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Ten years ago I didnít understand Dianneís rush to retirement. She complained about work. Even though it was still years away, she was counting down the days until she could retire from Federal service and collect her pension. I do understand that attitude now: very little at work interests me. I'm living for the weekends and feel like Iím barely getting through the work week, but honestly canít tell if it is the specific job or just work in general. I need to figure out my exit strategy soon, even if it is to another job.
Take your average, typical (is there such a thing?) migraine. Add snow, in generous amounts. Mix thoroughly. Result: blinding pain. Seriously blinding pain. It is another day gone, why, oh why? The migraines have not gone away, I am trying to make peace with the fact that they are not as frequent as they once were. I am trying. I find it trying. Trying to find the silver lining. Trying to be grateful. Trying to not gouge my eyes out. Trying to figure out if the cure is worse than the illness. Trying to live with the continuing joy. Not.
Finally, 18 months later, a year and fucking half after the fact, I have blocked the pink summer scarf shawl thingie. I like it, but Iím learning that the simple triangle shape doesnít work too well for me. The other asymmetric scarf I have cannot be balanced correctly around the neck and the scarf just keeps slipping, slipping, and then it is essentially falling off. That said, the pink bit does appear to be quite delicate, and probably appears much fancier and or difficult than it actually was. But I have no further interest in knitting that yarn.
We are both shocked to learn that Miss Leo is down to just four pounds and change. She has gone from aging to ailing for so many months, we missed the evidence before our eyes in the last few months. She went over the cliff to clearly very, very ill just over the weekend. We can only hope that the bloodwork shows something simple to correct and that the appetite stimulant today does something for her quickly as she will need strength to get better. Although it doesnít seem probable that ďwellĒ is even an option for her now.
Oh, no, no, no , no , noooos! Now BooBoo is not well! Heís keeping to himself, hiding, not going outside to the porch at all and not eating anything. Did he eat something he shouldnít have? Is he fighting a cold? Something else? This cannot be happening now, it is a cruel twist of fate. Weíve learned Miss Leo has advanced kidney disease, and no one is optimistic even for mid-range recovery. We are likely talking weeks, if we can even get her over this hump. At least today she ate a good amount of kitten food.
Miss Leo isnít eating again, so it was off to the vet for take 2, and she got loaded up on everything possible to give her the best fighting chance to make some kind of a recovery. Iím not overly optimistic at this point since sheís not strong enough to navigate to the litterboxes now. She just curls up on the heating pad, sleeping, trying to get comfortable. I know the end is here, and it is heartbreaking. I have had my chance to snuggle her, to say goodbye in a meaningful way to Shiatsu kitty girl.
Agreement on dealing with reality came too late today, so now we will have to wait until tomorrow. Part of me hopes that she just slips away tonight, comfortable at home, rather than have the further indignity of another trip to the vet. I think she is beyond caring at this point, but her damn stubborn tortie-tude wonít give up, wonít let her just rest. Boo is looking a little bit better, both he and Manxy are confused by her camping out in the TV room. There will be more disruption tomorrow for them to deal with.
She was with me for nearly 17 years, longer than any other living creature has ever been part of my daily existence. She wandered into my life -a starving waif kitty, barely (not even) full grown- a month before I met DH. Preferring pets to food, in recent months sheíd take the chicken drumstick bone right off my plate on the coffee table, using her three remaining teeth to gain sufficient purchase. At the end, I think that chicken bone weighed more than she did. It was only right that I was stroking her head as she drifted off.
Shiatsu kitty. Baby girl. Fur Seal. Defective Easter bunny. She of the Bent Tail. Old lady. She had a lot of names, but she was the Alpha Kitty of the house. She is free, no more pain. I can only hope that by now she has found Fionn and Merlin, and that once again the three of them are curled up on a comfy bed, three bumps in a row. Manxy climbed in my lap last night, the one and only time he has ever done that for me. He doesn't really understand, but he knows. As she did before.
It is a rainy day and weíre both still fairly blue. I wanted an easy bake for breakfast this morning - and just what is easier than Dutch Baby pancakes?! I macerated some fresh raspberries while waiting for coffee to brew, and then after my first cuppa coffee, I made a lemon scented batter and presto! It puffed up huge in the oven, it is a great magic trick that this pancake does. It was golden, sunshine yellow, with bright red raspberries gleaming on top. We each demolished our half, and it was just the right size. Gotta remember this.
Overnight dew or maybe early morning rain and cold combine to make the driveway slippery. In spots. Spring is officially ten days away, but I am so ready for it not to be so cold. At least tonight it will still be light when I get home. Daylight saving time is fine with me, year round would be preferable. There are daffodils trying to bloom in the front, in the warm corner by the door, but they keep getting cold and damp. I am ready to think about the garden, not just cleaning it up, but having green, growing life.
Retrograde? It's retrograde? Really?! Of course. That explains so much. Not quite everything, but enough. How did I not know? Well, I kind of knew, but didnít actually know it was retrograde. Is that sufficiently Rumsfeldian? I thought I had a plan to prevent it from sneaking up on me, but nope. I am not doing well with the journaling again this month. Too much going on with Miss Leo and no time at work. Even though I supposedly have nothing to do. HA! But somehow I have to survive this crosswired month. It just has to get better.
No news is good news, thatís the idiom. And how true it is. Miss H was full of not-good news today, I feel bad for her caught in the middle. Then of course, I had my own sucky news to share. Yeah, it was a feel-the-love-fest. I do wish things would finally even out for her. I need to hear some good news from someone, something that is going well, something that lifts the heart. Thereís been entirely too much death and destruction for this early in the year. Universe, do you hear me?
I am closing in on the end of the West Wing replay. It doesnít seem possible that the series started nearly 20 years ago. I still find it odd that so many episodes in the first two years are all but burned into my memory, even though I didnít see them after the initial year of airing. And in the later seasons? The episodes ring startling true, but I have no memory of the details, just of the larger story arc. What will I do when my replay Ė more than a year long now, I think Ė is over?
The universe is having a great time this year being cruel. I thought the start of 2016 was tough, but this year seems to be worse. It's more personal. And lasting more than the first six weeks. I know that after you reach some number of years, those you know and love people you grew up with, will shuffle off this mortal coil in greater numbers. It just seems as though thereís been a sudden, intense upswing in the number of issues, accidents and outright deaths in my circle this year. I have to hope it is an anomaly.
Today was a rich, full day. I baked an irish cream pound cake and glazed it Ė that was my fun. Chores? Handwash and regular laundry, ordered replacement batteries and dadís pjs. And exercise for my body and soul? I cleaned out half of the flower bed that runs along the street, the north half of the driveway flower bed and I also cleaned out leaves from front walkway flower bed. I found yarn for an easy travel knitting project and got it set up. My reward for all this weekend productivity? A full corned beef dinner, a day early.
Is this what a kidneystone feels like? The pain, OMFG, the pain in my lower left back & side that clearly isnít my spine or sciatic nerve (Thank god? Thank god!) but I canít get comfortable standing, sitting, laying down, nothing works. Standing in the shower with warm water cascading on the spot is the only thing that brings some relief. The burning need to pee, but having nothing to pee. Hour after hour, all through the night. Finally, at 4 AM, it recedes and I sleep. But I am supposed to get on a plane in the morning.
At the end of what was a very long day, there was indeed a reward. The Lebanese Taverna was an unexpected delight, cozy and inviting, and absolutely wonderful food. We went for an array of small plates, which were remarkably easy to pick, no arguments Ė even on the cauliflower, which turned out to be the best Iíve ever eaten! We talked from start to finish, and almost didnít notice a missing dish. To apologize us, they gave us lagniappe of baklava Ė two small round pieces, drizzled with pomegranate molasses. Divine. Another restaurant I wish was local to me.
Boss lady was like a momma bear today. She was just so damn happy at the recognition of our work. I do understand that the event, and this award was particularly poignant as the ten year relationship with this institution is coming to an end, so any recognition of the excellent work weíve done is to be welcomed. Yet it was so anti-climactic. I wish that in the last year, the larger organization would have embraced my project and the work that was recognized today. The award is nice, but increasing adoption and successful commercialization would be better.
Thereís nothing like waking up and immediately coughing up stuff to make your day. I really thought I was going to get through the winter this year without getting sick. The fact that this is the last day of winter hasnít escaped my notice. But this does explain the change in my voice on Monday and last nightís sneezing fits. I can only hope that this will be a minor event, as the NP at the conveniently timed visit to the doctorís office doesnít seem too concerned. And pray that himself doesnít catch it.
I didnít manage to write full entries on a daily basis, but until I got sick, I was doing OK with taking notes sufficient for me to write after the fact. I know, it is not consistent with the intent of the project, but it is what I could manage. I am not yet willing to give up on this again, but I am definitely challenged with the daily rhythms of life right now. I am not journaling nor writing words on a daily basis. All my small strategies have failed, or at least, theyíve not yet succeeded.
Since Iím not noticeably better, I worked from home for a bit this morning, then crashed. And I finished the West Wing rewatch. I still think it is a remarkable series. I still want to live in an America where Jed Bartlett could be president and then re-elected, where Matt Santos could become president. Today, they would probably be viewed as DINOs, and couldnít be elected to be rat catchers. So much of the rhetoric is the same, the arguments are the same; it is very difficult to think weíve been stuck here for 15 years.
Maybe Iím getting better? I really canít tell. Waiting for soup to heat in the microwave is enough to exhaust me today. I am living on soup, particularly now as himself is also sick This is not just a light cold. I am not knitting anything. Watching an episode of something light and fluffy takes all my mental powers of concentration. The cats are getting minimal attention. Considering how I feel today, I canít imagine being strong enough to manage getting through work on Monday. I donít have much banked PTO, so going work is inevitable.
Going slow and steady, being the tortoise not the hare, I managed to get some stuff done today. Completing the litterboxes was a real challenge, but absolutely necessary. I managed a quick trip to the store for milk and a few essentials. I also did laundry, and put clean sheets on the bed, which pretty much sounds divine, I canít wait to go to bed tonight! But at the end of this, having climbed up and down stairs a dozen times today, I am wiped out, almost shaking in my chair. I hope I havenít done too much.
I almost cannot believe the message. I would call it a blast from the past, but that is generally a meant in a good way, right? I'm surprised the call was to the house line, not my cell phone. I donít think weíve had any contact since moving here? I am in no hurry to return the call, and in fact, I still have very little voice, so Iím not planning to do anything right away. I donít quite know how I feel about this situation Ė he was a favorite uncle when I was a child.
Why am I not surprised by the news that Dad is not doing the memory testing? I expected resistance to the doctorís practice, and the whole idea. The truth that he is not really recovering, not getting back strength and endurance, sleeping through the days was a bit of a surprise. The idea he couldnít sit through a 3-5 hour visit... not good. Everyone around him seems to think it is OK that heís not doing everything possible to enable his own recovery. I am going to have to raise hell to get things to change.
Wrangling over the placement and orientation of the three new raised planting beds in the back yard started the spring itch. I want to plant all the things, flowers and veggies. I couldnít help myself, I ended up ordering seeds for some of the most old-fashioned and lovely cottage garden flowers that are filled with color and fragrance: bachelorís buttons, love-in-a-mist, sweet peas, cosmos, and poppies. Thereís more than enough for the beds and to tuck in around the sparse corners of the front yard beds. If I could just blink my eyes. . .
I wanted to reach through the screen and grab her by the neck when I read the email and realized it was me being scolded, not everyone. Donít lecture me because others, who donít even report to me, canít be bothered to do whatís required of them! You saw the same email on Monday, you could have taken action then but you didnít. I donít understand why management hasnít been able to get everyone to do time sheets on a daily basis. Except of course that management is part of the misbehaving group.
I made it through the work week, sort of. But it wasnít really a full week at the office Ė I worked from home several days, left early on others. I donít know how much of thisÖ ennui ... is because I am not well, and how much is because I donít want to be doing most of what now comprises my job. Ten years; it is unfathomable to me that Iíve stayed this long. It is bearable only if I donít look forward and see the many months ahead. Just focus on the here and now.
Signs of spring are everywhere. The yard is being cleaned up today by the landscaping crew. And three new raised beds are going in the back yard. Yards everywhere are dotted with purple crocus (I really do have to plant some in our yard this fall!). The local nursery has trees on display. Buds on the lilacs are getting fatter by the day. Masses of young kids were out practicing for their soccer league at the local fields. The neighborís kids are outside playing in the front yard. If it actually reaches 60 today, spring fever will be overwhelming.
How could I have not realized or remembered? For three weeks now, Boo has essentially refused to spend time in my lap. Even with the lavender wool blanket, which he used to love, he has spent no time with me. He jumps up and takes the treats Ėsometimes, not always!- and then immediately jumps down. But I did spray the blanket after Miss Leo deposited her old lady smell on it. Boo does not like Febreze it seems. As soon as I put the mohair blanket across my legs, he jumped in my lap. And kept coming back all day.
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