Sunday, February 23, 2014

punching the clock

When things get too chaotic in life, it’s very hard for me to think straight-line enough to organize a blog post.  My whole world is just a mess right now, so please forgive (in advance) that this will be a ramble of a post.  It’s not quite right to say my whole world is a mess, really, it’s just my work world.  It’s a total mess that invades everything else.  There seems to be no escape.  Not true, there’s always escape…just not a good one.
Poor Jack didn’t get all his sutures out last week as planned.  The vet looked and said he still has lots of healing to do.  She took out about half the stitches and told us to return in a week.  Unfortunately, later in the week, the remaining sutures popped loose leaving a giant hole with muscle exposed.  It was gruesome, so we went back to vet.  I know he’s going to die soon but the cancer is supposed to kill him, not infection.  She sewed him back together with much closer/smaller stitches.  So now, he has more medicine to take and the cone still on his head for another two weeks.  Poor kitty.

Fortunately, I’m one of those people who can almost always sleep, even when horrible things are going on.  It’s a good thing because I’m not a nice person when tired - I can be a Lizzy Borden-type.  Usually things don’t get to that point.  Because I’m such an efficient sleeper, I can set my alarm for 6 to 7 minutes into the future, close my eyes, and be dead to the world almost immediately.  When the alarm wakes me, and I’m good until time for bed.  Power-napping is my forte.  

What I’ve learned is that any sleep more than 10 minutes is very hard for me to come out of.  It’s for this reason that I hate my alarm clock so much.  It sits beside my bed out of reach – on purpose – so I have to sit up to turn it off.  It’s the same with the phone.  If I get a trouble call from work at night, it’s not good to be talking in my sleep.  It’s less likely to happen if I’m at least sitting up. 

I’ve often imagined my alarm clock as an evil creature who was placed on this earth for the sole purpose to torment me.  It harasses me mercilessly until I get out of bed.  We curse each other, over and over, every morning.  It’s not a pleasant way to get up, but is there ever a pleasant way to get up?  I like to sleep.  Our typical conversation goes like this:


Me:  Shut the F up.  I heard you already. *reset the clock for 3 more minutes*

Clock: Lazy bitch


Me:  NO!  SHUT UP!  It’s not time.  I hate you!

Clock:  F you.  Get up.  Not my fault, you set me.

Me:  F You!!  *reset the clock for 8 more minutes*

Clock:  Dumb-ass ^#&$%$  (KYLady will not write such obscenities used by the clock)

Me: Go straight to hell and stay there.  I should power off your ass.  *reset for 2 minutes*

Clock: GET UP GET UP GET UP GET UP (stupid @%^@#@*#@)

Me:  ALRIGHT Mother F’er, you win.  I’m up.  

Portrait of my alarm clock

Friday, February 14, 2014

weather control

Well, it looks like another snow is on its way.  Winter has worn out its welcome.  Enough already!! Sometime tonight, Mother Nature will come through and dump another load on our valley.  We will wake up to the beautiful magic that is fresh snow on the trees and bushes,  but then, all that pristine wonder disintegrates into reality as soon as you need to drive somewhere.  I have places to go, and my plans will not be thwarted by snow or ice!!!  Or else.  What?  Nothing.  I can’t control the weather *sigh*  

Little Jack is improving….I think.  Those gruesome stitches come out on Tuesday, and I’m hoping he has time to recover and get back to normal before the dreaded thing comes back, or something worse shows up.  He is moving around a little bit more, eating more, and trying to dig a hole through the carpet in front of the gate, unfortunately.

Thank heavens none of my kids were ever injured badly or got anything worse than the flu.  I’m not a good nurse – I really hate being around sick people.  But when it’s my kid, it’s different.  For me, that mother-thing always kicks in and I am willing to do anything to help my offspring feel better.  Over the years with three healthy kids, I’ve had plenty of practice playing nurse.  I can’t imagine what it is like for mothers of huge families – like the Duggars or Octomom.

Nursing is a great field for those who like to do that kind of work.  My grandmother always encouraged me to consider nursing as a career because there were always jobs for them.  Now there are more jobs than ever for nurses. So, if I had it to do all over again?  DEFINITELY NOT!!  I don’t have the patience or the personality to deal with sick people.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

pet mortality

Our Jack has cancer.  He’s not quite 10 years old, and the vet predicts he’ll be in kitty heaven before he’s  11.  His time on this earth is short…well, shorter than we expected. 

Beautiful Jack

The vaccines we were getting for Jack (we get them for all our animals) gave him vaccine-induced sarcoma, a very fast-growing and nasty cancer.  A huge lump came up on his hind leg suddenly (like in three days).  The vet tried to remove the tumor Monday – she said it was deep and extensive, and she couldn’t get it all.  The pathology report confirmed that she didn't get it all.  So now, Jack has a giant incision down his back leg (like 10 inches long) from the top of his back down to his paw.  He looks like Franken-kitty.
What could be worse than that?  He has to wear a plastic cone around his head so he doesn’t lick and chew his sutures out.  He is miserable.  He walks backwards with it on, and bangs into everything he walks past.  And, because we are supposed to keep him from climbing steps, running, or jumping, we have him gated in our living room with a big plastic tablecloth over the couch he loves to lay on.  It really is the room he usually hangs out in, but he doesn’t like being held prisoner there.  It’s solitary confinement, although Gracie keeps close watch through the gate.  She and Jack are play buddies.  Molly watches too, but only because Jack has a bowl of food in there that she has no access to.  Molly is like a goat, and will eat 24X7 if there were enough food. 

poor kitty

I brought Jack home from the vet Saturday morning.  After spending 5 nights and 5 days at the vet’s, we thought he’d be happy to be home.  He was not.  He sat by the gate staring out, yowling and scowling for hours.  It reminded me of times I brought my grandfather home from the nursing home.  He couldn’t wait to get out of there, but he wasn’t happy being home either.  Perhaps the real issue was that neither he nor Jack could have things the way they wanted them to be.  It probably all goes back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  Well…maybe that’s not exactly what Maslow implied.  Maybe it would be more correct to say that according to KYLady’s hierarchy of priorities, if you don’t feel well, it kind of throws a wrench into everything else.

We lost Chewy to lung cancer about five years ago, and now Jack has this.  As much as I hate losing pets, I’m grateful it’s pets getting cancer and not my human loved ones.  If our world could spend less money and effort on killing people, maybe we would have enough resources to find a fix for all forms of cancer.         

Sunday, February 2, 2014

bring spring (please)

It’s snowing again.  UGH!!!  This has been one wooly winter, for sure, the worst I can remember in years.  Yesterday was a beautiful day – it got up to 64 degrees.  Most of the snow melted.  Someone and I took Gracie out for a long hike at Greenbo Lake.  Actually, once I stepped outside into the sunshine, I considered loading up my kayak instead.  But, Gracie had already heard the magic word (walk) and she had her collar and leash on.  With all that tail wagging and eager anticipation in her eyes, the day was all about her.  It’s a good thing – the lake was frozen over still.  Someone let Gracie walk out on the ice where the lake is shallow.  She likes to eat ice cubes, but was not too interested in staying long on the ice.

So, I have to give you an update on my yucca trees.  Yes, that’s trees, plural.  The stick took root and is growing splendidly among the spider plants.  Now we have two yuccas.  The poinsettia finally died, which is OK.  My angel wing begonia also bit the dust, that is not OK, but it was no surprise.  It was attacked by aphids in the fall.  I exterminated them as soon as they caught my attention, but the plant never really recovered.

Two yuccas from one

I don’t have a green thumb, even though some people say I do.  I love plants, but they get neglected and that’s just a sad existential fact for them.  They usually have to droop, wilt, or drop leaves excessively before I take notice that something is awry.  But I do talk to them telepathically whenever I tend to them.  I’m pretty sure plants don’t like human sound waves invading their space, nor do they like dust accumulating on their leaves.
My great grandmother (father’s father’s mother) could grow anything.  I mean that literally – anything, and everything.  She lived in a tiny house built just for her in my grandfather’s sister’s back yard.  Just months before my grandfather died, he told me some stories about his parents.  His mother had a very hard life – I hope there is a heaven and she’s in it.

My great grandmother (father's side)

So anyway, my great grandmother had this teeny, tiny house with a gigantic enclosed porch on the back.  It was her greenhouse, but not like a commercial greenhouse.  There was no scientific control of humidity or temperature.  She opened windows to various heights to influence temperature and air circulation.  I loved to visit and explore her porch.  There were shelves built with boards on cinderblocks, and pots of all sizes.  Everywhere!!  She had plants growing out of coffee cans and soup cans too.  You could hardly walk through them all, so many, with vines crawling up the walls and across the ceiling in some places.  She had all the ordinary house plants, but also exotic things (well, exotic to me) like lemon trees, orange trees, grapefruit trees, orchids, and bushes with flowers that I didn’t know what they were.

So, my great grandmother was hard of hearing, but it was good.  I didn’t like to talk and she couldn’t hear well, so she just talked and I listened (sometimes) while she worked in her plants.  I can still remember the dank smell of wet dirt on her porch, and the spider webs in most of the window frames. 

The last time I saw my great grandmother alive, I was in high school.  We had gone for a visit because she had suffered a stroke and was recovering, but still unable to do anything for herself.  Just weeks before this happened, she had mailed me a birthday card with some money in it.  I walked over to her bed, her eyes were closed so I didn’t know if she was awake or asleep.  Most people shouted when they spoke to her, but it didn’t seem appropriate to shout with her laying there in bed.  With a low voice, I thanked her for my birthday card.  There was no reaction; I thought she didn’t hear.  As I turned to leave, her eyes opened, she looked at me, and she said, “Honey, you’re as welcome as the flowers in May.”  It’s something I’ll never forget.