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Staying Busy

Today is my designated downstairs day, so I’ll let you know what I’m doing to keep myself busy. First though, Wednesday is going to be a big day for me. At 8:15 I’ll be getting my first vaccination and then at 10 I have an appointment with an orthopedist to see if my knee can be fixed. I’m very excited about both.

So till Wednesday I’ll continue my routine. We finished the puzzle that we were working on. It took longer than any puzzle I’ve ever done. It didn’t have a straight border to orient us and it was hard to decide what we were looking at but it’s done!


Then I also did some knitting. This week’s project was ducklings. I changed the pattern a little and unfortunately they lean forward too much to stand on their own, but that’s ok.

I’m plowing thru a very slow book. There are 800 pages and I’m about halfway thru. The author describes everything in detail so it never seems to get anywhere, but it kills time.

Mackey likes to keep an eye on the bird feeders and when the squirrels come around she runs to the door to chase them away. It’s nice that she has a job she enjoys. When she isn’t chasing squirrels, she’s doing a lot of this.

So maybe next week I’ll have some news about my knee and I can make more trips downstairs. Keep your fingers crossed.


And So It Goes

No, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. I’m just trying to deal with 2021 which seems way too much like 2020. So much for a better year ahead. When last we were together I was complaining about the weather and politics and such. Now I’m back to complain about the weather and politics and other aggravating topics. So here goes.

It’s freaking cold here. I’m used to cold and snow, I lived most of my life in Central New York where snow was invented. But Missouri only gets a trace of snow every third year and we already had that in January. This miserable year we’ve had 13 consecutive days below freezing. Wednesday night it was -9 degrees and the high got all the way to 3. Add to that around ten inches of snow. OK, I could actually deal with all that but here’s the kicker. Missouri gets much of it’s power from…. you guessed it, Texas!

Now Texas is a total mess in more ways than I care to think about, but this week it’s the deep freeze of the nation and because they have a little energy problem, so do we. We’ve been experiencing rolling blackouts. Those are lots of fun. They happen unexpectedly so you always wonder when you start anything if you’ll suddenly be sitting in the dark reaching for the nearest blanket. It’s amazing how fast the indoor temperature can drop when it’s -9 outside. Mackey and Sydney both crawl under their blankets to sleep.

Yesterday, for entertainment we watched the Fedex truck being towed up the hill. He came down to turn around in our driveway and couldn’t get back up the hill. Ten minutes after he was towed away the mail truck got stuck in the same place. They get added to the list. We’ve had UPS, the utility company, a moving van and a snowplow all stuck in our driveway at various times. All had to be towed.

Now just to show you how pissed off Mother Nature is, our forecast for Tuesday is mid 60s. We can actually go from 0 to 60 in one day.

Ok, tired of hearing about the weather? Let’s talk about Covid vaccinations. That’s always a fun topic. I’ve signed both of us up on every list I can find. Rob was notified at the beginning of the week that he had an appointment for his first vaccination on Friday. Then on Thursday they called and said it was postponed till Monday. Then last night they called and now it’s postponed till next Friday. Anyone care to bet on whether it will be changed again?

I’m still waiting to be scheduled. Last post I mentioned that I’ve delayed gallstone surgery till I have my first vaccination. It’s only been since November. But one afternoon in January I was happily knitting on the couch. I stood up to get something and got a flash of pain across the back of my knee. To make a long story short I had xrays that showed nothing and an MRI that showed a torn meniscus. I’ve been on crutches part time and mostly resting and icing my knee. I’ll be seeing an orthopedist next week. 2021 definitely doesn’t like me.

On the brighter side, I had a birthday and Rob asked what I wanted. Without hesitation I told him I wanted a flamingo. A flamingo family took up residence on the porch but due to the chilly weather I had to make them scarves.

Being restricted to the couch most of the time I’ve done some knitting.

Today I think I’ll start a new cross stitch. I’ve been reading a lot and when I get bored I hobble into the kitchen to work on the world’s hardest jigsaw puzzle. I’ll take a picture if I ever finish it.

Mackey is limping along with me. Hers is caused by too much jumping but as hard as I try to explain it to her, she continues to jump onto and off the furniture.

Syd is spending most of her time in the den and each evening she and Rob sit down to watch a movie. They like action movies so I stay upstairs and watch calmer things like politics and riots etc.

So we’re still here but the computer is in the basement and I only allow myself to go up and down stairs once every couple days, I haven’t been very good about keeping up with my blogging. Things have to get better, don’t they?

2021-How Do You Like It So Far?

Well, we’re off to a rousing start, aren’t we? I learned a long time ago not to say that a new year couldn’t be worse than the old one. Events and nature have a way of proving us wrong. So far 2021 is pretty bad.

It got off to an immediate bad start for us. At 6:30 on New Year’s morning the power went out. While we were sleeping an ice storm had blown in and taken down trees and power lines.

Yes, it looks pretty, but …..

I had charged my book light the day before so I read all day snuggled into my fuzzy blanket. The dogs curled up in their beds and I was contemplating ice cream for dinner because it would start melting soon even in the freezer.

Nine hours later the lights came back on and we returned to normal.

The covid vaccination schedule here in Missouri is anyone’s guess. There doesn’t seem to be anyone in charge so we just stay home and wait. I was supposed to have surgery for gallstones in November but decided to wait till my surgeon and I each had at least one vaccination. I’m still waiting.

Next came the Georgia runoff election. I knew better than to get my hopes up and I went to bed before either had been called. Rob woke me the next morning to give me the good news. I came downstairs, poured my first cup of coffee and watched for Congress to certify the election. Then you all know what happened next.

While swearing at the television I’ve kept my hands busy. That way I can’t throw things. I stitched this which was a bear to do but I think turned out nicely. Just to give an idea on the size, the birds are lifesized.

I have been knitting miniature dogs till I’ve run out of room for them. Now I have to clear off a couple shelves to house them.

My five year old poinsettia is trying to flower and I give it lots of praise for the attempt.

The Christmas cactus is outdoing itself. Maybe the praise works.

Finally, my heart is not only broken but shattered by the loss of my Norma Jean. She was so very special to me. I want to write about her but the time isn’t right. I have to learn to live without her first.

Soon I will share her with you, but not yet.

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Well, here it is Christmas Eve and it wouldn’t be the day before Christmas without an emergency trip to the vet. This morning Miss Norma Jean made a holiday visit to Dr B due to frequent vomiting. I’ve been treating her for a couple weeks but yesterday I called in frustration and he told me to bring her in this morning.

Norma Jean has a lot going on. First she’s 14 years old. She has paralysis in one half of her face. He says she feels nothing on that side and the eye and ear on that side don’t work either. We don’t know what caused the condition but she’s been living with it for a couple years. Next she has a lung disorder for which she takes prednisone every other day. Next she has leukemia and she also has probable liver disease.

The doc checked her tummy and she exhibits no pain so we’re going to try a few things to figure out the vomit mystery. She’s going off the pred for five days, then we’ll start it up again to see if it’s causing the problem. Two other possibilities are pancreatitis or acid reflux. We’ve dealt with both before. Sebastian was on a special diet for pancreatitis and Bentley had acid reflux. So the next couple weeks will be trial and error to see what helps and what makes things worse. She received an injection of Cerenia and came home with some Cerenia tablets for the next couple weeks. Meanwhile I have to spoon feed her five small meals daily because her facial paralysis makes it difficult for her to eat by herself.

It is Christmas, however, whether it feels like it or not so we made some cookies for the kids across the street.

The Christmas cactus is in full bloom and has been for a couple months.

And this fellow is hanging around the kitchen to remind us that it’s the holidays and to wear our masks.

So Merry Christmas from all of us; Sydney


Norma Jean

Rocket J and Crash


The Shark

and Dustbuster

So that’s my holiday, how’s yours?

A Holiday For The Rest Of Us

Happy Festivus, everyone!

Today we’ll gather around our Festivus pole in the back yard, or maybe not. It’s raining and windy and the temperature is dropping out of the 60s into the 20s. So maybe we’ll just look at the pole thru the window while sipping a warm drink.

I won’t burden you with my list of grievances since my list this year is rather long and I’m pretty sure you have most of the same ones.

But anyway, have a comfortable and SAFE day today and every day during this strange holiday season.

The Solstice

Today is my favorite day, the Winter Solstice. It’s an end to the darkness and brings promise of light. It’s exactly what we need after the dark days of 2020.


Here is my wish for all of you.

May you find peace in the promise of the solstice night. That each day forward is blessed with more light. That the cycle of nature, unbroken and true, brings faith to your soul and well-being to you. Rejoice in the darkness, in the silence find rest. And may the days that follow be abundantly blessed.


We’ve been taking our animals to the same vet for22 years now. They have jumped into action for emergencies, been patient with us during annual checkups, welcomed new puppies and cried with us when saying goodbyes. We’ve become friends and partners in caring for our pets.

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone and our vet visits have changed. But Dr B and all the staff are still as caring, helpful and responsive as ever.

When Norma Jean went in for a follow up blood test recently I decided that the crew needed to be shown that we appreciate all they do for us. So I got to work with my sticks and strings and made them some gifts.

All wearing their masks, of course!

Here they are:

A spaniel
A Hippo
A Raccoon
A Piggy
A Duck
A Kitten
A Hound dog
A Fox
A Bear
A Bunny
A Big Bear for the Big Guy

Our clinic is called All Creatures, so I made each a different creature. I put them all in a big box together, carried them in when I went to look at Norma Jean’s xray, set the box on an exam table and told everyone to choose their own animal. They went fast and when I left everyone was smiling. Dr B was even standing there hugging his bear.

It’s nice to take some time to let people know that they are appreciated, especially during these trying days.

Dating Disasters

Let’s face it, dating can be nerve wracking. We’ve all had the date from hell. Looking back years later it’s easier to laugh. I know you’ve all been there even if you won’t admit it.

I’ll go first. When I was about 20 a friend dared me to try a computer date. Now remember, back in the dark ages when I was 20, we didn’t all have computers at home or in our pockets or on our wrists. Only big companies had computers. So I contacted one of the companies advertising computer dating. They sent me a multi page questionnaire to fill out and send back. The first part was about me and the second part was about what I was looking for in a date.

After a couple weeks I got the first response. A young man called and after a short chat we agreed to go out to dinner at the end of the week. When the big night came I nervously answered the door and realized that he had lied on his questionnaire. He was my age or younger. I had requested older. He was shorter than me and I’m only 5’4′. But it was just a date, right?

We walked out to the car and he told me it was his father’s car, that he had just gotten his license and wasn’t used to driving at night. My anxiety level was going up.

I chose a restaurant nearby, didn’t want to drive too far with this newbie. We were seated and after ordering I asked him about his job. On the phone he had told me he worked for the State. When I asked, he lit up. Seems he loved his job. Good sign!

Then it all went south. He worked for a State fishery. One of the major parts of his job was skimming the dead fish off the top of the various holding pens. Not only did he love his job, but he brought along lots of color photos he’d take of the dead fish floating.

I knew this date wasn’t going anywhere and after dinner I got a headache, must have been something I ate. He dropped me at home and I guess I didn’t impress him either because he never called again. The second and third computer choices called the next week but I blew them both off. Once was definitely enough computer dating for me.

The reason I bring up this ancient history is because a friend of ours just had the ‘date from hell’. Hoover showed up one night this week with a friend, a pretty little opossum about half his size. (Remember, we’re assuming sex and relationship of these animals) Hoover started eating at one end of the feeder and his friend started at the other end. When Hoover made the mistake of moving toward the center, the little one who we shall call The Shark, snarled and snapped at him. Big old lumpy Hoover backed off and sat pouting while The Shark finished all the food and then left.


The next night The Shark showed up early and alone but we hadn’t put out the good stuff yet so she wandered off.


Then we put out kibble for Hoover. When he finished we put out more for Rocket who waits for the opossums to leave before he shows up. The feeder was bare in the morning.

The Shark was definitely not the date that Hoover was expecting. Never mind, Hoover, it happens to all of us.

Turf Wars

Rocket J visits every evening to get his dinner. The normal menu is dog kibble and bird seed but occasionally he gets lucky and finds some table scraps in his feeder. But Hoover realized pretty quickly that Rocket was getting the good stuff and leaving mostly seeds for him. So Hoover started dropping by earlier to beat Rocket to the good stuff.


Rocket J is no dummy so he started showing up even earlier before that fat opossum could eat all the kibble. Of course they ran into each other at the feeder and Hoover is bigger that Rocket and has an ugly snarl that made Rocket back off. He climbed onto the roof and waited till Hoover was finished and had waddled off. Then he came down and ate the leftovers.


One evening we watched as Hoover sat on the deck railing grooming himself and suddenly Rocket popped out of the hedge. He tried to ge past Hoover but was met with the usual snarl. Rocket stood on his back legs to make himself look bigger but Hoover wasn’t impressed. Then Rocket realized that each time he approached, Hoover took a step backwards. It took awhile but Rocket moved Hoover back far enough that he could jump over the fat opossum and grab the post. From there he climbed to the roof, across the roof and down into the feeder. Ha! Good thinking Rocket J!


Rocket climbs onto the roof whenever I take Norma Jean outside but Hoover sits wherever he is and stares at us. Once he tried to hide. Have you ever seen a slow, fat opossum hide? Here he is hiding.


Can’t see him, can you?