The weekend started with a very social Friday, lunch with an ex coworker and her 4-month-old baby boy (total flirt!) and dinner with some old high school friends, hosted by my crush who is now a woman. Oh the laughter and conversation both deep and light! It was fun to visit with her wife and our other two friends I hadn't seen a long while.

Over the day, the wind shifted and the forest fire that had been sending its smoke out to sea started sending it inland to fill our valley. By evening, it was burning my lungs and sinuses. I was having some trouble finding the right words now and then, something that happens when my brain isn't getting quite enough oxygen.

Then Saturday was spent with a quick visit to a farmer's market for the gift goodies because we were celebrating my sister's birthday that night. I found two ceramic Okiban vases for her that matched her living/dining rooms. She loves to do flower arrangements and these are perfect! There was also a greeting card vendor with gorgeous hand-made cards. I was set for my sister.

The rest of the weekend aside from the dinner out with my sister and family was spent trying not to exert myself and mostly wearing a particle mask to keep the smoke particles out of my lungs. I have very little energy so being still was not a problem. I wonder if I can drive to work wearing this thing or if it's illegal? I need a HEPA filter in my car.
The raccoons have gotten braver. Because I've been closing off the pet door when I go to bed, they've been in twice this week while I was still up. I'd get up to go to bed to find a raccoon mess. I think it was only one of them this time because it wasn't as messy. That and the food dish is smaller and didn't have much in it.

The last time they were in, I cleaned it up and went to bed only to have a nightmare about it. In the dream we were in a different house with a back room made mostly of glass overlooking the green clearing that was our yard. I was trying to get Miss Cactus to come in so I could close the door to keep the wild animals away from her food but she kept hearing sounds and wanting to investigate them. The sound was from a bobcat that came bounding into the yard. I called to her anxiously wanting her to come in but she ran away around the house instead of into it. I tried to scare the bobcat away. The bobcat (which was as big as a German Shepard) was angry at me and came bounding toward the house, saw Eric and pounced against the window he stood next to, then took off to chase after Miss Cactus. I was screaming at it to leave her alone when Eric suddenly hugged me out of my dreams and into our bedroom. Apparently I was screaming out loud.

When I told him what I was dreaming he said, "Now I've saved you from a bear and a bobcat!" He's my protector from my bad dreams. Miss Cactus was right there, too. I gave her a good snuggle before I drifted off to sleep.

The bear reference was from our first camping trip when they warned us they might have to shut the campground down because a mother bear and her cub were wandering around. If they got into people food, they'd have to shut the campground down to make her move on. We were supposed to bang pots and pans to scare her off if we saw her. The first night I had a dream that she was slashing through the side of the tent and I couldn't reach my pot and spoon. I kept screaming as she slashed toward me and wondered why Eric didn't wake up. He did. And woke me up from my nightmare, saving me from the bear. He was afraid people might think he was beating me! lol

The metal slider goes into the pet door at dusk now.

Ugh.. fires in the area have me wheezing again. yuck.
It's lighter than my other teeth on purpose so I'll have incentive to break out my bleaching tray and it fits better, too. The part of the flipper that wedges in my mouth is smaller. Maybe the callouses I have on my tongue will go away now. We're making plans to start my implant in September.

There wasn't much time to celebrate. Soon after I got home [livejournal.com profile] finickynarcane called. Her cat Syerii isn't doing well at all. She wanted me to have a chance to say goodbye. He never really liked me. I don't want to bug a dying cat. Poor kitty. Poor [livejournal.com profile] finickynarcane. This is the hard part of having a beloved pet.
My headaches have been back since the beginning of July. I thought it was emotions at first and certainly they didn't help but then I tweaked it the next week. By now I should have healed from that yet I'm still fighting them.

I actually left work yesterday soon after I arrived to see a chiropractor, the swung by home to get a cold pack and my work phone which I forgot in my fuzzy headache thinking, and iced it on and off all day at work.

I realized afterward I should have come home. I hate missing work because of headaches. Ugh, hints that it's still here are twinging me. I'll take my cold pack to work again. If it comes up hard, I'll come home again.

Perhaps another round of cortisone injections in my future.
I noticed yesterday morning that a plastic bag next to my chair had been marked. This morning it was my laptop. Thank goodness I didn't leave it running something overnight! It was closed.

No more easy access to my laptop for me. I've wiped it down with antibacterial wipes but I swear I can still smell pee. I'm hoping I can scrub the little table my grandfather made from walnut burl and get the smell off of it.

Squeakers has been known to spray. She's currently taking possession of me in the living room. I suspect this is the dark side of our sweet little girl coming out. She knows I was very unhappy this morning but I have a feeling she doesn't understand why. I guess it's time I get a computer table to store my computer out of cat butt range. For now, I think I'll treat the table with enzyme cleaner and put my laptop up on something whenever I leave it.

*GRUMBLE* Girl cats aren't supposed to mark their territory! She thinks she's a boy!

** EDIT **
Maybe it's not Squeakers! I just saw our visiting Tom, Dempsey hanging around my little table after sneaking in for some food. It is a rather pungent pee. He's been known to mark in the house. *sigh*
I admit it. When I should be in bed, I'm up watching Craig Ferguson. We don't have DVR or TiVo. I could record him on our VCR but the new TV doesn't like it very well and the sound is very quiet on recorded shows. So... I stay up past bedtime to see if he's going to open with a lip sync musical number. I just LOVE those. Here are three of my favorites! I don't know if the embed thing works or not. I know it doesn't in email.


Istanbul




Two more under here )
I awoke this morning with Miss Cactus in her usual spot next to my ankles and Squeakers on my feet. To help my lower back, I sleep with a pillow under my lower legs. Squeak thinks that pillow is there for her to sleep like a Queen when Miss Cactus allows her on the bed, anyway. You see, the bed belongs to Miss Cactus. We belong to Miss Cactus when we're in bed. It was a treat to wake up with both of them snuggling. They took turns coming up to my hands for pets. Squeakers went to sleep lying on one of my hands during a sleep snooze period. So sweet!

Squeakers is maturing into a big kitty. She's still crazy wild at moments but is more and more a sweet girl wanting snuggles.

In other news: After a several month break from fresh catnip, Loki demanded some this morning. I swear that cat is a catnip junkie.
I just finished cleaning up a HUGE mess in the kitchen. Apparently some raccoon has introduced her babies to our yard. They cleaned out Chloe's food and tipped over her water dish. The adult raccoons can't fit through the outer kitty door so I'm guessing some youngsters came into the kitchen to clean out the bowl containing the same cat food Chloe gets. Both water dishes were fouled. The little glass one was nearly empty except for some soggy pieces of formerly dry cat food. The dry food dish was almost empty except for several pieces of soggy food, too. The floor was wet between the dishes and the kitty door.

AAAARGH! Not in the HOUSE! I sterilized the dishes and the floor in the feeding area. The whole floor needs mopping with antibacterial stuff now. Nasty dirty raccoons!

The metal door will be in the pet door tonight. I'll put a cinder block under the bedroom window to make it easier for the kitties to come and go that way during the night. I don't think raccoons are brave enough to enter a room occupied by humans. Hopefully by the time it's too cold to leave the window open, the young raccoons will be too large or will have forgotten about the bounty of food in our kitchen.

This makes going on an overnight trip problematic. *sigh* As the late great Gilda Radner used to say, "It's always something."
I'm finding myself in a time of frequent prayers for people and pets in my life. Understand I'm not affiliated with any religion. I've got a personal relationship with my Higher Power that came to a balance through the 12-Step program. I ask for strength, comfort and the best possible outcome for those in crisis and the people who love them.

I'm woefully behind on my FL. If you want me to add someone to my prayers, please let me know.

Right now I'm praying for:

[livejournal.com profile] finickynarcane and her cat Syerii who is in failing health.

My friend Faten and her mom who has just had surgery for anal cancer that has spread to her liver.

My friend Deanna and her boyfriend/partner who was diagnosed with a brain bleed yesterday. They have a five-year-old daughter.

Please tell me if you need me to add anyone. If you believe in prayer and want to help send prayers or thoughts to any of the above, I'm sure they'll be grateful. Faten and Deanna have asked for prayers.
I had a sore throat starting Friday after seriously swollen sinuses all week. My radiator had a small leak which I needed to get fixed but Eric's car was in the shop all week. Friday I googled antifreeze fumes and found out I might be suffering from mild poisoning. One of the sites tried to infect my work computer with a fake antivirus virus, which I was able to cure. For the record, you DON'T have to click anything for the initial infection. They can get you just by you looking at a website.

As it turned out, my sister had a virus right after we were at her house with the same symptoms so I risked my computer for nothing.

Eric got his car back on Friday, the same day I got a reference from a guy in the company auto shop for his friend's radiator shop. The friend has five stars on Yelp.com. I got a really good deal. It pays to know people who know people!

Today I'm feeling much better. What a good way to start the week!
What a lovely birthday weekend I had! At work I was surprised by a bouquet of balloons, a pretty plant in a beautiful blue ceramic mug and a card that played part of Mr. Roboto. I made my coworkers laugh by dancing in my chair. lol There were four mylar balloons shaped like stars, the largest is bigger than any balloon I've ever had before that says Happy Birthday to you on it. The kitties aren't quite sure what to make of them. They'll be chasing the weight soon. They've poked at it.

Friday night Eric and I had burritos followed by the movie "Up" in 3D. WOW! 3D has really improved! Even the previews were in 3D. It was nice that they've stopped the stupid tricks of throwing things at the audience and simply let us watch the story. I didn't cry as others warned me I would but it was very sweet story. If you go see "Up" and you see with both eyes, I recommend the 3D version.

We need to go see the movie with the guinea pigs in 3D when it comes out. Agent something. Ice Age 3(?) also looks good. My first reaction to the start of it was "Ooh, nice fur!" lol Eric and I are both quite interested in the mechanics of computer animation. Fur is hard. Pixar is amazing in how they've dealt with it. Eric read the article about Up in the 3D magazine he gets. Each balloon in the bunch was individually rendered and there was a nearly unbelievable number of them. They had to write a program to deal with how each balloon interacted with each other because humans simply couldn't do it.

The day before my birthday, a bouquet of irises arrived from April, Jonathan's foster mom. They were just starting to bloom. Now they're in full bloom. I love irises! I wondered if she sent them to arrive the day before as a nudge to Eric who forgot my birthday last year. teehee! No need. He remembered.

Eric gave me the one thing I had on my list, 40th anniversary edition of Woodstock. I was as amazed by the packaging as I was by the contents. It's a suede covered outer box, complete with fringes! I just wanted the dvd's and instead I was thrilled at the 3 day ticket, the copies of notes people left for each other, the miniature Life magazine all about Woodstock, the list of statistics - 15 miles, the average distance walked to the grounds from where cars were left in the traffic jam, etc. He says the complete set of music CD's are on their way but he admits those are for both of us.

My sister gave me a bunch of good books to read and a gift certificate for my favorite online store so I can continue replacing my threadbare wardrobe. I kept hoping I'd lose more weight and held off buying clothes. Now they're losing buttons and the cloth at the seams are fraying and I'm actually a little fatter than I was. :(

Mom gave me money, as usual. That's cool. More for the new clothes.

Brandon gave me a movie and a sweater defuzzer.

Altogether I'm quite spoiled.

Unfortunately, I couldn't completely enjoy my birthday. I've got a bad pain in my thigh that has been there for a week. I thought it was something I'd had before but it's different and I think it's getting worse. Doctor's appointment today. Plus the air has been bad for the last several days and I've been having asthma attacks at work. The building isn't good for me, I knew that when I took the job. When the air outside is bad enough to make me struggle a little, it means using my rescue inhaler at work just to get through the day. Luckily, they care and are working with me to find the things that make it bad. They've moved the smoking station outside to be downwind of the air intakes of the building - when the prevailing winds are blowing. Of course that means when the wind is going the opposite way like when storm systems are approaching, it's upwind of the building air intakes. *sigh*

Oh well, gotta run.
The first two were expected and I guess if you knew him intimately, Michael Jackson's was expected at some point, too. Well, I didn't and I'm very sad for his kids. Now Billy Mays, the most annoying guy on TV? I wished him to stop yelling, not to die.

The one paying voice-over job I came closest to landing was a character inspired by one of MJ's songs. I was auditioning for the new Reader Rabbit when I used "Ben" to get into character. We had to sing a song and do some lines. I got a call-back, my very first. Sadly, I'd done a second character and they didn't say which one they liked. I did the other on the call-back and that was the end of it.

Ah Michael, what a long strange trip it's been.
This poll is inspired by this news article on right ear preference I read this morning. I'm not a scientist, I'm just curious if anyone else has cross-dominance the way I do.


[Poll #1421047]

OPOSSUMS!

Jun. 23rd, 2009 10:33 pm
Last night just before I went to bed I thought I heard a cat in severe distress, choking in the front yard. Running to the sound I discovered two young opossums locked together in battle. The sound was them vocalizing in anger.

Yelling "HEY!" didn't phase them so I clapped my hands loudly, stomped my foot and shouted "STOP THAT!" at them, realizing a fraction of a second later that these were angry wild animals and I was about four feet from them. Opossums are generally gentle creatures, preferring to flee if possible. I was hoping they'd act as expected.

The combination of sounds broke their focus and they separated, panting in shock staring at me. Would they attack me? Would they play dead? Would they run away? I stood very still, ready to react. They seemed to be doing the same thing. So I rocked my body toward them urging them to leave with my hands and said "Shoo! SHOO!"

First one of them took off across the street, Loki chasing after it. The other took a couple of seconds longer to snap out of shock and ran off toward the back yard and Chloe's leftover cat food. They can move when they want to! I was glad they were running away from me.

I got Loki to leave the one 'possum alone by luring him with promises of treats. I've seen the teeth on those beasts. I don't want him messing with them even if they look like giant rats.
Eric sat in his chair this morning to start up his computer then asked me, "Do you hear a cat meowing outside?" I didn't. Eric peeked through the blinds toward the side yard and said, "It's Loki. He's walking up and down the fence meowing." Of course, Loki also saw Eric and then he turned up the volume and I could hear him. I was grateful our neighbor is fairly deaf and wouldn't be bothered by our talkative cat.

The YOWing was insistent. I teased Eric following each of Loki's Yows with "Dad?... Daad?? DAD?" Then the direction changed. Loki was at the front door. I told Eric he'd stirred the cat up, he had to get up and let him in. He laughed and stayed put. A minute later, Loki came bounding in through the kitty door to leap up into Eric's lap. He stayed for a quick "good morning" snuggle and came over to me. Usually I snuggle Loki in the back yard after I feed Chloe the back yard cat but the last couple of mornings, he hasn't been there. I got my morning snuggle in my chair, then Loki was off to do whatever it is he's doing outside.

Then Eric played me a yahoo video featuring WOW characters singing a song "The Internet is for Porn" that he finds hilarious. Um.. Ok.
sugarplumkitty: (Cacti-cat)
I was wondering when the kitties would realize Scampi was not coming back and which one would become my owner in my living room chair. The winner is.... Miss Cactus!

She's been looking for Scampi. This morning she did two laps through the house, peering into the carrier that was Scampi's hideout, sniffing her beds around the house. Last night I took Scampi's favorite bed out of the dryer and put it back in place. Maybe that's what it took for Miss Cactus to understand Scampi is gone for good because her second lap through the living room when I called her to come be my lap cat she stopped. Squeakers was right behind her so I invited her, too. They bumped noses and did the obligatory forehead wash then Miss Cactus cautiously approached my chair, looking around for Scampi one more time before she hopped up and settled into her place on my chest. She likes me to cradle her on one arm, her back paws in my hand and her front paws and head over my elbow.

It felt so good to have a cat to hold in my chair again!

She is the oldest female in the house and by all rights is the new Queen of the house. But her shy and gentle nature is often eclipsed by Squeakers' forceful personality. It's nice to see her stand up and take what is rightfully hers. :)
My cousin married Eithne, a doctor from Ireland. Her younger cousin, also a doctor named Eithne, was on that Air France flight that disappeared off the coast of Brazil.

This is the closest I've come to knowing someone killed in an airline accident.

Irish television about Eithne, the young cousin of my cousin's wife.

In the last week and a half three deaths that touched me in one way or another. Hopefully, that's the end of it for a while.
I forgot I'd scanned this when I was looking for a few pictures to upload into my facebook account yesterday. It wasn't in my collection here, so I thought I'd share it now. This is our Scampi as she looked the first week we had her.

Baby Scampi Baby Scampi
Scampi sucked on my hand so vigorously when we rescued her, we thought she wasn't weaned and I tried bottle feeding her. It turned out to be a security thing rather than a food thing. She sucked on my hand for five years.

The vet agreed with us on our decision. Bloody vomit is an indicator of something serious. On top of everything else she had going on, it was the final straw. We just couldn't stand to see her in pain anymore. She wasn't getting better, she was only getting worse.

I gave her two doses of the narcotic they sent home last weekend, hoping it would make her drowsy. No such luck. I think it did take the edge off her pain for the trip.

They gave her a light anesthetic and I held her as he helped her leave us, both Eric and I giving her loving scritches around her ears and cheeks. I held her until I knew for sure she was completely gone. They'll cremate her so I can put her ashes next to Boo's. I'm thinking when my time comes, I want their ashes to be with me when I'm cremated. Then we can be scattered together.

We both took the day off work because we expected to be too upset to be much good for anything. Oddly, we both feel relieved. She was in so much pain, we're glad she's not hurting anymore. It was definitely time to say goodbye to the original Sugarplum Kitty, our first "together" cat. Now we have no cats left from before we were married.
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