Saturday, June 30, 2012

Crab Picking

Last Tuesday I received six Maine crabs.  Freshly cooked.  Free.  And then I spent 90 minutes picking these crabs after I got home from work.  I will never seek employment in the "crab picking" world.  In the end, I had two cups of crab meat.  Which is now in the freezer.  Riley was very interested in the whole business as it was "stinky" and dogs seem to love anything stinky.

Yesterday was supposed to be hotter than usual, but there was a breeze at work and I didn't even get sweaty.  I wore linen shorts and a loose pale yellow linen sleeveless blouse.  I also wore shoes that were NOT Crocs and I felt "pretty".  Lesson learned.  Today, here at home, I have the windows closed, the blinds closed, the A/C window units on (set on 73) and the ceiling fans on low.  Supposed to be a scorcher.  G is out watering the garden.  All our root crops failed to germinate.  No beets, no carrots.  I'm sad.  My lettuce seedlings are doing well.  I have them in trays.

Maine seems to be about the only place in America where we aren't suffering from flood, fire or lack of electricity to cool the intense heat.  We complain that it's cold and raining.  Not that summer in Maine hasn't got a following.  Nearly every other car in town has an out of state plate.  Every summer home on the water is being offered as a summer rental by the locals (for some this is their annual income source).  The rents are very high.  For some of the outsiders, the "camps" belong to the family and they come up this weekend to open the camps for the summer.  Buying flowers from my employer to dress up the place and everything else from other employers.  Some buy new towels and sheets each summer.  I've seen this at Marden's when they had huge containers of towels and hotel sheets for sale.  Like going to sleep away camp. Some of my favorite towels came from just such a sale.  Long, wide and thin.  Fast drying.

I have now set a personal record and read four books in one week.  If I had another good book I could have a total of 5 for the week.  I finished Nevada Barr's prequel The Rope last night and then watched the two part finale of Fringe.  I can see that it was originally meant to be the END of the series and then they got a reprieve and another 13 episodes for next year.  Very satisfying if it had actually been the last of the series.  There is always the romance, but I'm not in the mood.

This is the last day of June.  When I go to work tomorrow it will be July.  I may be sorry that I didn't take the opportunity to work fewer days.  Business will be slow.  Days hot.  Everything needing water all day long.  But, Wednesday is a paid holiday.

I think I will visit Goodwill today to see if they have anything I might like to own.  Linen shorts or shirts.  A sleeveless dress.  I found Fresh Produce on the internet.  Nearly everything is sold out.  Pretty cute stuff.  It does look like the Large (14 to 16) is running a bit narrow in the hips.  So I am reluctant to order.  Anyone know how the clothes actually fit?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Let's Sit On The Porch and Visit

I think this porch is the nicest thing.  There are built in screens to keep the mosquitos out.  Nice comfy rockers, a fan, wooden floor boards.  I want it.

I worked the morning shift today (instead of the evening) due to a schedule problem.  I liked getting home at 2:30.  Riley liked it, too. And then it got better when G got home early.  I had been digging and planting things in the shed window boxes, the planter in the evergreen bed and then the parsley in the veg garden.  All while being chewed by mosquitos.  I look like a circus freak, covered in boils.  It itches. G is cutting as much of the grass as he can before it rains----again.  Riley is digging holes.  All over the yard.

It is raining so much that it hardly seems like summer.  I finished Wolf Hall (great) and the two books by Elizabeth Hand (intense, drug usage, violent).  I can see the influence of Lizbeth Salander.  Tough, tattooed, drunk or stoned girls solving crimes.  Lizbeth wasn't drunk or stoned.  Now, I have the "beginning" story from Nevada Barr regarding Anna Pigeon and that adventure/romance to read while I wait for the book that follows Wolf Hall.  Bringing In The Bodies.  I also got a Tudor mystery set in Elizabeth's court.  The Tudor Secret.  The pages don't fall open so I would guess the library bought it and no one has read it yet.  The author uses words like "haunches" and "by the rood".  Tedious. I don't think I will read it.

Last night, my TiVo invited me to watch the first episode of The Newsroom, an HBO new series written by Aaron Sorken who wrote West Wing.  I read that the critics panned the effort and HBO is trying to drum up interest by showing the episode for free on the internet and, now, on TiVo.  I watched and it was good.  Not very good or excellent, but a pleasant way to spend an hour or perhaps two.  I don't actually know how long I watched (that's a good point, right?).  I hope things don't go as well as HBO wants and I get "invited" to watch a second episode. I will never be interested enough to pay to get HBO. These series on Showtime and HBO rely on nudity, sex, violence and bad language to draw in the audience.  The Newsroom has only the f word.  So, actually, this series could have been on AMC.  And, perhaps, it should have been.

My favorite show to watch right now is Jamie's 30 Minute Meals on BBC America.  Jamie makes a whole meal, including dessert, in 30 minutes.  I like watching how he cooks.  Later, I will write down the recipes I want to try making.  Too many have pasta as the main dish and the rest, rice or potatoes. But the salads look amazing.

G is finished with the back lawn and we are heading out to Walmart to see if G has a prescription ready.  Then we are going to eat out.  We have limited choices.  One of our restaurants changed it's menu and not in a way that made us happy.  Italian or BBQ.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Looking For Solutions

I would like to purchased a julienne peeler so I can make zucchini pasta any time without the stress of the mandolin slicer.  And the worry of slicing my thumb along with the zucchini.  I checked out the selection at Bed and Bath (where I purchased a new toaster oven and another replacement frying pan).  They were Oxo. (not my favorite brand) Which I think is what I have in the picture above.  A borrowed picture.

My garden is doing well.  My peppers look small.  I don't think they enjoy the soil heating properties of the landscape fabric as much as they might.  I am going to go out and fertilize everything today with a booster drench.  Before it rains.  Looks like three or four days of rain in the forecast.  The kind of weather that brings out squash leaf mildew and the early death of cucumber seedlings (the two most asked questions at work).

My beets and carrots are still not emerging.  I am getting impatient.  I may need to re seed.

--I skipped two inviting yard sales this weekend.  I kept saying "I have enough of everything" and drove past.
--I finally shared a meal with my daughter.  Our overheard conversation topics were enjoyed by the couple in the next booth.
--I noticed nearly all the women shopping on Friday were wearing the cutest little summer dresses. They reminded me of the linen and cotton A-line shifts I wore in 1968, at college.  I wish I still had those dresses.  Sleeveless and light.  Pretty prints or solid pastels.  Throw on a cardigan for any cooler weather.
--I finished reading Wolf Hall and am now impatiently waiting for the second book.
--While waiting, I am reading Elizabeth Hand's Generation Loss.  "atmospheric and intense"  It's set in northern Maine.  It's dark, drug filled and about seriously warped people. I have the next of her books on my pile.  Then a romantic adventure story.  Fluff.
--I made a large jar of Mueslii and then put it into the compost bucket.  I need to write a note to myself--on my hand, that I don't eat cereal anymore.  I, and I won't go into detail, obviously, can't digest grains anymore.  Or I never could and just ignored the symptoms.
--G now has a longer list of what he doesn't have.  The end result of about a gazillion blood tests.  We still have no idea what he DOES have.  He seems to have more energy and more interest in doing things, which is nice.
--My hours at work are changing.  Each shift has been shortened by an hour.  We also are down to the bare bones of working employees.  The high school kids were cut loose shortly after they graduated.  The first rough lesson of life.  I was scheduled to lose a full day so others could have their regular hours. I finally said no and stood my ground.  Let them lose a day.  Not me.  I have my day back.
--time to find something to eat for breakfast and start in on my to do list.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Sale

The Annual Library Book Sale begins today.  In about 10 minutes.  The layout, opening and unpacking of book boxes went well.  I always have a moment of real panic at around 11:30 wondering if the remaining volunteers will show up, if we will manage to finish etc.   The little circled numbers under the categories on my "map" are the number of big heavy boxes.  Travel had 48.  Children's had 238.  I set things up for the "usual" size boxes and, obviously, the sorters are now using smaller boxes. Lots of wide open spaces.  Less books than the organizers thought they had.

 I opened and unpacked Cooking and Hobbies.  96 boxes and 104.  I also moved boxes for volunteers who couldn't do it for themselves.  I had to, this year, hand over Gardening to a volunteer.  Made her day as gardening is her favorite area.  Well, that made me happy.

I missed the 100 plus heat in the greenhouse on book sale day.  I heard it was awful.  I went back to work on Thursday, after a restless night and no sleep due to the noise (?) being made by the new window AC unit (really, I am amazed at the things that drive me crazy).  While watering the greenhouse plants, I slipped and fell.  Landing on my hip and butt.  My pants, my underwear and my skin were now soaking wet.  In five years, I have often slipped in this spot where the cement is too smooth, but I have never, before, fallen down.  I am lucky I was so tired and didn't even stretch out a hand to break my fall.  I just went down.

The aches and pains in my body could be from the fall or more likely from the hundreds of heavy boxes I moved, lifted and emptied the day before.  I am certainly getting too old for this, but I was not as bad as most of the volunteers who had to call it quits after 2 hours.  I worked the entire day. Finally sitting down on a pile of boxes to eat my breakfast at around 11 am.  Ham slices rolled around a stick of cheddar.  I never did eat the lunch I had packed.  I ate that at WORK the next day.

Another milestone of my yearly calendar marked off.  Taxes.  Back to Work.  Book Sale Set Up.  Now, I am content to wait for the Garden Produce section of the year.  The Yin and Yang of waiting for stuff to grow and then the wailing of "what am I going to do with all this stuff".  I tried this summer to only plant things that I actually eat.  We have onions, garlic, three types of peppers (hot, green and orange), tomatoes (regular and cherry), zucchini and yellow squash, cucumbers (one has been eaten by bugs so far), pole beans (they come in later) and G planted beets, purple carrots and regular orange carrots.  Only my radishes are up so far.  This morning I planted a few cabbage plants in the middle of the tomato bed.  G pounded in the tomato stakes.  I did plant some oriental eggplant.  They are still alive but that's all I can say right now.  I also planted spaghetti squash.  And nine corn plants (which will NOT be knee high by the 4th of July).  I think I need to reseed the herb garden.  Not much came up where I planted parsley and dill.  I also need to start some basil.  Then it's just fertilize, water and dust for bugs.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Four by Two

Spring.  On the final day of Spring 2012.   Here in Maine, Spring was mostly dark, cold and wet. (I wore sweaters and socks)  Not much did well in those conditions, in the garden.  So, I have a single pair of green leaves making it's way up, in wet muddy dirt surrounded by rain, clouds and only intermittent views of the blue sky because this is a diary view of what the season was, actually, in 2012.

It is overcast this morning, so the work is even darker than it is in real life.  This is the best of all the images I took this morning.  My camera had difficulty focusing.

If I were to use the experiences of my customers, this would be titled the Spring Saga of The Cucumber Seedling.  Planting and replanting, only to see them wither and die, due to the damp, the cold, the whatever we choose to blame.  Gardening and gardeners have to be sturdy in the face of adversity.

12 by 12.  Hand painted cotton, discharged cottons and two commercial prints.  I hope we see more of the commercial blue and white print and the green in Summer.

Now, I will spend my artistic time with the 12 by 20 Myth for July's reveal.  You can see another (delightful interpretation of a Spring 12 by 12 at

Monday, June 18, 2012

The View From My Dining Room Chair

In all the years I having been sitting in this dining room, we have never had this kind of view of the rose just outside the window.  It really is amazing. As the sun sets and the light changes (I do eat later than regular people) the colors get stronger.  It's just a rose.  No name (any longer) and it gets little attention being over on the other side of the chimney.  I haven't given it fertilizer in years.  There is a chive plant embedded in it's roots now--warding off bad things, perhaps?

I managed to clean something today.  The kitchen counter, sink and the island.  With bleach.  I walked the dog.  Had oatmeal (this time with both flax meal and almond meal) which was better.  I think I will decrease the amount of dry oatmeal to 1/3 cup.  1/2 is too much.  The texture of the cooked cereal is more gloppy and pasty than normal oatmeal.  I am still trying to find a nut based "cereal" to make and eat.  Something cold and crunchy.  I investigated the Paleo sites today.  Caveman Crunch.  Perhaps Atkins would be more popular if it had a catchy little caveman logo.  I would miss dairy.  Cavemen didn't milk anything, I guess.  They did use leaves for salads, collect honey, berries and dried prunes and dates.  Seems odd.  It's sort of arbitrary. Any of you eat like a caveman?

I worked on my Spring 12 by 12 for tomorrow's reveal.  I like it.  But, even though I tried to use the same fabrics I used in Winter, placing the two side by side is not feeling like a good thing.  Being able to show the four together as a 24 by 24 was my intention.  That being said, if I jiggle the left edge of Winter up against Spring----there is a moment of continuity.  It might be enough?   I won't be showing them together tomorrow.  Let Spring stand on it's own for a day or two.

Work tomorrow and then all day at the Book Sale on Wednesday.  Remember I mentioned that Book Sale Set Up Day is ALWAYS the hottest day?  97.  Ninety Seven Degrees.  That's the forecast for Wednesday.  OMG. I may just die.  I told the guy in charge that he better have lots of cold water on hand.  Or be prepared to call 911 as the elderly help fall over.  How many volunteers will just "forget" to come help?  There is no way my underwear will stay dry.  I am going to be sweaty, hot and covered in that dirty dust the book boxes are caked in.  Yuck.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What's In The Dish Cupboard

While emptying the dishwasher and putting the dishes away, I noticed that my dishes are more color co-ordinated than usual, for me, right now.  We have the Polish cobalt blue, some rust, cream (Manoir  from Villeroy & Boch) and the rusty brown, cream and green of Apple.  I could actually "mix and match".  I wish I had the time and patience to select and buy more of the solid butterscotch rusty colored stuff from Pottery Barn.  I would like the flat cereal bowls.  I bought the large dinner plates last year and we haven't used them on any day after Thanksgiving Dinner.  Today is their first day in the dish cupboard.

The Villeroy & Boch was purchased in Germany (in abundance and at discount prices).  The Polish from TJ Maxx over the years.  The Apple was purchased while waiting for a plane in the Orlando airport.  The Pottery Barn Sausalito was purchased last fall for Thanksgiving dinner.

 My other set of dishes, Petite Fleur, also by Villeroy & Boch, is in the cupboard on the other side of the kitchen.  I love these "sticker" dishes.  My family doesn't love them.  They got the name from the dozens of little flowers scattered over the surface of the dishes.  Like little stickon flower stickers.  I, at first, only purchased the large tea cups (English like the big cups) and dessert plates.  I also bought a cream jug and a sugar bowl.  When ladies came to my house in Germany, they got tea and cake.  I made the mistake of buying the rest of the dishes.  I even have rice bowls which I purchased in California and had shipped to Maine.  None of these dishes have ever been used.  "Too girly" say the men in the family.  And I don't seem to have any women coming for tea and cake these days. You can spy a few Sticker dishes in the lowest left.  Rectangular casserole dishes (used often) and behind them the soufflĂ© dish and the large tart pan (used not very often).  Most of this was bought in Europe at vastly discounted prices.  But not all. What can I say?  I love them.

I have managed to sleep until 8:30 despite the dog's whining.  I have folded one load of wash and have my ironing ready to go on the board.  My breakfast was very nice.  Ham slices wrapped around a wide stick of Swiss cheese and then an almond, flax "biscuit" with butter and sugar free blackberry jam.  I made a second "biscuit" to take to work tomorrow with cheese.  Like a sandwich.  Unless I manage to get dressed and go to the grocery to buy more ham.  And the dog wants walking.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Red Peonies Bloom

They actually are a deep, deep dark pink but the peony growers call this red.  I went out this morning and cut all the almost open reds and all the budded singles.  I left the buds that have a younger bud attached to the stem.  They opened a bit during the day but still have plenty of time to fill my house with the aroma of peonies.  And memories of a delightfully long (lunch and dinner and two bottles of red Sekt) stay in the outdoor restaurant beside the Rhein River in Germany with our dear friends.  Inside the hotel, to which this terraced restaurant was attached, was the most spectacular (and huge) vase full of, probably, 100 pink peonies.  Outrageous.  Gorgeous.  Deliciously aromatic.  Memorable.

My vase of nine or ten blossoms will have to do.  I only have one pink plant.  Somehow, I have one white, one pink and two red.  The plants are close to 20 years old now.  Still reliable.  Still blooming like crazy.  Unless it rains.

Riley is pretty much "normal" again.  He is happy, eating, going in and out (rather than just out and not coming back in) and most of all, he's sleeping, playing with toys and following us around.  The Tech at Bayer thinks he is sensitive (suddenly) to one of the ingredients in Advantix.  The ingredient that keeps the ticks from settling in and biting.  She did say that her dog is also sensitive to this ingredient and her solution, for her dog, was to rub vitamin E oil on the area where she would then apply the Advantix and then apply another layer of vitamin E oil over that.  She thinks the ingredient overstimulates the nerves in his back and makes him nervous.  Since we applied the stuff in the house--that's where bad things happen so he wants no part of being in the house.  He also would want no part of either of the people who put the tingly stuff on him.  She says that people who have had this stuff on their skin (test subjects?) have said it feels like your foot does when it falls asleep.  Numb and tingly.  I can see why it would frighten him when it lasts 4 days.

Work has been busier and I am tired.  Didn't help that I woke up at 5 am and couldn't go back to sleep. The weather report says it was 80 today with no clouds and lots of sun.  Could have been as my underwear was damp most of the day.  I really don't like working, walking or doing anything with damp underwear.  And my shoes were full of dirt when I got home.  I was one big mess.

Now I am clean, full of food and sleepy.  G and Riley are already asleep.  I think I will join them.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Asked, Didn't I?

For validation of all my efforts to change my diet and my body?  Well, obviously someone or something is listening.

An older gentleman who has known me for many, many years, saw me at the greenhouse and said, "Well, young lady, you have certainly kept the weight off.  You look whip thin"

And today, while trying to identify a plant disease, I neglected to notice the owner of the leaf was a quilting friend from years ago also.  She asked if I remembered her and I did.  Then she said "you have lost a LOT of weight."  I smiled and said.  "Yes, I did."

Let me say that again.  Yes, I did.  Feels good to say it and feels even better to hear it said.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Austin's Mary Rose

I love the English hybrid roses.  I love that they have too many petals and flop. I love that they have fragrance.  A customer bought a gorgeous yellow yesterday and I had to walk over and sniff the rosy perfume of it.  I would buy one of everything if I had room for them.  And if I could stand the eventual death of them with Maine's fickle climate and my less than perfect care.

For those of you following the dog episode.  Riley was MUCH improved yesterday.  He focused his warm, intelligent eyes on us again.  Something we had been missing since Friday.  He slept.  He came up to the back door and barked to be let in.  He ate.  He even nosed open the bathroom door so he could see what I was doing in my bathroom this morning.  Hard pressed to be any kind of sad today.  Riley is back. Bayer thinks it is an allergic reaction which the dog can't process so he runs away from the place where it began.  In the house.  This is a pattern with Riley.  If a dish breaks in the kitchen, Riley can't walk into the kitchen.  Ever.  Because it might happen again.  It "will" happen every time he walks in the kitchen.  That sort of thing.  Riley is very lucky that we try and keep his life problem free.

I switched up the way I eat my regular food.  I had my eggs for dinner.  I know.  Who would think to do that? (laughing) I have plenty of time to sautĂ© and stir and add things to the omelet after my shower.  I was even sad that I didn't have an avocado to slice up on top. (plan to fix that by stopping to buy some today)  For breakfast I had oatmeal (the cereal with the lowest carb footprint) with flax meal and wheat bran added for bulk and fiber.  I ate the gloppy cereal with heavy cream to insert the fat I need. I'm not sure this is good as I was a bit dizzy at work.  Not used to the carbs which are mostly sugar.  I kept expecting to tip over and fall down.  And then I hit my forehead on a hanging plant.  Hard.  Then, I was actually really dizzy.  So, cereal in the morning may not be a good thing.  I am having difficulty thinking of tuna and mayo as breakfast.

I had intended to do some more planting in the garden--it is raining a bit harder than I anticipated. (I don't mind getting soaking wet but I just don't feel like going out there) I have a few SunGold tomatoes to get in the ground and then I think we are done.  G has the purple carrots to plant.  Not much space left.

The weather means another very slow day at work with plenty of busy work.  For me that means picking dead blossoms and bad leaves off of plants.  For hours.  This is the only time when I think having an office with a desk, chair and a computer and some papers to sort and file would be lovely. I will be taking the entire pot of brewed coffee to work with me today in my stainless thermos.  Some of my co workers will be calling out "sick".  I need to dress in long pants, a sweatshirt and socks.  Next Wednesday is Book Sale Set Up Day.  Chaos to Order.  I have asked for that day off.  I could use some of my vacation hours but we'll see how the schedule works out.

Today is the 13th and on the 19th I have to reveal my 12 by 12 Spring piece.  I have been feeling around in my head for what I think I might want to create.  What Spring 2012 felt like.  Winter 2012 was easy.  Melting snow and brown underneath.  What did Spring feel like?

I also entered a 10 by 10 art show.  158 artists in our community make a 10 by 10 piece which slides into a black metal frame (we pay a ten dollar entry fee which pays for the frame).  Then the work is exhibited and sold for $200 each.  The artist gets $100 and Arts Are Elementary gets $100.   I have always missed the entry date.  This is my first time and I am a bit nervous.  The artist gets their work back if it doesn't sell.  Sort of a "walk in shame" to pick it up in the day specified.  I have observed the framed and displayed work over the years they have been doing this.  I think I can do it.  I am neither the best or the worst.  I just need to "speak" to one person with my work.

That's my "plate" for this Wednesday in June.  Enough and not more.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Peonies, False Indigo, Lady's Mantle

I clipped a June bouquet from my garden this morning.  I usually don't cut the peonies for the house, but in past years, just as the bloom is at it's most gorgeous, a heavy rain knocks all the petals down and it's too late.  These are the first four blossoms.  I may cut one of the darker reds later today as the bud opens a bit more.  It's overcast, warm and occasionally sunny.  A good day to be in the garden planting things.

Riley is acting oddly.  I think it is the Advantix we apply each month to keep ticks off him.  I noticed, some, last month that he acted different in the three or four days after the application.  This time, it is more noticeable and he is alternating between staring off into space (like he's stoned) and ignoring us.  It's sort of like he wonders WHO we are.  Can dogs get Alzheimers?  He refused to obey any commands on Saturday.  He was better on Sunday.  Today seems a lot like Saturday.  I think he remembers and identifies stronger with G and that's why Sunday was better.   Needless to say, this was the very last application of Advantix Riley will ever have.  I just hope it wears off and isn't permanent.  I liked the dog we've had for five years.  The dog I am spending the day with today---not so much.

I am trying to catch up on my daily food diary entries--I was about five days behind, which is always an indication of loss of interest.  Trying to remember what I ate five days earlier isn't all that difficult since I tend to eat the same stuff over and over.  I am fatigued and at a loss regarding the stall I am experiencing. Yes, I have absolutely no food cravings (a huge success).  I guess that will have to be enough.  It's just that I worry that once I truly "give up" thinking I might lose some weight or inches; it will be difficult to stay with this eating pattern.  Hope is such a strong motivation.

I can already see fractures.  If it doesn't matter (in the size of my hips) what I eat; why can't I eat cereal or home made granola?  If I am eating some fruits, why not a banana?  I DO know that the moment my regular pants get tight--all the extras stop.  I just hope I will be able to stop.  I am not tempted by bread or pasta (right now) but I KNOW that the first bite of bread will be a serious error on my part.

If I listed what I eat in a single day, every one of you would exclaim "it's not enough".  Really, it's very little.  Not that I am starving myself.  But I should be losing weight.  I wish that I had someone, fighting the same fight, to talk to about this.  I look at the websites and forums and mostly people are looking for ways to eat the foods they love (junk) by subbing low calorie or low carb items.  I don't do that.  I tend to do best by just not eating things I shouldn't eat.

Thank you for saying that Wolf Hall wasn't too "lofty" for me.  I am devouring it.  Deliciously written. It helps that I read the the Sanscom mysteries and just watched the Tudor marathon from Showtime.  I have a good idea of the historical plot lines and can keep up with the characters.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Why Do We Work?

I came across this comment in my morning Artist Key letter.  It explains the joy I get at work doing things with dirt, water and plants.  It fills my cup with joy.

We are drawn to our labour of love because it fills our cups like no other nourishment. The making of art is a private puzzle and working out the puzzle is beguiling. Let the folks who don't love their work look forward to their retirement from it.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Your Prayers Worked

I just got off the phone with my daughter.  We hadn't heard from her since the big emergency of Tuesday night and the trip to the 24 hour clinic.  Like you, I thought things were not going well and just gave her space to deal with it.  And I was afraid of the news I would be hearing.

But.  Moomin is home.  She picked him up after work today (6pm) and he is eating, peeing and stepping in his water bowl.  Acting like the sweet boy we have all grown to love.  My daughter wasn't going to let him go without doing everything she could to save his life.  And all those prayers from you all helped!!!

Sam is writing a post about the events on her blog Slambo (in the sidebar) sometime this evening and you should go there to see what she has to say and see pictures of the boy himself.

Moomin did not have Angry Airways and the steroids just made everything worse. A wrong diagnosis can sometimes be dangerous to your health. Moomin does have congestive heart failure and he did have a blood clot which caused all the panic and fear on Tuesday evening.  He had lost function in his rear legs and was stumbling and twitching.  My daughter and I thought he may have had a stroke.  He didn't. We were lucky the clot didn't lodge in his lungs or brain and cause damage.  It just broke up.  See, the power of positive, loving thoughts from many people.  Little miracles.

The staff at the 24 hour clinic were excellent and had Moomin stay a bit longer today so they could slowly do diagnostic tests on him without causing him additional stress.  My daughter will be working from home tomorrow so she can monitor his breathing.  She still has to make sure the fluids don't build up around his heart.  Now the cat is taking the same meds as my dad was taking.  Lasix and baby aspirin.

I think I will be able to get a good night's sleep tonight.

Funny thing happened at work.  A customer wanted to know my hand care regiment because my hands looked so good.  I nearly fell on the floor laughing.  I am digging in potting soil all day long.  My hands are dirty.  So very dirty.  I told her I had inherited my grandmother's hands (mine are identical to my grandmother's and I even hold them the same way she always did. In photos that I have, it is strange to see because it is so familiar) and her good skin.  I told the customer that they were just 65 year old hands and I didn't do anything but wash them with soap and try to scrub the dirt off with a nail brush.  I have to say, I spent the rest of the day looking at my hands and wondering.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

No Odds At All

Moomin is now at a 24 hour facility.  No one knows what is happening but none of it is good.  My daughter drove him to Portland late last night after he screamed in pain when touched and began stumbling and exhibiting "stroke" behavior.  Some loss of use of his hind legs.  She is an emotional mess, exhausted and in pain.

No heroic measures.  Even if all goes well, only weeks or a month or two left.

Sometimes medical intervention just makes things worse.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Better Odds

This morning Moomer's odds were less than 50/50.  After a few hours in the oxygen environment and a Lasix pill to drain fluids from the sac around his heart, Moomer was ready for the 45 minute ride to Portland for his scan.

After his ride to Portland, a scan and an EKG he returned to the vet in our neighborhood and the oxygen environment.  At 3:30 the vet's office called and asked my daughter to "come get him" as he was tearing up the "box".   If he was good enough to cause trouble, he was good enough to go home. Smile.

My daughter is administering new meds, checking his breaths (wanting it in the 30 range) and he just came in at 44.  It had been much, much higher.  She is still very worried about losing one of her "kids".

Thank you for your help today!!!  I could feel the good thoughts surrounding us on the car ride down to Portland.

I got to work by 2 and had the eleven Bubblegum Pink window boxes to make.  Time went by very quickly.

If You're Reading This

Please take a moment to send a prayer for a little black cat fighting for his life today.  Not Angry Airways. Congestive heart failure.  He's in an oxygen chamber at the Vet's and needs to be taken to Portland for a special test if they can stabilize him for the car ride.  My daughter called asking me to go with her whenever he is ready.

I am completely useless in a medical emergency.  Completely.  G is not available.  I can't think of anyone to call.  I am useless when it comes to even driving the two of them to Portland.  I will do what I can and trust in...... trust in what?  That what doesn't kill you makes you stronger?  I don't believe that.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Sometimes You Just Get The Short End Of The Stick

Today is one of those days.  My daughter woke me for the second of my days off when I was actually enjoying a much needed deep sleep.  She needed to discuss her cat's health with me.  And ask that I drive over and check the cat's gums (see if they are pink) to know he is getting enough oxygen.  The cat has Angry Airways.  His lungs and airways are inflamed and congested.  He is having trouble breathing.  On the second visit to the emergency vet on Sunday, the cat had an x ray.  My daughter got to see all his organs and his lungs.

My husband just called.  He is having a "very bad day" at work and I had to talk him down off the roof, so to speak. It's still raining and the roof of his workplace is leaking in three places.  I wanted to mention that the roof in my workplace is leaking in several hundred places.  But I didn't.

I am tired of all this rain.  It is still raining continuously.  All my plants are on the front porch.  Their soils just can't handle any more saturation.  They need a rest.  A bit of "dry".  Me, too.

I worked yesterday in the downpour and chill.  We had hardly any customers.  My back hurt from the work I did on Saturday in my own garden.  Lifting those four heavy bales of peat moss wasn't the smartest thing I have ever done--but it (the peat) needed to be spread on the garden so the rain could moisten it.

G and I had grilled filet (wrapped in bacon) for dinner last night with baked potatoes and steamed broccoli.  I ate an entire baked potato covered in butter and chive sour cream.  It's one potato.  And it was perfectly baked and delicious.  There are far worse things that I could have eaten.  I am eating oatmeal for breakfast.  I wanted something warm.  Something that wasn't eggs.  I had eggs yesterday and they were good.  Sausage, onion, peppers and baby kale with cheese.

My left side hurts.  I can't sit in one position for very long without the pain receptors pinging. This is the muscle group I over extended while lifting and turning with the heavy bale of peat.  Once would have been bad enough, but I repeated it.  I took an orange pill at work.  I should take another.  It will make me sleepy.  I think, since it's raining, all the wash is done, the shirts are ironed and we'll be having pizza (G will) for dinner tonight; that I will visit the cat and then take the orange pill and try and nap the afternoon away.  I may visit the cat in my pajamas.  Not even bother getting dressed. Most of the people I see in town, look like they are wearing their pajamas.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Pottery Barn Delivers

My new duvet cover arrived on Friday, way before the scheduled delivery on Monday.  And for some reason there was no shipping charge.  I wish it was always that way.  The colors are  a bit darker than my usual choices (has it been 7 years since the last major shift in my personal color chart?) and I see the choice of a gray tone here as well as in my clothing.  In fact, I see the gray of my Funeral Dress and the gold of my favorite winter scarf here.  Last night I wore a pair of linen pants that originated in the Sundance catalog with that burnt orange/rust color I see peeking out in a few small flowers.  Those pants fit me correctly, once upon a time, and then never again.  I don't wear pants if the pockets pull open.  Last night the pants hung from my hip bones, where I would guess they were always supposed to land.  Pockets flat and closed.  The mysteries of life.

Today's heavy rain is scheduled to arrive in the "afternoon" so I have an hour or two to get some plants into the garden.  The mosquitos will be out in force so I will need to be heavily sprayed and covered up. I was sleeping "in" this morning until my daughter called to let me know her cat was "sick".  He isn't eating and is panting.  She took him to the very expensive emergency pet doctor about an hour away last night. They couldn't find anything.  She is now on her way back there.  He did eat last night after the doctor's visit and he was pretty normal.  This morning he is panting and crouched.  I asked if she had any of that hairball stuff.  No.  Three cats and no hairball jelly.  She feels he can't get any liquids if he doesn't eat.  But he is peeing.  I stopped giving input because I was still sleepy and irritated that on the one day I can remember, I was actually sleeping for more than 6 hours, and got woken up.  Now I'm up, tired and cranky.

I am having oatmeal with flax meal added for breakfast.  The hell with it.  I am not in the mood to make eggs since I am out of bacon and sausage.  Yesterday's breakfast was eggs and fried turnip.  Yuck.  Turnip does SO NOT taste like potatoes.

The dog has been in and out already.  I just need to get moving, get the work done around here and then just try and take a nap later when it's actually raining.  I have work tomorrow.  All day.  I have no clue what we'll be eating for dinner.

Friday, June 01, 2012


Why did I run out of sausage for my breakfast eggs this morning?

Why does it have to rain all day Saturday and Sunday?  I have garden work to do.

Why do customers only tell you how they feel when they don't like something?  Would it kill them to say the flowers we planted in the pots look pretty?

Why am I wrapped in a sweater in June?

Why do these pants fit when the others don't.

It's ten at night and we just got home from eating dinner at our favorite restaurant.  Where do our days go?

Should I read Wolf Hall?  There's a sequel being published this month Bringing Up The Bodies or something like that.  It's Tudor and Cromwell but it might be a bit too "lofty" for me.  Yes?