Saturday, October 28, 2006

A good day

One of the biggest things that I look forward to on the weekends is sleeping in. It's especially sweet when Bob is out of town, as he is this weekend (duck hunting or goose hunting or something like that).

But this morning I didn't get to sleep in, I had to get up at to take the cats to the vet at 8:30. I had originally had a later appointment last weekend, but the vet had a family emergency and had to be out of town, so I had to reschedule, and this was the latest slot they had available. And I didn't want to put it off again, because I really needed to get Dinah in there.

She's been peeing in odd places, and that generally indicates a bladder or kidney problem, or something related to the litter box, anyway. We thought maybe it was the anal gland thing again, and I was able to take her in to see my vet's partner and get that done last week, but it didn't seem to help. So I took them both in today for their annual check-ups and vaccinations, and asked the vet about Dinah's problem.

He wasn't able to get a urine sample from her, but he said that her bladder didn't feel right to him--normally it's more malleable or something--and he thought she probably had a bladder infection. He asked me whether I would like to "pill her" or give her injections -- I asked if he couldn't just give her an injection that would last a week, and he said no, unfortunately.

He showed me how to grab her head and force her mouth open, but frankly, it seemed like the injections would be less traumatizing. You just scruff them hard and give the injection into the loose neck skin. I figure Bob will enjoy that . . .

I was over $200 today, and the vet says that Pyewacket needs her teeth cleaned, that he thinks she's developing infection under the gum line and is in danger of losing teeth. He said he'll send me an estimate in the mail, but I know it's going to be a fortune -- more than Dinah's was a few months ago.

My vet is apparently the premier feline dental surgeon of the world or something. He said that he gets cases from all over. Which is good, of course, it means that he's good at what he does. But also, we wonder whether he's more likely to advise dental surgery than he would otherwise be.

I do believe that when you take an animal into your home, you are committed to taking care of them and doing whatever needs to be done, but when they start costing more than the humans, it does give you pause.

I talked to Bob on the phone after I got home, and while he was dismayed, and isn't sure it's absolutely necessary, he said that whatever I wanted to do was fine, that he didn't want the cats to suffer, and we should do whatever we need to do for them. I guess I'll wait 'til I get the estimate from him, and then decide.

Pyewacket likes the vet, and he likes her. He's always happy to see her, and she rubs against him and rolls around on the floor; she's such a little ham that she makes him laugh. After he had examined both cats and given them the various vaccines, and talked to me about Dinah, I was getting ready to leave, and he said, "I always enjoy Pyewacket so much. When I saw that you were down on the schedule for today, I thought, 'I know today will be a good day!'"

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Friday, October 27, 2006

30 Delicious Years

We usually eat at Jason's deli about once a week. The last few times I've noticed a banner hanging from the ceiling. Apparently Jason's started the same year that we got married, because the banner says, "30 Delicious Years!"

It's hard to believe that it's been 30 years. We always laugh and say that sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday, and sometimes it feels like it's been forever.

I liked this article that Stefani reprinted in her blog:

Aren't these people missing the point? Maybe every little girl dreams of her wedding, but I don't. The only thing I dream about is being with someone I love, not showing off for 300 of our "closest" relatives and friends. I'd rather be that cute little old couple 60 years from now than divorced just because I jumped too quick, being all excited about diamonds and dresses.

I don't recall ever dreaming about a wedding--not ever. Maybe it wasn't the big deal then that it is now, with all the wedding stuff on television, etc. But I never had any interest in having a big wedding, never cared about being the center of attention or having a huge spectacle, and I couldn't ask my parents to pay for something like that, even if I had wanted it.

Our little wedding in the chapel in Miami, Oklahoma, worked just fine. The wedding itself doesn't matter, it's the marriage that matters.

Bob took me out to dinner to Stephenson's Apple Farm Restaurant Wednesday night. The last couple of times we went there we felt like it wasn't as good as it had been, but it's kind of "our" place since we've been going there forever, and that's where I wanted to go. And it was good, just as good as it used to be. We had a nice time. It's sort of far away from home, but I always enjoy the drive. I always fall asleep on the way home, too. Bob got a call on his cell phone about half the way home, so I felt free to doze, and it was nice.

He gave me a beautiful 4-carat "London Blue" topaz pendant and matching emerald cut earrings. It was big surprise--I thought we were getting each other small gifts this year. Unfortunately, when we make that kind of an agreement, I always keep it, and Bob almost always ignores it. I bought him a pair of kitchen shears.


In this thin sun, snowdrops blossom
January orchids too, clumping in my wood.
Not a heart-thrumming miracle, but one
Of Nature’s faithful promises of Spring,
Year stacks on year, like woodrings
Or a good marriage, growing into itself.

~ David Knopfler, Blood Stones and Rhythmic Beasts

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Rainy day

Everyone's out of town this weekend. Barb's in Las Vegas, David's in Switzerland, and Bob's up at the "Duck Club" – the hunting cabin.

When he called last night, he said that it would be perfect if only I were there. I said yeah, right, and he said, "But you'd like it! There's a lot of wildlife – skunks and possums and snakes and mice . . . and that's only inside the cabin!" He was teasing, but only a little – he had to chase a snake outside yesterday. I think he was kidding about the skunks . . .

It was cold and rainy all day today. I wouldn't have been surprised to see snow. I don't know how cold it got, but getting in and out of the car all day in the rain was making me grumpy. I wore overalls and a big gray sweatshirt, and wore a ball cap to keep the rain off. I'm sure I looked delightful. Man, I hate winter, but I hate rain more. I know we need it, but aside from yesterday, it's been raining all week.

Today I did my usual – went to the bank to deposit a check, went to the library to pick up a couple of books that I had on hold, and got a few DVD movies. I had planned to watch them tonight, but I probably won't, since it's getting a little late. I went to the bookstore and got a few knitting magazines, and to Target to get something for dinner. I ended up with Margaritaville frozen coconut shrimp in honor of Barb, who's in Las Vegas for a Jimmy Buffett concert with a friend.

So it's just the kitties and me this weekend. This cold, rainy weekend . . .

I also finally remembered to go down to the basement and get my Halloween decorations. Just a few things that hang on the walls – a wooden witch holding a black cat that hangs in the front hall, along with a tapestry bell-pull sort of thing with ghosts and bats, and a wooden quarter moon with a black cat sitting in it. I also have a wooden pumpkin to put on the front door, but I decided to wait until tomorrow morning to put it out.

When I was at Target today I looked at, and admired, all of the Halloween decorating stuff: rugs and towels and soap dispensers and placemats . . . oh! I remember what it was that caused me to start thinking about it. They've got Christmas stuff out already, and I noticed a Christmas shower curtain, and boxes of shower curtain hooks shaped like snowmen. There were also Halloween wastebaskets.

Now, I admit that I probably already go further than most people do by putting up the few decorations that I have, but even I can't imagine completely redecorating the entire house, down to the shower curtains, for a holiday. Maybe if I had a lot more money, and a lot more time, I would, but I kind of doubt it. I strive for balance in most things, and frankly I kind of like the surprise of a few little things scattered around the house rather than changing every last thing. It was a pretty cute shower curtain, though . . .

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Monday, October 16, 2006

Nobody cares what you had for lunch

At Bob's urging, I just made my lunch for tomorrow. A bowl of chili, with a little baggie of cheese to sprinkle on top; carrots and celery sticks with Ranch dressing for dipping; and a "guacamole kit" -- an avocado, and a container with some salsa, lemon juice, cumin, sour cream, and salt. Hopefully the avocado will be good--you never know until you cut one open. But assuming it is, I'll peel it and mash it, and mix it with the other stuff, and have guacamole--I also stuck in a few stale, broken tortilla chips from the bottom of a bag that I found in the cabinet.

I've been looking through a bunch of lunch photos on Flickr, like Show Me Your Lunch!. There are also groups devoted to particular lunch boxes, i.e., Laptop Lunch and Mr. Bento. Also just generic, and various bento boxes.

I'm not sure why it's so fascinating to me, but I just love to see what everyone packs for their lunch. It inspires me to think of new things for my own lunch. I sometimes wish that food wasn't so important to me, but having something fun to look forward to for lunch really improves my day. Last week I took mostly salads--lettuce, but lots of stuff added, like fresh mushrooms, ripe olives, banana peppers, artichoke hearts. I made vegetable soup this weekend, so today I took a salad and a bowl of soup.

There's a new book out, No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog, and a lot of bloggers have been mentioning it. The proliferation of "lunch" photo groups would kind of belie that notion, though. (I realize it's just a silly title to get attention, and I do get the point. But I still like to see what everyone has for lunch.)

A long-time reader, Val, in Indiana, sent us a Halloween care package--an orange handtowel with a black cat on it, Halloween votive candles, a pumpkin bread mix, jams and jellies, apple cider tea, and a container of peanut butter dog treats that she made herself for Simon and Jojo. I took them in to work today, and Dave was amazed that someone would take the time and trouble to do that. But hey, those dogs are celebrities! Rock stars, even!

It really is interesting how when you read someone's site for awhile (or, in the case of this site, some people have been reading it for ten years!) you get to know and care for the people you're reading about. Through what I write, and the pictures that I post, everyone knows what my workplace looks like, who I work with, and what the dogs get up to. And, of course, what Bob is like, and what the cats are doing . . . I don't know. It's kind of a weird thing, I guess. But interesting, and I still enjoy doing it.

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Friday, October 13, 2006

Going crazy

Last Saturday night, late, I was half asleep in my chair, Dinah on my lap, when Bob called down that he was going to bed. I answered that I was coming up, too, and I got up and turned off my lamp. All the other lights were out downstairs, and I walked through the dark dining room to the hallway--if I had turned on the light first, I would have had to walk ALL the way across the dining room (that was sarcasm), turn on the overhead light, then go BACK and turn off the lamp.

I stumbled over the cats' cardboard catnip scratching box, fell, had nothing to catch myself on, and banged my arm hard against the sewing machine cabinet. Something stabbed me, also, but I'm still not exactly sure what. I thought it was the cat "hammock" (broken), but when I looked at it later, I didn't see anything sharp. I threw it away, anyway.

I turned on the lights and went upstairs; Bob was already in bed. I told him that I had fallen, and he said "Did you break anything?" and "Do you want me to go get you an ice pack?" I said no to both questions, mopped up the blood on the (small) puncture wound, and went to bed.

In the morning my forearm was completely black and blue; by now, a week later, it's several lovely shades of yellow and purple. I'm really just lucky that I didn't break it. Cello, of course, said, "Did you press your emergency 'I've fallen and I can't get up' button?" I still take grief for being the oldest one at the office, although not a lot.

Anyway, I survived, and I've been wearing mostly long-sleeved shirts. It's turned cold here, so that isn't a hardship.

Conversation yesterday between Dave and Dominick (Cello's four-year-old son)--Dave was getting his things together to leave for the day; Dominick had been throwing a tennis ball for the dogs:

Dominick: Where are you going, Dave?

Dave: Crazy. Want to come with me?

Dominick: Yes! Can I bring the ball?

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I did a short radio interview tonight, for a local station, Star 102. I've never done that before. I was nervous, but it seemed to go okay. Wendy, the woman who contacted me, originally saw Tealeaves when it appeared in Daily Om a couple of years ago--almost exactly a couple of years ago, as a matter of fact. She said she was doing some organizing of her website recently and did a little poking around at my site and discovered that I was local, so she contacted me and asked me if I'd do an interview.

She said she would put it up on the website, so when she does, I'll link to it so everyone can hear how dumb I sound. :)

I decorated for Halloween today at the office--a plug-in Jack-o'Lantern on the file cabinet, the "The Witch is In/Out" sign on my door, and a wooden spider and web hanging on the nail with my calendar. I've been very cautious about hanging things, not wanting to put too many nail holes in the newly-refinished walls. The guy who painted them did such a good job of prepping and filling up all the holes and sanding off the rough spots that I hate to mar the pristine finish.

Cello came into my office tonight as the day was winding down, to see how things were going, and he gestured at the big, blank, blue wall. He said, "You need something on that wall. A painting. Of Bob! A portrait of Bob!" Well, maybe not that, but yeah, I need something. Maybe I should go looking for a poster or something to put there.

I remember years ago, when I worked for Gulf Oil, we were moving into new offices and my boss at the time (who has since died) gave me a budget and told me to go buy some art. It was right around the time of the Plaza Art Fair, so I went there and bought a couple of paintings, something I had never done before (or since). They were both very simple landscapes--one a watercolor with a pen and ink drawing on top of it and the other a monochromatic tree made by scratching a design into a canvas that had been held over a fire so that the smoke colored it. Very unusual.

And fortunately I bought pieces that I liked, because when the company left town and we lost our jobs, he let me keep the art.

Oh, so anyway, my point was that I decorated for Halloween at the office, and also decorated the website with the "Halloween window." I keep thinking that I need to re-do the website, but I just never seem to get around to it. One of those "the shoemaker's children go barefoot" kinds of things, I guess. Or "physician, heal thyself." I suppose it's a testament to the design that I've been basically happy with it for so long. Wow. I just looked -- since 2002. It doesn't really seem to me to be dated, although maybe it is.

But it will probably stay the way it is for awhile yet, anyway. Just too much other stuff going on. And it's so enormous by now that the thought of redesigning it is daunting. Ah well. I'll worry about that tomorrow, Scarlett.

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Friday, October 06, 2006

Nice while it lasted

I hadn't been to the gym for a few days, but a couple of weeks ago I went after work, only to find the parking lot completely empty. I thought, well, maybe the air conditioning is broken or something, but when I got up to the door I saw that there was a notice on it that it had been sold, and closed.

It said that our memberships had been transferred to another club a couple of miles away; I didn't really think that I'd actually go in, at least not right then, but I did drive over to check it out.

My normal (old) club was really small; kind of old, but fine. It had a pool and hot tub and sauna, which I hadn't used much lately, but which I enjoyed having anyway. The new club (I looked it up on the internet when I got home) is billed as something like an "Executive Athletic Club;" they have events like wine tastings, and in addition to hot tubs in the locker rooms, they have a communal one. I suppose you can sit there while you're having your wine . . .

The old club was women-only, which is the main reason that I joined it. I just wanted to be able to go and get my workout done, and maybe sit in the hot tub or get in the pool, and not think about what I looked like. Not that I think anyone's going to be checking me out or anything, just that I don't want to even have to think about that. Nor do I want to have to worry about running into someone I know.

When I got there the other night, the parking lot was packed -- a big parking lot, with nearly every spot full, and several big SUVs circling around looking for spaces, people walking in with tennis rackets, and towels around their necks . . . if that's what you want, it looks like a great place. It's not what I want, not at all. Raquetball and tennis and an indoor/outdoor pool, a café, I think, and a gift shop . . . and wine tasting events and belly dancing classes.

I'm so disappointed.

I agonized over it for a little bit. I knew I should check it out, and give it a chance, but I just couldn't face it. So I called the new club and asked them what I needed to do to cancel my membership. The woman on the phone said I had to come in and fill out a form, and I said okay, that I was a former member of the other club, and wasn't interested in being a member of the new one -- that I had fulfilled my membership contract and was now on month-to-month, so I assumed it wouldn't be a big deal to cancel it.

(That's not really what I assumed at all, I assumed that they'd give me a hard time and hard sell, but I was just trying to be expeditious.) She said, oh, in that case, you'll have to call "Corporate." I said, okay, what's the number, and she said she didn't have a number, but she thought she might have their address around here someplace . . .

She shuffled some papers, took another phone call from someone wanting directions to the club (probably a displaced someone, like me), then came back on and said she couldn't find it, sorry. I said, okay, do you have any other suggestions? And she suggested that I call back some other time, that maybe somebody else would know what to do. Very helpful.

So I went back to the website, found an email contact form, and sent in a question, not really thinking that anyone would bother to call me back. In the meantime, I got a credit card statement and saw that there was a phone number on it next to the payment information, so I called, and it turned out to be a financial concern that handles installment contracts for businesses like gyms. I was on hold for awhile, then someone answered, and she said that I had to print out a form from their website and send it in with a copy of my contract, and I had to give them 30 days' notice to cancel.

So I printed out the form, and wondered where in the heck the contract was . . .

But then, someone from the new club emailed me. After exchanging a few emails, she cancelled the membership for me with no problems at all. I have to assume that I wasn't the first one from New Lady Fitness that had contacted them and wanted to cancel. Ah well. It was nice while it lasted. I'm kind of hoping that someone will buy the building, renovate it, and open up a new club there. I'll kind of keep my eye on it, anyway.

And they cancelled my television show -- Three Moons Over Milford. Eight shows, one season, a cliffhanger ending, and it's gone.

Another one bites the dust.

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Date night

I kind of like a set schedule -- certain things that happen on certain days. For awhile, I was driving through McDonald's on Thursday mornings for breakfast on the way to work -- kind of a reward for getting through the week, almost, and something to look forward to. I don't do that anymore, though.

For a couple of years, I think, Friday has been my television night. It started out with Monk, and now I don't even remember what came after that originally, but then for awhile it was Monk, Psych, and House, M.D., which was just perfect. It's all reruns now, of course, but Friday is still my night to kick back and do nothing, pick up something special for dinner, and watch television and knit.

Of course, "something special" was usually Chinese from the grocery store, or a burrito bol at Chipotlé, but again, it was something to look forward to, something easy and fun.

On Friday Bob called me and asked me what he should make me for dinner, and I said, it's Friday night, I'll pick something up or, I asked, would you like to go over to Jason's? We both like Jason's Deli -- they have a great salad bar and Bob likes their sandwiches. And it's fairly reasonable for dinner out -- less than $20 for both of us. He said he'd had lunch out and probably wouldn't want anything for dinner. So I said that was fine, I'd just get Chinese or something.

Then he called me back and said yeah, let's go out. He said, "I like our date nights," and I said that I did, too. When we're at home, he's mostly up in his office and I'm mostly downstairs, each of us either on our respective computers or watching television separately, and it's nice to go out once in awhile and sit across the table from each other and eat and talk. I'd been thinking that I'd ask him if we could institute a standing "date night," but I guess it happened without me doing anything.

After we ate, we visited the swans at the water retention basin again. We only saw two, though, and there were three there last time; we believe their wings are clipped, so they can't fly away. Hopefully the third one was just somewhere where we couldn't see him, and something hadn't happened to him.

With the coming of Autumn and cooler days, Bob gets more energetic, while I start winding down. He painted the kitchen ceiling Friday, and he's planning on starting to paint the whole house (inside) next week. He stripped the bed and turned the mattress yesterday.

Yesterday I was terribly depressed. I feel fine today, but it's pretty interesting, I think, how he comes to life when the weather cools off and I start the downhill slide toward winter.

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month