Saturday, March 15, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Power Outage & Other Things

I would like to preface this post.  I wrote this post on 11/21 but never published it and  I'm not sure why, but I'll share it with you now!

The storm that rolled through on Sunday shed a lot of light on our complete lack of preparedness.  Ack! And while the power may have come on Monday night that doesn't mean that the TV, Internet or phone worked properly.

A generator has moved up on our list of "Get One Stat" and our list of must have's for emergencies is growing daily.

On to the post!

The pine/spruce tree below - 
This is the view of our house and the addition, that was added on in the early 1900's.  Someone told me that that majestic tree is a Norway spruce.  All I know is that it sways something fierce on especially windy days. That and it stands a little more than 10 feet away from the corner of the house where our bedroom it.  Sa-weetness.

Making Curtains-
My mom came over on Friday and helped me make curtains for our overabundance of doors.  Do you know what I haven't been able to find anywhere? Curtains for doors with huge windows.  So I went and bought some full sized drapes from the Salvation Army for a few bucks and we chopped them up and hemmed them to fit the doors.

P.S. That photo to the right of the door is of my Beloved's great-grandparents, his grandmother (the littlest one) and his great-aunt before they left to go back to Sweden for a visit.  What an incredibly cool picture to have!

The forgotten places.  We have many forgotten places here in our lovely old farmhouse.  You know, the places where you put stuff to get it out of the way and then you forget about them.  I just noticed this little corner in the dining room area of our eat in kitchen. Side note: pay no attention to the fact that we still haven't put the mop boards and quarter-round in. Thanks!

Have I ever told you about my love of the Salvation Army Store, it's sister store the Goodwill and our "local" store the Ann Arbor ReUse Center? If I haven't I should have because those places are the bombdiggity.  I don't know why people get rid of some of the things they do.  Like that mirror.  I paid $4.95 for the wavy glassed beauty and just look at how wonderful it looks in the "Harry Potter Room"!* Oh, and the living room door's sister curtain.

And finally, lace curtains.  I've never been a fan of lace curtains.  That is until we bought a 150 year old farmhouse.  They just kind of go.  Of course new lace curtains look so... new and cost $20-30 a panel and for a few measly dollars you can snatch a panel at, wait for it, the Salvation Army Store! This panel I picked up for a $1.50 because I thought it would look perfect in the "Harry Potter Room", which it does!  

*When I get my poop in a group I'll do a room by room "tour" and I can explain the rooms name.

Friday, March 14, 2014

On My Cat Nike and Answers

This is a twofer post, lucky you!

First, rolling in a day late - I am linking up with Cari for her Theme Thursday.  This weeks theme was answer.  Here is my submission, it comes with a both a question and an answer:

Question: Is Spring ever coming?
Answer: No
Uh, do you see that?!? -3 air temp and -16 windchill.  And that was AFTER the 6.75" of snow that was dumped on us in a short 10 hours on Wednesday.

Moving on because I can't stand my own whining any more.


My poor, neurotic, OCD, sweet, crazy cat.
My favorite picture of her.  Her keeping watch.
So Nike has some issues.  She has been diagnosed with OCD and her one vet wanted to put her on Kitty Prozac.  Say what?! No way.  I figure I can deal with her little neuroses if she can.  She was the runt of her litter has some medical problems that aren't mental too.

Nike's life has to be set to her own regimen.  She will only eat her wet food in a certain spot.  We play together at the same time every day.  She spends the same amount of time walking all over my Beloved every morning when he lays down, being petted.  The list goes on and on.

We do the same things every day.  That is the way it has always been for her.  We're okay with that.

Then, we moved.  I don't remember her reaction being as severe when we moved to the condo but, she did have Icky and he was laid back, carefree and all "Whatevs".  He was the Yin to her Yang.

Then, in September he got sick.  And in October her big brother went away and never came home.  She was depressed, she licked all the fur off her belly, her thighs and the back side of her front legs.

Then, in December I brought Gandalf into her life.  He was locked in the library for a week where she could smell him but not interact with him.  The next week he was roaming around the house playing with her toys, sleeping in the only cat bed she's ever slept in and just generally being in her life.  The next thing you know he's gone for a week, then back for a week before being gone forever.

Then, the very next week, my Beloved and I went on our yearly Road Trip Anniversary Vacation.  We had a pet sitter come once a day to feed her, scoop her litter and play with her for an hour but for the most part, she was all alone in that big old farmhouse.  According to Dawn, her sitter, she was very good and there was no vomiting, only one accident where she aimed high and missed the litter box a bit.  When we got home- Woodoggy! She would not leave our sides.  Literally.  And she has never been a lap cat or an overly affectionate one but, all of a sudden she was sitting next to us on the couch touching one of us, sleeping in our bed, following us around.

And now? Now I've gone and done it.  Because she was so incredibly lonely and she is still acting depressed I went and rescued not one, but two kittens last Friday (their story another day).  They're locked in the library so she can smell them and she knows they're there.

This past Tuesday her aim was way off and that little cat managed to leave a Lake Superior sized puddle mostly outside of the box.  I emptied the box in the trash, washed the bejeezsus out of it and put it out on the deck. I got one of the litter boxes out that used to be hers and Icky's and is much deeper.  I was hoping that with the higher sides her bad aim wouldn't matter.  When I got home from work on Wednesday I was glad to see that she had done at least some of her business in there.

One of our "routines" is her chasing/pouncing on my hands as I fish around beneath the covers for my rice heating pads and again after they've been warmed in the microwave and I'm putting them in the bed.

Tuesday night she was acting odd and instead of playing she was sniffing.  That's when I got a sinking feeling in my gut.  I knew.  Sure enough, she peed on the quilt.  I didn't get angry, I just stripped the bed and put everything the washing machine.  I thought it was just the change of litter box and maybe it was too high for her to step into.  Wednesday was uneventful except she did only some of her business in the box again.

On my way home yesterday to pick up the kittens to take them to vet for their last distemper and general checkup, I stopped at Petco and picked up a gigantic litter box that is low in the front but is high in the back and along the sides- better to prevent poorly aimed urine from reaching the floor, yet not difficult to get in and out of.

That obviously wasn't the answer because last night was a repeat of Tuesday night.  I calmly stripped the bed and had a good quiet cry.  I woke up this morning to Coke can sized pile of "scarf and barf" vomit right outside the bedroom door.  And when I came out of the kittens room this morning she was busy in the living room producing hairballs because she's licking herself bare again.

My heart is breaking for her that she is so stressed out and is so miserable.  I cried a lot this morning, I am crying now.

My poor Nike, she's had a horrible week.

I wish I had an answer on how best to help her.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Farewell Gandalf

This is one of the unfortunate events that I mentioned.  I am finally able to talk about it.

New Year's Day

In December I decided that my heart was okay with getting a new cat.  I wanted an older cat.  Someone who was laid back, a go with the flow kind of cat.  I decided a senior male cat would be just the ticket. Someone just like Icky.

I scoured looking for the perfect cat that would counteract Nike's special neurosis.  There were a few that I thought could've fit the bill but none that jumped out at me.  And so on December 30th I may have accidentally gone into my local Humane Society.  I promised myself I was only going to look.

I cried as soon as I stepped into the room with cages stacked one on top of the other, three high, lining the walls.  I wanted to take every last one of them home.  My heart was breaking as I remembered the day I went to the Humane Society and Icky, that tiny ball of furry love, picked me out.

An employee asked me if there was anything they could do to help me and I explained what I was looking for.  He told me that the senior cats (7+) were in special rooms and that I needed to fill out paperwork in order to go into the rooms and visit with them.

Paperwork filled out, I entered the first of the Senior Rooms and there he was.  I sat down in the chair and he immediately jumped up on my lap.  A few of the other cats came around and I petted the ones that did but, he never left my side.  I stepped out and went to visit the other Senior Rooms and he sat by the glass door watching me the whole time.

My Beloved, on his lunch, called me and hearing the cats meowing in the background patiently asked "So, we're getting a new cat?"  I assured him "No, no.  I'm just visiting.  Getting a lay of the land." He repeated himself, this time as a statement, "so, we're getting a new cat."

It's a good thing they have boxes of tissue everywhere because I cried and cried as I thought of Icky and finally admitted to myself that I was going home with one of the senior cats.  And I had to choose.

I sent my Beloved a text saying that he had better come up with a name, as Smokey 3 (they obviously had two other Smokey's there) was not acceptable. I said only "He's gray and white".  I didn't hear back from him for a few hours and when he did text me it was "On my way home to meet Gandalf the Gray and White".

His first portrait, he was already sick of me sticking my phone in his face

We kept him separate from Nike in the library for week, she never really got used to him but there was no fighting or posturing, just a few hisses from her on the first day.  When he was finally released she kept a very wide berth of him.  He was Mr. Cool and all "hey, whatup. I'm going to go sit over here."

He wasn't much for playing, just hanging out.  He would sleep in bed with us, right next to our noggins.

Exactly 3 weeks to the day after we brought him home I took him to the vet.  Something was very, very wrong with guy.  Saturday and Sunday he hadn't moved.  At. All. Hadn't eaten, hadn't had anything to drink, hadn't gone to the bathroom, nothing.

The vet was alarmed when she came back with his lab results.  She said she wasn't sure he was going to live. She asked to keep him for a few days, for IV's and the like.  They kept him for a week.  I called every single day.  I stopped by to visit him in his hospital cage.  He was hooked up to an IV 24/7 and they had to force feed him.

After a week he came home with me, things were looking up.  For the first few days he was okay but he quickly started refusing to eat or drink.  And so, five weeks to the day that I brought that sweet boy home my Beloved and I went back to the vet and there, the three of us decided that Gandalf wasn't ever going to get better, that he wasn't feeling well and his quality of life wasn't going to be good and it wasn't fair to him.

I am glad that at the end of his life, for five short weeks, he was here, in my home, being loved.  I am sad that I never got a chance to really get to know him.

 Farewell Gandalf the Gray and White you were a great cat even though we didn't have a lot of time together.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Theme Thursday: Dirt

Taken 3/6/14 @ 16:00 after a warm day of 23 degrees

Somewhere, under that 5 feet of snow (I'm sticking with five.  It's my story), is dirt.

I think that's where it is at least.

Rant On: if I see or hear one more person blather on and on about their crocuses and snowdrops coming up? Oh, wait! Maybe it's the irises, or the hyacinth? I will throw a conniption fit worthy of a reality TV star.

I planted five quadrillion bulbs and I don't believe I will never see them actually bloom.  I Honestly gave up all hope on Monday when I went out to my car to go to work and the dashboard read -4 (air temp).  Sweet Mother of All Things Holy and Good in This World, it's March.  I just want to be warm again.  And for it to stop snowing.

Okay, I'm done.  I'm going to go crawl back into my den and wait out the winter.

Go check in with Cari over at Clan Donaldson for the scoop on other peeps dirt.