwear (doesn’t get much better than that!)
Best. Blog. Ever.

Good for now. I’ll leave you with a warm hat and a bit of a poem.

Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.
Then world behind and home ahead,
We’ll wander back to home and bed.