Tips and tails

It’s been an expensive two weeks.

First the cat developed an abscess on her chin…

That's not her tongue.

That’s not her tongue.

…so off we went for a day with the vet for draining, antibiotics, and pain meds for home.  Because I was so worried about her that I paid for the additional $69 bloodwork fee, we now have the comfort of this good news: she has a clean bill of health (minus the infection at the time).

But what kind of people do they think we are? We were told to apply warm, moist compresses to her wound site several times a day for the following few days. Have you ever tried to hold a damp washcloth on a cat’s sore chin? Guess how many times we accomplished this task?
Answer: exactly once. It traumatized all of us. That was also the only time we managed to get pain meds into her. She preferred to hide from us whenever she saw us over next 2 days instead of repeating the experience.
Luckily, she’s back to being herself now.

On Wednesday morning, EB took the dog for a walk. Then we received a call to tell us that Moses had tangled with a porcupine and needed to go to the vet. SuperDad called the vet (a different one — the cat’s vet is in a cat-only clinic) and made sure they could fit us in while EB carried the 70-pound labrador up from the woods by the river to a road. He called us when he could tell us where he was — about 5 miles from home. (My sons seem to think that 8-10 miles is a perfectly normal walk for a 10-year-old dog.)  I got ready to go to work while SuperDad drove to pick up the injured and his accomplice and take them to the vet. They got home before I left, the 22yo looking like he’d been at a crime scene with blood all over his clothes, and my dh talking about a $400 vet bill.

The dog, whom I normally credit with above-average intelligence, saw something small-ish down by the river and lunged for it. Turns out it was not a squirrel but a baby porcupine. After shaking it thoroughly in his mouth, the baby’s mama (I’m assuming it was the mama) got irate with our sweet dog. (In her defense, I would have done the same thing. It is not sweet to shake a baby! ) Pretty soon there was a battle with both dog and prickly beast looking worse for wear. EB rushed down to break it up and managed to not get any quills of his own.  I hope the mama porcupine recovered, because it really wasn’t her fault. Moses had bites in his right ear, about 40 quills in his mouth, and approximately 20 quills on each foreleg — this was after EB pulled about 20 quills out, so we’re guessing that 100 quills became successful ammunition.

Mr. Silky Ears, post-sedation face

Mr. Silky Ears, post-sedation face

If only we had a blue collar to go with that bright green bandage -- then he'd be wearing Seahawks colors!

If only we had a blue collar to go with that bright green bandage — then he’d be wearing Seahawks colors!

Despite 40 quills to his mouth, his licker still works.

Despite 40 quills having to be removed from his mouth, his licker still works.

We go back in to the vet tomorrow and get his wound and stitches checked. Moses is hoping to leave without the bandage. I’m not sure if that will happen.
I’ll be the one going this time, because this is the weekend of the big Boy Scout winter campout.  Good thing SnakeMaster got over his illness (oh, yeah, that happened too — he missed a day and a half of school) because SuperDad was going with or without the boy.

Oh, and this happened.


How are things in your neck of the woods?


When 7=1,168

WordPress sent me a message yesterday, telling me that it had been exactly seven years since I registered and began blogging. Combining the 705 blog posts that I wrote on my first blog with the 463 posts here at Spokalulu (I’m counting this one), I’ve managed to post  1,168 times in the past 7 years.


Some of the bloggers whom I loved to read are no longer blogging. Many claim that blogging is dead or dying. I’ve never been one to jump on the bandwagon in a timely manner — after all, I started blogging at the same time that one of my favorite bloggers stopped blogging — and even though I’ve slowed down, I’m still here for now.

2012 August beach vacation 088


Do you sense a theme here?

DSCN1309  Themed birthday, resized for web

Thank you, KCINNOTX 🙂


Add a cup of coffee brought to my bedside this morning, the chance to relax — read, clean out my purse, go to the library — and a shopping trip for more beads (what else!?) before choir rehearsal, with a late supper afterward with a few friends and a pair of Coronas. No cake needed.

In the Bleak Midwinter

Snow had fallen [snow on snow] -- rain on sleet on snow...

Snow had fallen [snow on snow] — rain on sleet on snow…

With apologies to the original song and its writer

The early part of January always feels like a let-down to me. The joy of having family visits, the flurry of activity — those are over and done with, leaving me with Christmas decorations to put away. The tree is still beautiful but I am beginning to think it is cluttering my living room.

I am feeling closed-in-upon by the clutter everywhere. To deal with the stress, I’ve been holing up in my room, laying on top of my [made] bed and reading book after book after book.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce, and The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin, are two such lovely books. Also? I have fallen in love with my still-new-to-me used Kindle.

This keeps me from noticing that the clutter in my room is about to swallow us whole in our sleep.  Here is where I note that the clutter is almost entirely on my side of the bedroom. My husband only occasionally dabbles in clutter in the main part of the house. (His workshop, however, is a different story. I call it the danger zone as I have actually injured myself trying to walk in there.)

Aside from the entire house being a disaster zone of clutterific proportions, I am facing down a birthday. It’s not the aging that gets to me — I embraced my graying hair several years ago. What bothers me is the annual discussion about calories in a hypothetical birthday dessert, one which follows so closely on the heels of Christmastide treats. This discussion does not always involve words spoken aloud; a simple raise of the spousal eyebrow says enough to cover a paragraph. (That goes for both sides, by the way.) It has become such a sore point that no birthday dessert is made in my house in January, neither by he who fears his wife growing larger nor by she who is growing older.

January is the month of let-downs. No one feels like partying celebrating; it is time for austerity, New Year’s resolutions, diets and exercise. On facebook, my friend Mary Alice referred to January as the secular lent, which I found to be a perfect description. Her exact words yesterday morning: “They’ve stopped stocking eggnog at the stores and we took down our Christmas tree today. The magazines are full of advice on how to administer various methods of self punishment. Truly, January is the saddest, most austere month of all. It’s the secular lent.” I love her writing!

I am one year away from a milestone birthday and I’ve been considering how I want to mark the occasion. I’d love a long weekend with good friends at the ocean, but a Pacific Northwest beach in January isn’t always a good idea. To start with, crossing the mountain pass could be treacherous because I have never had to personally put chains on the tires; also, no one really wants to celebrate anything this month (see previous paragraph). My job is such that I am as busy in the month of January as I am in the weeks prior to Easter and Christmas — possibly even more so, since I am not a numbers person. Annual reports (both incoming and outgoing), an annual meeting, and legally required financial statements take up a large amount of time and brain space.  This makes it hard to go away for a vacation even if I could convince others to join me.

SuperDad just left to take care of some important errands. I reminded him that my birthday was imminent (he is incapable of remembering such things) and suggested he buy me a piece of fitness equipment. (I also told him he didn’t need to bother wrapping it.) Secular lent is clearly evident and honored. I may be unable to figure out how to properly celebrate a birthday, but I know what I need to do today. With a steady drizzle, the mess on the street will stay for a while but I can at least make a difference regarding the mess in my house.
I’m heading to my bedroom to read… oops, can’t do that, the Kindle is charging! And you know, January austerity measures are calling de-clutter.

DSCN1306  street view