Posts Tagged ‘Omaha’

In Which Tofu is Adopted and Lives Happily Ever After

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Part 1: Tofu the Baby Husky

Part 2: Tofu the Baby Husky Continues to Recover

Part 3: In Which Tofu is Adopted and Lives Happily Ever After

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Those Ears!

Say a prayer for the foster families.

Foster families love with their whole hearts knowing if they do not adopt, they send their charge to their new home with a piece of their very own heart and their spirit imprinted on that little being, giving him or her the tools they will need to thrive, but at a very deep cost.

Worthwhile, but deep.

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Becky with Tofu

Say a prayer for Becky, the foster Mom of Tofu, who has loved with her whole heart and sent Tofu to his new home with a piece of her very own heart and her spirit imprinted on him, giving him the tools he will need to thrive.

And he is indeed thriving.

Would you like to see more pictures?

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Tofu with Becky’s Daughter, Hailey

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Tofu and his foster Mom Becky Christ and adoptive Mom Diana Nyffeler

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Tofu was finally able to come in for wellness care – like a normal puppy!

Please support the rescue group who saved Tofu’s life, Taysia Blue Husky and Malamute Rescue. We cannot say enough good things about this group!

In a neat small-world twist that often happens in the world of Pet Savers, the members of the family who adopted Tofu, Diana and Warren Nyffeler, are wonderful Taysia Blue Husky and Malamute Rescue volunteers, AND their other amazing dog Tay was also adopted from Taysia Blue Husky and Malamute Rescue!

I remember when Jackie Roach found Tay at the Nebraska Humane Society as a (literally) mangy, scrawny puppy and asked me if she should take a chance on him. YES. Always yes! Sometimes it is good to have friendships in which you do not balance each other – Jackie and I will always bet on the underdog – ha! And now Tay is a big, gorgeous dog (with fur!), and Tofu is his new baby brother. Yay! We could not ask for a better family for Tofu. Good puppies happen to good people.

On Tuesday, May 12, 2015, we started puppy vaccinations and discussed Tofu’s wellness care from here out, including finishing treatment for neospora and more acupuncture with Dr. Jones.

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Tofu was so happy to see all his friends again!

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He told Trey all about his new home!

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He is such a little entertainer!

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Home with Mom

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Tofu’s adoption was just finalized this week!

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Completely, 100% Healthy with No Mobility Issues!

He is walking, running, playing and doing stairs – a normal puppy.

MORE Pictures…

Photos of Becky, her daugher Hailey and Tofu taken by Michael Roach of Michael Roach Photography

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Tofu and his Forever Family – Diana and Warren Nyffeler and dog-brother Tay

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Our Garden So Far 2014

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Over Memorial Day this year, I had FOUR DAYS off in a row! Sometimes I have three days off, NEVER four. We gardened all day every day.

We have had a Square Foot Garden since we started gardening about ten years ago. I LOVE it. We have seriously neglected our garden in the past few years, with being so busy and all. This year I pulled all the weeds.

do homework for money

ALL the weeds. (Some came back.) Russ mulched all the things. ALL the things.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to the awesome Metzler family of Maple 85. First for letting us be the vet team for your incredible German Shepherd Nitro (the best and most beautiful Shepherd I know) and more recently for providing compost and mulch and a trailer to haul it and technical help right at our house when the aformentioned trailer wouldn’t tip, and poor Russ thought he would have to get it all out by himself with days and days of shoveling. (He did not.) Thank you guys. You are the best.

IMG_5402Oo that’s a lot of mulch, Russ.

We had quite a few pepper and tomato seedling casualties. Sorry co-workers. Apparently this year I suck at raising baby plants. I planted the ones we had, and we planted all the herbs and all the seeds of all the things we like.

SECRET FINCH FACT: We are not huge veggie lovers, but I think vegetable plants are pretty. My favorite is okra. My friend Lu gave me an okra plant one year. It was BEAUTIFUL, like a hibiscus. I do not think I would garden without okra again. Also, I do not think I will ever eat it. My other favorite is a radish plant gone to seed – GORGEOUS! Also, I do not like radishes.

This garden is CRAZY. It is going to be a really fun season.

Our cousin Bailey Dog is staying with us, so I took as many pictures I could of her! She does not stand still for pictures, but she is super cute. She is a miniature Goldendoodle.

Here are the pictures I have so far. I will have more and better pictures as stuff grows…

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Bailey rolling

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Bailey peeking

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Bailey greeting
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Lemon thyme! Another example of a crop we grow but don’t eat – Isn’t it beautiful?? Anyone who likes the smell of lemonade (everyone) should have a pot of lemon thyme!IMG_5472

Noodle contemplating – Just kidding! He is just standing :)IMG_5471

I found this volunteer dill close to where I was going to plant dill so I just left it and labelled it. I am saving leaves for my friend vet tech Allison. One of the surgical specialists we work with and my vet school teacher Dr. Merkley was SUPER excited to learn dill attracts butterflies. It does.

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This is in a corner of our front yard – spinach and strawberries and a super cute cat and bird sculpture that Russ got me at Nebraska Humane Society Black Tie and Tails 2012 that we went to as guests of my boss. So fun! And I LOVE this artist! She is Sondra Gerber and she is at Blue Pomegranate in Benson.
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Close up! So cute!
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Oregano!

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We found this tiny hosta in our compost pile! I hope to some day fill our yard with it…IMG_5457

Lemon basil! We are also growing a lemon basil field! (In a 4X4 foot Square Foot Garden box of course)IMG_5456

Globe basil! I discovered this last year in Wisconsin. Now I always need it.IMG_5454

Rosemary! I finally have a rosemary plant I have not killed…IMG_5453

Pineapple! So fun! Cut the top off a pineapple and put it in dirt. I know! Crazy!
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Parsley!IMG_5451

Pineapple sage! I just discovered this at Indian Creek Nursery this spring! It smells SO good!IMG_5449

This is the sad group of plants I have left after our garden was complete. (Pete these are all yours if you would like them and I can keep them alive!)IMG_5445

We have gotten a lot of questions about our compost pile. Russ built two open 4X4X4 foot sections and we put ONLY yard clippings in. When we need compost, we move all the dried plants to one side, and take the dirt from the empty side. It does not make much – you would be amazed how much plants break down – which is good I guess. And it smells REALLY GOOD (which surprised me!) It smells like dead grass.
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A dramatic Joy silhouette

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Pete gave us Bashara mint that was brought to the United States from Lebanon DECADES ago, and though he said it could not die, and though I know mint does not die, I was afraid I had accidently killed it by keeping it in an unprotected container through this past harsh winter. It lives! Yay! I LOVE mint. Right now, I have this, another spearmint and chocolate mint. They are hardy :) but they can be invasive, so we have all three in containers. I will protect them somehow this next winter. I get attached to plants! Weird!IMG_5431

This is our original garden space, and maybe my favorite part of the garden. It is strawberry plants  in the front and garlic in the back. Garlic is super easy to plant. Put it in dirt with the pointy side up. The plant is beautiful, and by Julyish, each clove will have grown a head of garlic that you can braid to have garlic available all winter.IMG_5429

We are going to try growing rhubarb…again. I think once it is established, it is a very hardy plant. My Mom grew it when we were kids, and I remember it was really pretty. Another one I am growing because it is pretty, but do  not want to eat! You can though…it may be next year before there is enough!
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Turtle parade!
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I don’t usually show “before” pictures because…they are embarrassing! But a couple years ago a storm took out our teepee, which was one of my favorite things in the garden. I am showing you this now – our partial restoration, so when it is rebuilt with a giant ladybug container in the middle and covered in scarlet runner beans and morning glories, you can see how far it has come!
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I love the peonies that the original owners of our house planted. We built the Square Foot Garden around the three bushes, and it looks really neat together.
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Max’s cat garden! It is on the deck so he doesn’t have to go in the yard and has catnip on the ends and cat grass in the middle.IMG_5413

Onions on the deck!IMG_5411

I broke it! It already has new roots though, so it may be ok…
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My friend and coworker Jan gave me this beautiful terranium for Christmas a couple years ago.
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This toy Border Collie lives in the terranium. The girls took him once to play with and I made them put him back.
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This does not live in my garden, but wouldn’t that be awesome if she did? This is my sister-I-love’s hedgehog Pickles.

Thank you for looking at all these pictures!! Come see our garden if you would like! I have a feeling this is going to be a fun gardening year!

 

 

In Which I Lose My Cool at Work for the First Time in Quite Some Time but for a Pretty Good Reason

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Jen came to the treatment room on a day not long ago and asked if I could explain the importance of vaccine boosters to a client.

Client education on preventative care?  That is my FAVORITE thing – honestly.

Jen said the client was yelling at Jan and had yelled at her.  Oo that was the opposite of my favorite thing.  That makes me stand in front of my coworkers with my arms folded but ready to punch.  And I am not a puncher.

I went up front and said, “Hey I heard you had some questions.”

The client said she was tired of bringing her puppy in for boosters, and she did not want to bring her for her last leptospirosis booster.

It IS a huge investment – of time, energy and money – to bring a pet for all of their preventative care, especially a puppy or kitten.  So I understood her frustration.  But she wasn’t just annoyed, or even planning to just skip the last set – she wanted us to change our policy, and tell her that what we were saying was important was not actually important.  She was very irate that we would not bend on this – this that is SO important to us.

For much of the team, including myself, wounds are still fresh over recently losing patients to preventable diseases.  After I tried for a bit to explain why each part of preventative care was important, she said “Well, I’m just tired of bringing her in!”

I said, “Wow.”  I left the room with my arms up.  On my way out I said, “Well I am tired of losing patients to lepto!”

I turned the corner into the doctors’ office and slowed down just long enough to find something soft to kick, quietly but firmly kicking the rolling chair…which rolled into a metal kennel, creating a huge crash.  Clearly, I was in no state to be around people, so I stormed outside and paced and muttered.  I stopped and looked up.  Jen and Allison were walking our Shepherd patient in the yard right next to me.  All three of them were staring at me sort of wide-eyed.  “Are you ok?” Jen asked.

I was not.

We have recently lost two patients to leptospirosis.  Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of dogs and some other mammals – INCLUDING PEOPLE – that is treatable but sometimes fatal.  It is not a common disease in all parts of the country.  It is common in Omaha.  In Omaha, leptospirosis is a core vaccine for dogs.  Because we can vaccinate against lepto, this has become a preventable disease.

In infected dogs, lepto attacks and sometimes shuts down the kidneys and livers of dogs.  It is a horrible disease to have and a horrible way to die.  It is tragic to lose a pet to something that did not need to happen.  As every veterinary team member knows, when you fight hard to save a life, you become so bonded to that patient that if they do pass, a bit of you gets ripped out as well.

It turns out I may have been a wee bit oversensitive at the time I was talking to the puppy’s owner about lepto vaccines.  Jan (and, I suspect, the client) saw the entire ordeal as high spirited banter and was not offended in the least.  That is why they keep Jan up front and me (mostly) in the back.  Jan finished checking out the client and set up her appointment for her final puppy booster.

In this lepto story, everyone won, even the crazy doc.

Dear Client,

I am sorry I was a jerk.  You started it.  I mean…I am sorry.  Your puppy is cute.

Joy the Puppy Hurt Her Knee

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

On and off this year, Joy the Puppy, our four year old Lab X Something, has favored her left hind leg.  She will hold it up  and smile and wag her tail like a Lab with a damaged cruciate ligament, rest on Mom-prescribed Rimadyl and be back to her non-hind leg favoring, smiling, tail wagging self in a matter of days.

Joy Smiling

By the fourth or so episode of intermittent hind limb lameness (Kudos to YOU – You ALWAYS bring me your dogs on the FIRST or SECOND episode of lameness), I did a full physical and orthopedic exam and found to no one in the family’s surprise, because I had been saying it for months…Joy had torn her left cruciate ligament.

Nothing Phases Joy

The cruciate (“cross”) ligament is a double band of connective tissue behind the kneecap that stabilizes the long bones of the leg while allowing for all the movements the leg needs to make.  Except for sharp turns of down-hill skiers.  And sharp turns of football players who have already planted their cleats of the shoe holding the foot attached to the leg that is turning.

And dogs with degenerative ligament disease.  And sometimes cats.  Sometimes the cruciate ligament does NOT stabilize the long bones of cats who have degenerative ligament disease.  I have only seen cruciate ligament damage in ONE cat, and he had Cushing’s disease, a condition in which ligaments can be weakened and sometimes…tear.

ANYWAYS, Joy has the dog sort of cruciate damage secondary to degenerative ligament disease of unknown origin.  Yes, she most likely turned like a skier or a football player with two crucial (haha get it?) differences…

1.  In dogs, it is likely that cruciate disease is most often secondary to a degenerative process – It would most likely happen with or without injury.

2.  If the tear was hastened by an injury, Joy PROBABLY did not have an underlying noble cause like dodging a pine tree or catching a ball.  IF she indeed did make one or more tough-on-her-knee moves and IF she had a reason for turning on a dime and IF she could remember and IF she could talk….she would probably say, “it just seemed like it would be fun…and it was!”

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Surgery was scheduled with Dr. Merkley, one of two excellent veterinary surgeons in Omaha.  Dr. Merkley is also my surgery teacher from vet school last century, and I have always enjoyed learning from him and working with him.

Word to the wise – even if you love your surgeon and he is about to do a super cool surgery, ONLY go into the surgical suite with him if the surgery is NOT on your own pet.  Anyways, now I know.

Sleepy Joy

Surgery was about two hours long.  I sat next to Joy on the stretcher after surgery, both of us exhausted, she from her long morning of anesthesia and surgery and I from my long morning of observation and empathy.

Joy's Cool X-Ray

The procedure Joy had done is called a tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy, or TPLO.

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THANK YOU Doc, for fixing our dog.

THANK YOU Allison, for keeping Joy alive.

THANK YOU Boss, for discounting the portions of Joy’s adventure that were not the actual surgery so severely that I fear you may be as financially beaned by this case as are we.

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Joy is five weeks into recovery, and is doing great.  Client compliance has been an issue.  In fact, she just ran past me…on three legs.  Back to the leash *sigh*

I will never boss you to strictly rest your own pet again without a (even more) kind and (even more) sympathetic I-know-this-sucks comradery, that frankly, I have not felt this strongly since the strict rest I mandated for my own Wuzzy Rat during her recovery from spay surgery.

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It is good for vets to occasionally get a taste of their own medicine, so to speak.

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Joy hated the e collar she had to wear to prevent her from removing her skin staples. Abby continued to add stickers, decorative tape and jewels to cheer her.

Finally Abby painted the whole e collar with pink hearts and a green background.  That seemed to do the trick.

Finally Abby painted the whole e collar with pink hearts and a green background. That seemed to do the trick.

Three more weeks of STRICT rest, then post-recovery radiographs, then back to full activity.  We should be back to neighborhood walks just in time for the huge Christmas snow drifts!  It is a short chapter in a very long life.  I am so grateful that it has gone so well.

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The Garden’s Gone Wild!

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Abby and I checked the garden out back right before we left for Central Veterinary Conference in Kansas City last week.  It was crazy!  Good crazy.

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Morning Glory 1

Morning Glory Pumpkin 1

Morning Glory Pumpkin 2

Pumpkin Leaf

Pumpkins

Pea Flower

Chocolate Mint 1

Chocolate Mint 2

Carrots

Pumpkin 2

Squash

Corner

Squash 2

T Shirt – Final Draft!

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Here is the final draft of the 2013 Gentle Doctor T-shirt.  Be sure to preorder your shirt!  By preorder, I mean call and bug us about getting them in, because there is no actual preordering :)  I will let you know when they are in though.

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The design is from the comic When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Vet.  The occasion is the 2013 Nebraska Humane Society Walk for the Animals.  The theme of the Walk is “Be a Hero.”  All proceeds from shirt sales go to support Nebraska Humane Society.

The shirts will be $10 each.  Last year, wearing a Gentle Doctor shirt got you into the walk and into the pancake feed, which I think will be true this year as well.

The Nebraska Humane Society Walk for the Animals is Sunday, September 29, 2013.  I love this event more than I un-love crowds.  It is SO fun and for a great cause.  If YOU are there, it would be even more fun, and the crowd would be even less overwhelming for me!  Please come if you can!

Thank you to Chris and Travis of Impact Merchandising for the great shirts!  Thank you to Angie and Kelly – I love working with you, and I love designing t-shirts and planning walk stuff with you!

 

Born Rich: A Historical Book of Omaha

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Born Rich:  A Historical Book of Omaha

by

Margaret Patricia Killian

Five Stars!

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This is a very fun historical book about my hometown and the city in which we now live, Omaha, Nebraska.  I love Omaha, and I loved learning more about her history from the perspective of a good storyteller who grew up and ended up here also.  Margaret Patricia Killian was the head of the home economics department of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (then University of Omaha) from 1945-1973, publishing Born Rich:  A Historical Book of Omaha in 1978.

I found the book where I find many of my favorite books, on Mom and Dad’s book shelves.  (Thank you Mom and Dad!  I am getting it back to you this weekend!)

I suspect this would be a fun book to read even if you were not from Omaha.  If you are from Omaha or have lived here…I really think you would enjoy this book.  I am not much of a history lover, but I do love this city, and I do love learning history if it is well told.

The story of Omaha from her official beginnings in the 1850’s until the mid-1900’s is well told here, much of it from the memory of the author and her father, which makes it read more like a good story than a history book.  I enjoyed the book and I think you would enjoy it too.

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Camp Kindness, June 2013

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

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Frank and Joy go to Camp Kindness

Friday, July 26th, 2013

I was asked to speak at Camp Kindness, the kids’ day camp at Nebraska Humane Society, again this year.  That is always one of my favorite parts of the whole summer.

Russ, Abby and Amanda helped.  We brought Joy the Puppy.

The second of the two days my vet tech friend Allison and her awesome cat Frank came with us.  That made it even more fun – Thank you Allison!

Frank and Joy did great together again.  Here is their story.

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How to Braid Onions

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

I harvested, dried and braided our yellow onions this past week.  Onion braiding is a very fun project, and much simpler than you would think!  If you would like to learn how to braid onions, I will walk you through it.  When you are done, you will have a very pretty onion arrangement that looks fancy but is actually very simple and a fun and convenient way to store onions.

Send me any questions and send me pictures of your finished products!

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Just say no to onions! Good girl Joy!

Make sure you dry and store your onions and garlic out of the reach of your dogs and cats!

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It took a full week in the sun to dry our onions.

Cover them or bring them inside if it is going to rain.

Otherwise, leave them out to dry so when you braid them there is no moisture in the tops to get gross later.

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Once your onions are dry, gently clean the outsides of them with your hands to remove the dirt and any very dry outer layers.

You do not want to remove too much skin, but just enough to make the onion bulbs shiny and pretty.

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Pull or trim most of the roots off the bottoms of the onions.

Line three onions up on a flat surface with the tops facing you.

Now you are ready to braid!

If you can braid a rope or a pony tail, you can braid onions!

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Cross the onion top from the left into the middle of the other two onion tops.

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Cross the onion top from the right into the middle.

Set another onion next to the onion on the right.

Cross the onion top from the left along with the other top(s) on the left into the middle.

Set another onion next to the onion on the left.

Cross the onion top from the right  along with the other top(s) on the right into the middle.

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Repeat with rest of the onions until they are all connected.

When you are out of onions, continue to braid the tops till you cannot add more braid.  Tie the end in a single knot or tie the top together with a piece of rope.

Hang your finished onion braid on a hook in the kitchen!

When you need an onion, gently pull or trim one off.

Remember:

Don’t include tiny, bruised or otherwise damaged onions.  Discard those or put them in a bowl to use first because they will not last as long.

Pull each twist of the onion tops as tight as you can.

If it seems the onion tops are not distributed evenly into three cords, you can move tops to another group.

Unlike with braiding rope or hair, the braid doesn’t have to be pretty, so don’t worry so  much about that.  When you are done, the other side with the onion bulbs will be the part that shows, and it will be beautiful!

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Done! I hung the finished braid on a hook in our kitchen. A saner person would have made two shorter (lighter!) braids that would be less likely to fall!  So far, so good though!