Saturday, April 12, 2014

My sick kitties

Two of our three kitties are very sick. And not with the same thing. Sassy and Silver are from the same litter and are thirteen years old. They’ve had good lives and have generally been healthy. Sassy gains and loses weight based on whether or not she’s the dominant cat at the food bowl. (If it was up to her, she’d always be the dominant cat and she’d be overweight!)

When we got home from our trip, we noticed that Sassy was kind of lethargic and acting funny. She’d sit for a half hour just staring at her water bowl. Finally, after a day or two, we realized that she’s lost a fair amount of weight – her vertebrae are palpable all the way through her hip bones. She doesn’t look boney because of all her long hair. I haven’t seen her go downstairs to eat and we haven’t had to fill the foodbowl as much, either. I did coax her to eat a little canned food yesterday and today. A friend who is a vet came by today and thinks she most likely has a chronic illness, but we’d have to do blood work to see. And then we’d have to decide what to do and how much, if any, intervention we’d be willing to pursue.

Silver (my cat – kind of) was fine until she threw up some thread that she had swallowed. But, she didn’t get it all up, so we cut it off at her mouth, hoping she’d swallow it and either vomit it up or get it through the rest of her GI tract safely. Unfortunately, things weren’t looking good last night. She growled when I tried to feel her tummy. She was definitely guarding and hiding in corners. We were prepared for her to have a surgical abdomen today. But, she seems to have improved. I guess the thread either hasn’t anchored or it has undone itself from anchoring and is moving through. We couldn’t get her in to any of the local vets, so a friend who is a vet came by and gave her some meds to try to get her bowels moving. So, here’s praying that she gets this foreign body out of her system. And that we find  the source of the thread in all of our cleaning. Because we have no idea where this cat found thread.

And Sophie is doing just fine if she’d stay off the table when there’s pizza on it! She can clearly sense that something’s going on and she hasn’t been attacking Silver and Sassy

What’s crazy is that Silver and Sassy are so sick at the same time, but with completely different things. What a coincidence!

Pray for my sweet kitties. And pray that PWM and I will know what to dol

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Too Much Fun!

Our plan this last week was to drive down to Mississippi, get some furniture from my parents’ shed that they’re clearing out, drive home, and be done. It was supposed to be pleasant, a little fun. It wasn’t supposed to be exciting. But it was. Too exciting for our taste. But, we’re home, safe and sound, with furniture.

We left Wisconsin Thursday morning at 7am, an hour later than expected because PWM decided to let us sleep an extra hour, figuring I’d drive be willing to drive later in the night if we decided we wanted to drive late into the night. We’re glad that we did. There was a dusting of snow on the ground when we got up, but the roads weren’t bad when we left. We found out later, though, that the roads had been icy at 6am and an acquaintance of ours had rolled his car that morning. We were glad to skip that.

We got past St. Louis and had hoped to drive further, but the weather was very stormy. The first place that we pulled off looked a bit sketchy, so PWM decided to go on to the next exit. The next place was better, which was good because the storm was so bad that he really couldn’t see to drive anymore. When we stopped under the awning of the hotel, we were told that we might want to come in the lobby even if we didn’t stay the night because the area was under a tornado warning. So, we checked in there for the night and stayed well away from the window in our room. Had we gone one more exit, we probably would have run right into the tornados in Cape Girardeau. We ended up having PopTarts for dinner. Better than running into a tornado!

We planned to get up and out early the next am. But, at 3am, the smoke alarm went off, so we were all very awake. (Apparently, someone decided to smoke in their room.) Well, we decided to get going at 4am. Yay. It turned out to be a good choice.

Around 10am (on Friday, BTW), the Trooper (our vehicle) started running poorly. We were (naively) hoping it was just some bad gas, but were afraid that it wasn’t. And things weren’t getting better, although they weren’t getting worse. We called ahead to my parents who got the name of a good mechanic from my aunt, and then PWM called to see if they could look at the Trooper when we got in to McComb. Since we had been driving since 4 in the blessed am, we would be getting in to McComb before 3pm, so it worked out to have them look at the Trooper. In fact, while I was napping at my aunt’s house late in the afternoon, the mechanic found the part he needed (the only one in Pike County) and replaced it for a reasonable price all that afternoon. Talk about a miracle!

During my Friday nap, PWM and my dad consulted on whether we could get the furniture into a trailer to pull behind the Trooper or whether we’d need a truck. They decided on a truck and found one about an hour’s drive away that they could pick up Saturday morning. Also Friday, my parents took care of some business that they thought would take several more months to wrap up. Overall, we were pleased.

Saturday was packing day. And, it was the reason for having Wild Man along! (Besides, he’s cute!) PWM and Wild Man packed up a living room’s worth of furniture that my parents used to have in their trailer that they gave me along with my aunt’s china cabinet and my grandmother’s buffet and a few other pieces. When my head wasn’t bothering me, I helped my mom sort some stuff – and give away a lot of it!

We got to visit several family members on Saturday and Sunday. That’s always fun. We went out for catfish on Saturday night and I got fried crawfish!! Yay!! I truly miss crawfish!

The only real excitement on the trip home is that Wild Man got to drive a lot. He and I were in the Trooper and I was happy to let him drive. He wasn’t crazy about driving through cities at first, but once he drove through Jackson, MS, he decided it really wasn’t so bad. We didn’t get as far as we’d like on Monday night because I was getting a headache, but we started early yesterday. We got home around 6pm last night. PWM and Wild Man got all the living room furniture out of the truck last night then got some help to empty every thing else this morning. When I got out of bed, PWM and I returned the UHaul truck.

And the trip is now over. Except for the recovery. Which may take a couple of weeks.

I’m off to do some more recovery.

Friday, February 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday–February 28, 2014

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After two weeks of neglecting my blog, I’m sure I have more than seven things I could share, but I’ll limit this post to just seven.

1. Wild Man is getting all of his stuff ready for Solo and Ensemble tomorrow. He is performing in seven (yes, SEVEN!) musical pieces tomorrow: 2 pieces with Show Choir, Stars from Les Mis for Musical Theater Solo, Vocal Solo, Vocal Duet, Percussion Ensemble, and Marimba Solo. He’s going to be a busy boy tomorrow!

2. Between migraines, I’ve actually gotten some cleaning and organizing done around the house. Goodwill and St. Vincent’s are the recipients of our efforts. I even gave away some school books this time around; PWM is thrilled!

3. It is officially the second coldest winter in our area since records have been kept. We don’t even blink an eye when the temperatures are below zero anymore. Spring could come anytime. Really.

4. Due to the depressing winter, one of the pipes going from the house to the shop has frozen. It probably hasn’t burst the pipe because it froze because the frost line in the ground has gone low enough to freeze pipes that are usually low enough to not freeze. (Did that make any sense?) In fact, our town has us all running water so the town pipes don’t freeze. When people taking knitting classes need to use the bathroom, we have to escort them into the house, which I guess is a good incentive to keep the bathroom clean.

5. We’re still working on eating more healthy, particularly because of PWM’s elevated blood sugars. He tried making pizza with cauliflower crust today which he said wasn’t too bad, but was pretty labor-intensive. I eat pretty poorly when I have a migraine because I have little appetite and because I have no interest in actually cooking anything. So, I pretty much have a few graham crackers and some milk. But, when my head feels better, I’ve been eating veggies and some fruit, too. Someone, be proud of me!

6. I decided to try a yoga video the other day and got through 30 minutes of it. I figured I’d do the other 30 minutes yesterday – until I got up. Oh. My. Goodness. I was really sore and I’m still feeling it today. (Actually, I have a migraine, so I hurt everywhere today.) I ended up just doing treadmill yesterday. I guess I’ll try yoga when this headache calms down (tomorrow?). It did seem like it could be a relaxing form of exercise when I get used to it.

7. This has been the first winter in several years that I didn’t end up calling my doctor for more meds for depression. That has to be partly due to the fact that I’m pretty maxed out on my depression meds. Otherwise, it’s something of a miracle since it’s been so cold and I’ve been indoors and I’ve had lots of headaches. But, I think it’s notable. And it allows me to do useful things between headache instead of sit and stare at a wall.

And, on that optimistic note, I’ll remind you that comments are most welcome and suggest that you check out 7 Quick Takes at Jen’s blog!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Life–February 13, 2014

  • I’ve been 3 1/2 days without significant headache!! Now I’m nervous about how long this can actually continue!
  • Because of my headache reprieve, I’ve been trying to get some stuff done around the house. PWM and I cleaned out our upstairs closet and moved clothes around. In the end, we had three good-sized boxes of stuff to go to St. Vincent’s or Goodwill.
  • Yesterday, we cleaned out the coat closet and filled another box with stuff to give away.
  • I also made a couple of pound cakes yesterday – one to give away and one to have here at home. I needed to make one to keep here at home because Wild Man heard I was making a pound cake and felt very strongly that I needed to make one that he could eat.
  • Have you been watching the Olympics? We’ve been watching them pretty much every night. I’ve actually been enjoying skiing and snowboarding, although I keep wanting to yell at them, “Don’t die, don’t die!!”
  • I’ve got four books out from the library to read. My eyes are too big for my reading ability again. We’ll see which ones actually get read!

That’s a little bit of what’s going on around here.

Romans 12:15–February 13, 2014

In Romans 12, Paul is giving the Romans some practical ways to show love. In verse 15, he writes, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” This has been the week for it.

One of my college friends is on hospice and not expected to live out the week. Unfortunately, she lives down South and I won’t make it to the funeral. Thankfully, I’m in touch with friends through social media. Last night I found out that one of my previous co-workers died from ALS. His death wasn’t unexpected; he quit practicing medicine soon after I did because of the diagnosis. But, it’s sad. He was only 63. And I found that another former co-worker, this time a back office employee, has breast cancer. That’s a lot of mourning for one week, if you ask me.

But, there are blessings. I’ve had three non-migraine days in a row. That must count for something. But, more substantially, two women (much younger than I) who happen to live in different states than I have given birth to precious babies this week. I am thanking God for Facebook! I can’t get enough pictures of these darling sweeties. And, another friend made it to the 36 week mark without having her baby! So, of course, we’re all on pins and needles for that one to be born. (Especially me, because that baby is here in town and I’ll get to hold and snuggle him occasionally. Well, I’ll have to get in line, but eventually, I’ll get so see him in person.)

And through all of this, God is in control. Death is a part of the cycle of life and death that we all must face. Yes, my college friend is too young to die. As was my co-worker. The way that we can love those around us best right now is to just “mourn with those who mourn”. These people have touched a lot of lives and I know that they will be very missed and there will be much mourning. But, we are also to love by “rejoic(ing) with those who rejoice”. And I know, under all the sleeplessness, there is much rejoicing for new life brought into the world.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Abide 2/9/2014

This is one of my words for this year. So far, I’ve been focusing on reading and meditating on John 15. Later, I’ll work on 1 John. Then, I’ll work on more in-depth study.

First, here’s the text of the first part of John 15:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

The take-home message from this passage of scripture is that we abide (or remain) in Christ through obedience. And his command to us is LOVE. It sounds pretty easy, right? Just love. Since I don’t interact too much with the world these days because of my headaches, maybe it is a little bit easier for me. I’ve got two people in the house all day long that I have to focus on loving. That could take some work.

So, LOVE. I’ll work on it. Next time, I’ll try to have some more thoughts on abiding in Christ.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Debate

So, the Ken Ham-Bill Nye debate was tonight. Did you get to watch it? I did.

Ham had his usual talking points of the bible being the only source of truth and having evidence that points to “thousands of years” instead of “millions of years”. He also had video clips of scientists who espouse YEC beliefs. What was new to me was that he made a difference between experimental science (things we can hypothesize and test) and observational science (things that happened in the past).

Nye was a little slower getting started. His five minute opening wasn’t all that great, but he improved quickly. In the thirty minute segment, he finally got to what was important; he showed that evolutionary theory could be predictive. That is, observational science is no different from experimental science. I wish he would have been a little more overt about it, though. Anyway, he showed how scientists predicted that there should be a certain fossil in the record and how they eventually found it. Real science.

What I would really like to see debated, though, is the theology of young-earth creationism. There are a lot of Christians who are really confused because they hear that science supports things like and old earth and evolution, but the bible doesn’t. What they need to hear is that there are other interpretations of the book of Genesis that “real” Christians believe. You don’t have to give up your faith to believe something besides young earth creationism.

Did you see the debate? What did you think?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lagniappe–January 26, 2014

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Life has been bustling on at our little cottage. Here are some highlights.

  • Wild Man was supposed to be the speaker for his youth group meeting last week, but it got cancelled because of icy and dangerous roads. I assume, he’ll be speaking this week if they don’t cancel because of the cold.
  • Wild Man did lead worship for the regular Sunday morning church services today! It was pretty impressive to see my 15 year old leading today and not just playing guitar or drums. I think this may be a special gift from God for him.
  • Rosie Girl is back at school and has had a good first week. She was concerned about her “First Year Seminar” which is about stories from various cultures, but the professor is the mom of one of her dance students from last year. And the content is more interesting than she expected.
  • Rosie Girl is also taking the only math class she’ll have to take in college. (She was soooooo close to testing out of math!) She was reassured, though, the first day of class that it won’t be too bad because she completely understood the material. Besides, PWM is a math tutor and they can always Skype if she needs help.
  • I found out at my audiology appointment this week that I really do have hearing loss and that the rest of the family is not actually mumbling at me for fun. I haven’t noticed problems when I’m out and about – at church and things like that – but, I do have to turn the TV up and I miss stuff on TV and when PWM and the kids talk to me. The audiologist said it’s bad enough that I might want to consider hearing aids. We’ll have to see what I think at my next visit because they certainly aren’t cheap. But, I’d like to be able to hear better. Hmmmmm.
  • We’ve been having installation installed in our house over the last week. That’s been interesting. The workers are very good about cleaning up after themselves – I don’t think my stairs will be vacuumed this thoroughly again for a good five years.  The cats freak out on a regular basis. We try to give them all a little reassurance, but the extra people and noise still makes them nervous.
  • The one good thing about all the insulation and energy-efficiency stuff is that I got a new hood over my stove! This one actually vents to the outside to prevent carbon monoxide build-up as well as get icky odors out of the kitchen. And it ha two lights which make the kitchen a much happier place.
  • PWM also had a doctor’s appointment this week and his blood sugar was officially in the diabetic range. Bummer. He has three months of intense diet and exercise to try to bring it down and avoid getting the diagnosis of Type 2 DM. So, it’s lots more healthy food and exercise for all of us.
  • The Polar Vortex is settling across the Upper Midwest again. It appears that the schools in our district are closed for tomorrow. They haven’t decided about Tuesday. So, Wild Man will be home all day tomorrow. Yay, he can do more math!!!
  • I have had a wildly productive day today. I cleaned the kitchen and living room, including vacuuming and I did the laundry. AccuWeather says that tomorrow is a high risk day for a migraine. Well, at least the house is clean.

So, that’s our life in a nutshell. The excitement level is low, but so are the temperatures. Although I don’t think those two things are actually related. I hope. I’m probably too tired to be writing any more. Let me know what’s up in your corner of the world!!