Wednesday, April 26, 2006

All is right with the world -- at least today

I took our old girl, Tigga, to the vet on Monday. My intent was a checkup and to have a vet give her a once over to see if she has arthritis, and also to determine how well she sees.

I told the doctor that Tigga's urine had a bit of a sweet smell (not at all like your normal cat urine monster smell), and was concerned about diabetes. When they weighed her, Tigga was at only 15½ lbs. That's 3 lbs. less than 3 months ago. That's a LOT of weight for a cat to lose. That's equivalent to me losing 25 lbs. in 3 months.

So, they decided to run a series of blood tests and took her away into the treatment room. The vet came back into the room shortly afterward and told me that they wanted to keep her so they could get a urine sample -- apparently she'd gone just before I picked her up for her appointment, since her bladder was empty. Figures. They also wanted to test her thyroid, as they usually do in cat's Tigga's age.

The vet also expressed some concern about the lumps we've felt on Tigga's backside. I figured they may well be calcium deposits like we humans get around our joints when we get arthritis. The vet uttered the "C" word, and kept referring to them as "tumors."

So, I left without Tigga, wondering how I was going to tell Lisa.

As I knew would happen, Lisa cried when I gave her the news. I made her sit down and confront the possibility that Tigga's time was nearing an end and told her that we needed to talk about what we wanted to do if, in fact, the tests showed cancer.

I told Lisa that, if the decision was left up to me completely and alone, I would opt to give Tigga a few more months of quality life rather than put her through the misery of cancer treatment that would only, in the end, prolong the inevitable. As much as she didn't want to think about making the decision to put Tigga down, Lisa agreed. And so, we waited for the next day's news.

At 9:00, per my instructions, the vet called me at work (I told them that, under no circumstances were they to call Lisa -- if there was any bad news to be delivered, it should come from me). They'd gotten their urine specimen, and it tested negative for diabets AND cancer, and all the blood work came back normal too. The thyroid results are expected in today but, if they show any problems, that's a whole lot better than the worse case scenario we were looking at two nights ago.

I picked Tigga up at 3:00 yesterday afternoon and brought her home, got out my knitting, and we sat on the couch together, like always. When those knitting needles come out, Tigga plops beside me and we hang out together. I figured it was a nice way to get her home and calmed from her overnight experience. She purred in the car, instead of "bitching" like she normally does. She knew she was going home, I think.

I called Lisa and gave her the news. Obviously she was relieved. But last night we realized that our time with Tigga is nearing an end and I told Lisa that each return from the vet's office should be looked at as a gift. Tigga is 16½ years old, which equates to about 82 in human years.

Based on the table at the left, she's an octagenarian. What really hit us is that my cat, Cedar is middle-aged at 7 years, and our baby, Simba, is nearing middle age at 5 years. I told Lisa that maybe we should consider giving them ALL the glucosamine/joint supplement that we've been giving Tigga. We can use it as a preventive for the two younger cats.

And so, last night as we sat and watched American Idol, Tigga sat between the two of us, as usual, and all was right with the world.

Glad to have our old girl back home.

Monday, April 24, 2006

And it's back to work for me

Yeah, I ended up taking some time off last week.

My department consists of two offices, currently staffed by three people. Last week was Spring Break and, for the most part, all three of us were to be present and accounted for through most of the week.

Just as the week prior to Spring Break was ending, we learned that all of the power outlets in the building where our other office is would be off for the entire week of the break, so that they could upgrade the breaker system so that it could handle the load it was carrying. Since there would be no power in the outlets, there would be no computers, either. The plan was to have both staff members of that office "camp out" for the week in mine (since I happen to have 4 computers in my office).

So, on Monday last week, instead of having just me sitting there with no work, I had three of us sitting there with no work. And, since my leave bank has been hovering near the maximum accrual point, I decided to take the remainder of the week off.

It turned out it was a really good decision, since the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Lisa gave me some "honey-do's" and, in addition to getting the "honey-do" list completed, I also had time to sit and relax and work on some of my knitting projects.

Thursday my father had a criminal court appearance. I figured it might be a good possibility that he might go to jail that day, since the Crime Victim's Advocate was talking to the DA about remand, at the urging of my entire family. Apparently my father thought it was a possibility as well, and he called me and asked me to meet him at the local diner at noon to get his affairs straightened out.

I agreed to the meeting and, on Thursday morning, set out for the southern tier. I stopped by my Aunt's house and spent the morning with her. At 11:30 we picked up my other Aunt and drove the 20 minutes south to meet with my father. My two aunts browsed on Main Street while my father and I went over his business, then joined us an hour or so later for a cup of coffee.

At my father's hearing, the DA insincerely asked for remand. My father's court-appointed attorney told the judge she had not had an opportunity to discuss remand with my father, and so the judge continued the R.O.R (released on own recognizance).

I know that my father is realistic enough to have had the same thoughts I've had. Given his age, health, and type of conviction, it's likely he won't survive his incarceration -- even if it is only two years. He has absolutely nothing more to lose.

That said, I believe my father is dangerous either to himself, or to Le and Vanessa. And there doesn't appear to be anything anyone can do about it.

All I can do is worry. For the next seven weeks.

Saturday Lisa and I got a lot more small things done toward completing the rennovation of our entryway. Nothing's been done for about two weeks, and we're tired of looking at the half-finished project, and construction dust. We got the new closet doors painted, and Lisa got all of the remaining floor mouldings cut and prepped for paint. I'm thinking we may be able to finish up the entryway by next weekend. Then we can start on the upstairs livingroom. All we're going to do there is paint and replace mouldings -- nothing drastic.

We did a "walkabout" yesterday when my Aunt Wanda and Uncle Bob came to visit. We've got a ton of new growth everywhere, but desperately need to get out there and cut down all the old, dead stuff. The rose bushes are pushing out new growth like crazy, our delphiniums have already begun to "mound" and our lilies are almost 6" tall.

I'm taking Tigga to the vet this afternoon. I have to be sure to mention her "sweet" smelling urine (that we've been cleaning up off throw rugs for two weeks). I'm a bit concerned about diabetes, and I think Lisa is too. I think the reality of losing Tigga is really sitting in the forefront of Lisa's mind these days. After all, Tigga will be 17 this year, and while she's not as obese as she was (she's gone from 23½ lbs. down to a svelte 17½ lbs.), she's still overweight. She lurches and is often very "jerky" when she walks -- I think she may have arthritis. I guess at some point, quality of life has to be considered. But, for now, she doesn't seem to be suffering in the least little way, so that's a positive.

It sure would help if y'all would send some really good, positive vibes my family's way for the next seven weeks, until my father is incarcerated.

Best to all!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Lethargy

1: abnormal drowsiness 2: the quality or state of being lazy, sluggish or indifferent

Like I need another contributing factor to my already high level of apathy and lethargy.
I have, I believe, what some might call a "food hangover. "

We had a great time in Pennsylvania -- there was a ton of food, and it was all so good that I dove in face first, made very bad choices, forgot the meaning of the word "moderation" and took a "who gives a shit" attitude about my weight loss endeavors.

We had dinner at 1:00 so that Lisa and I could get on the road at a reasonable time and get home before it got too late. We left there at 5:30 and, even though it had been 4+ hours since we ate, I still had that Thanksgiving stuffed feeling. We got home around 10 and I still felt full. Lisa, being more sensible at dinner, indicated that she felt hungry. I didn't think I would feel hungry again for at least 3 more days.

As a result, I'm extremely sleepy, with no energy, and a mild headache. I feel hung over. Serves me right, I suppose.

We really had a great time, though. We had a few tense moments Saturday morning when Lisa's mother called to say that Lisa's Grandfather was complaining of numbness and tingling in his lower arm (right side) and severe "indigestion." Of course, he refused to go to the hospital but, inside of an hour after Lisa's mother gave him an antacid, the gas just started rolling out of him. It turns out he'd had pizza the night before, with pepperoni, and he just had really bad indigestion and gas. I supposed that a 91 year old stomach just doesn't process pizza the way a 21 year old stomach does. I was grateful that he was okay.

We went over to see them Saturday evening, and they both looked and sounded just great. At 91, they both have sharp, quick minds and still have wonderful wit and humor.

We had two gloriously beautiful days, with the sun shining in almost cloudless skies and temperatures in the 60s. We helped Lisa's sister scrub down her large deck and set up the deck and lawn furniture for an outside dinner. We sat outside on the deck and visited yesterday and, when dinner time arrived, everyone opted for the outdoors. It was almost perfect.

It's Spring Break this week, and it's very quiet here at work. I decided against taking the week off because I sort of wanted to work in the quiet that is Spring Break.

Now if I could just get rid of this "hangover."

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter -- for whatever it means to you and yours.

We're headed off to PA this afternoon, and won't be back until Sunday night. Lisa's sister always has a big Easter dinner for the family, much like families have for Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's what I love about her family, they do everything they can to be together as much as they can. They fill plastic eggs with coins and treats and hide them for the kis -- and I'm talking the "kids" that are Lisa's nieces and nephews, regardless of age. Their ages range from 10-21.

I'm troubled by the fact that I'll have to pen Tigga in downstairs. She's gotten to where she doesn't go downstairs for her toileting. Instead, she poops on a throw rug we have. She doesn't seem bothered by going down the same stairs to get her FOOD in the morning, so I can only assume it's laziness on her part. She's 17 years old, overweight, and has difficulty getting around every now and then, especially when the weather is bad, but if she can get to the food dish, she can get to the litter box, period. This morning I stepped on one of the "nuggets" and smashed it into the white carpet in the dining-L, and into the tread of my new sneaker. Noteworthy, too, is the fact that she doesn't seem to pee anywhere she shouldn't, just poop. *shrug*

Our beautiful giant crocuses that were coming in, along with the Red Emperor tulips, have all been eaten by the deer. More than 300 bulbs reduced to gnawed down stumps. *sigh*

CHUCKLE (OR GROANER) OF THE DAY:


A lady opened her refrigerator and saw the Easter Bunny sitting on one of the shelves.
"What are you doing in there?" she asked?
The Easter Bunny replied, "This is a Westinghouse, isn't it?"
To which the lady replied, "Yes."
"Well," said the Easter Bunny, "I'm westing!"

badump bump


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Out with the old, in with the new

I did something VERY impractical today -- I upgraded both Lisa's phone and my own phone. We've had them for 5+ years. I had a Sanyo SCP-4000 and Lisa had a Sanyo SCP-4500. I bought mine in early 2000 and Lisa bought hers in October of that same year. They've been great phones with great features and they've done everything we need. But recently, both phones' batteries have failed to hold a charge for very long and, when I saw how much it would be to replace the batteries, I knew I could upgrade us for just about as much, under SprintPCS's "New for you" program. So, I went to the SprintPCS store after work today and found that we were eligible for an instant savings of $150 PER PHONE!

I picked up two of Sanyo's VI-2300 phones. Our first "flip" phones. Considering I'm such a techno-nut, it's hard to believe I've not had a flip phone that text messages and washes dishes and maintains a household budget for me. 'Tis true -- but only because my existing phone served my every need and I neither needed nor wanted any of the extra features (camera, video, Instant Message, etc.) Mine is blue (matches my RAV4's color almost perfectly) and Lisa's is green (matches her S-10 ZR5's color almost perfectly).

In addition, Lisa's at the Optometrist's getting new lenses for her glasses. She has frameless glasses (like the ones I have for work) and this last time she bought the "extra strong" lenses, with a mind to protect the one good eye she has, in the event the glasses are broken on her face or something. Well, the problem is that when you get "strong," you sacrifice "scratch-resistant." Her lenses were so prone to scratches that, in the end, she couldn't wear them to drive at night as they created huge "starbursts" in oncoming headlights.

We got new bi-fold doors for the closet in the entryway, and that project is just about completed now. We need only to paint those doors, and the new floor mouldings and we're done. And it looks great! I took "before" pictures, and posted them, but unfortunately the USB port on my computer seems to be on the fritz, so I can't upload pictures at the current moment.

And, Brokeback Mountain finally arrived yesterday. I really thought I was one step ahead of the game by "pre-ordering" from Barnesandnoble.com but, by the time I paid for the film, tax, and shipping, I ended up paying just short of $30 for it, and got it a week AFTER it was released. Had I known the local stores were ordering it by the truckload, I'd have gotten it the day it was released for as little as $14. A week sooner, and at half the cost. Lessons learned. :-D

I'm off to play with, and program my new toy. Er....I mean phone.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Troubled Tuesday


I drank too much wine last night. And I cried. I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but it didn't work out that way.

I had a mediocre day at work, nothing noteworthy. I got a walk in, it was a pretty day so I had the windows open, I got my work done and left. As I was leaving work I thought "Gosh it would be nice to just sit outside and enjoy the mild temperature and sunshine."

So, I get home, check the mailbox for the Brokeback Mountain movie that still hasn't arrived, and carry my stuff inside the house. I grabbed my hands-free apparatus for my cell phone, grabbed the phone and my knitting tote, and headed into the garage to get a lawn chair to sit outside in.

I turned on the garage light and saw it....and my heart stopped.

About two years ago Joe (my son) started making noises about wanting a motorcycle. While concerned and dead set against it, and saying so, I didn't think this would come to fruition. Over the course of the past two years, he's talked a lot about it, that his friend, Marco, had one he was selling, and how he wanted to buy it. I kept poo-pooing the whole thing, telling him that motorcycles scare the hell out of me. I mean, he wanted the Blazer because it was big, and he wanted a lot of vehicle around him because of the asshole way a lot of people drive around here. So, he wants a big car to drive, but wants a motorcyle with nothing around him to protect him? Over the past two years (probably being in denial) I figured he knew how I felt about it, and that he'd pretty much given up on the idea.

And then I find this....this....this....monstrosity in my garage yesterday! This isn't a motorcyle, it's a CROTCH ROCKET! These bikes are designed for only two specific purposes: speed and giving mothers heart failure. Have you ever seen one of these things on a highway doing less than 90? Have you ever seen one on the highway where the rider's hair wasn't on fire? This isn't like Ralphie wanting a BB Gun, he won't just shoot his eye out, he'll KILL himself on this frickin' thing!

He assures me -- promises me -- that he's going to take the local community college's Motorcycle Safety Course to learn to ride and get licensed. He promised Lisa that he would wear chaps (that came with the bike) and assured us both that he has researched all that he needs to know about the bike and the required safety gear. He assured us that he isn't all that keen on the idea of taking a passenger on it anytime soon, since he'll be inexperienced himself.

I told him that, because he's 22, it's not up to me to tell him he can't have this. All I can do is tell him that I hate it and that it scares the hell out of me. I then told him that, if he was determined to go through with this, he'd be responsible for ensuring that my wine supply is kept up, and for a new bottle of hair color every 8 weeks or so. I felt 3,000 new gray hairs pop out last night when I first saw the thing.

Parenthood is a constant process of letting go, but DAMN, this isn't about an inability to let go, it's about an inability to feel good about what this kid is doing.

His girlfriend's father, after Joe told him about the motorcycle, told his daughter that there was no way she'd be getting on the back of that thing.

Looks like I won't be going off the Prozac anytime soon, like we had planned.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Waiting Wednesday

Today I'm playing the waiting game.

I'm waiting for Brokeback Mountain to be delivered. According to the tracking number, it shipped yesterday and it's at the Drop Ship Express facility in Pennsylvania. Only one state away! I so loved this movie, that I can't wait to get my hands on it. And, Joe's girlfriend, Taylor, has promised that she's going to make him watch it. He gets a "deer in the headlights" look on his face when she says that. I think he'll enjoy it, though.

I'm also waiting for my yarn order from Joann.com. According to the order tracking number, it's scheduled for delivery today! I got my new size 11 60" circular needles yesterday so all I need now is the yarn and I can start my Aunt Wanda's afghan. That'll be 5 projects in the works. Lisa just shakes her head! LOL!

I'm waiting for my supervisor and his supervisor to get off their asses and get the paperwork through that they've been sitting on for ages, so that I can hire someone to assist me in the office.

I'm waiting for a new printer that I ordered THREE months ago but found out a little more than a month ago didn't get ordered until a month ago. Seems my boss let the order seep down through the rubble on his desk and, when he cleaned his desk off two months after I gave him the order, he found it.

I'm waiting to learn the official results of the sonohystiogram I had last week. I'll see the doctor tomorrow morning and we'll formulate a plan from there. During the ultrasound the doctor indicated that he'd found nothing, but often they don't say anything to the patient, deferring instead to the regular physician.

I'm waiting to see how I do with a half dose of Prozac. I had a touch of a headache today but that could have been from the two glasses of wine I had last night, sinus irritation, tension, side-effects from the Neurontin, or any combination thereof.

I'm waiting to hear how many people take this Are You Cool? test and put their results in the comments section.

I'm waiting for 4:45 to roll around so I can blow this pop-stand.

I'm waiting for 4:00 tomorrow so I'll be off for three days! Friday's plan is.........................nothing! I plan to do nothing but sit, relax, knit, and hopefully have Brokeback Mountain to watch.

Check out Chapter II of Chronicles of Yawnia.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Calm

It's been a quiet week for a change. We got some more done this weekend on the entryway -- mouldings cut and painted, wood trims sanded, primed and painted, and just general putzing around. It was nice, to not have a lot of heavy, physical stuff to do, but enough to keep us busy. We work well together, and always enjoy doing things together.

The L Word has ended for the season, so we didn't even have that to look forward to on Sunday night, but vowed that, commencing this Sunday, we'll start watching Queer as Folk from season one through the end of season four. Hopefully, by the time we get to the end of season four, season five will be out. By then, if we watch one episode a week, The L Word will be back on, we can TiVo it, and then we can watch The L Word from season one through the end of season four after the first of next year.

Life just isn't the same without our homo shows!

My Brokeback Mountain DVD shipped today. Hopefully it'll be here by Friday.

I volunteered to organize a hike in May for our walking club. I want to go with Red Creek Park, since it has several hiking trails anywhere from ½ mile to 3.1 miles (all one way), or you can play "connect the hiking trail" and go just about 5 miles all at once. Now with the weather getting nicer, we can go over there after work and scope out some of the trails, so we're more familiar with them by the time the hike comes around.

I finally finished another installment of The Chronicles of Yawnia. With everything so crazy between work and home, I didn't have time to think about it, let alone write. Spring Break is just around the corner, week after next, and I'm working that week but expect nobody to be around, so I'm thinking I might be able to get a lot done on it then.

My prediction for American Idol's bottom three this week is: Bucky, Ace, and either Paris or Katherine, hopefully Paris. I'd like to see Kellie the Hick tossed out on her airheaded, blonde head, but I'm not sure that's likely to happen.

Want to know how they practice safe sex where Kellie comes from? They hang warning signs on the animals that kick.

Badump bump.