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Lilacs up close

Need I say more ?

Tweety May 2009 under the lilacs

Tweety May 2009 under the lilacs

I have enjoyed the lilacs blooming this year.  Due to a variety of things, mostly lack of time, I have let the suckers get out of control under the main trees.  I used to be very diligent about cutting them back, but now there are some that bloomed this year.  I was delaying cutting them all, because I wanted to take some to transplant once we move.  Guess I am going to have to think about getting some of them out of there.  The chickens love to lie under the lilac trees in the summer, I spray water under the leafy canopy and they make their dusting bowls underneath.

Lots going on, and no brains yet to sort it out and type, and this is WITH some coffee on board.  Have to go feed and do chores, will try and get a real update on here later on.

Enjoy the day !

It is interesting to find how closely we are woven together.  Different locations on the planet, and we bump into someone from “home”.  We moved up here 7 years ago, and the same month the truck rental company had sent three other rigs up to the same small desert town.  Small population of regular folks.  Three prisons.  LOTS of prison workers.  No one here moved here without either family in the area or work.  No one but us it seemed. Hmmmm. 

Yesterday was the day for a few tests for mom.  So, at our local hospital, I saw a fellow (Harry) who  had become something of a friend throughout  my husband’s illness and passing.  Of course the fact that I spent more time at the hospital when my husband was there than the employees had something (all) to do with that.  This fellow is an Emergency Department nurse.  He is top notch, a smart very caring person.  Since I basically lived in the ER during the many many trips there with my husband, I knew where everything was.  Very handy, hospitals are notoriously understaffed and I saw no reason an employee should take their time getting things for my husband when I was able bodied and knew where to get or put things.  Makes sense, right ? Gave me something to do anyway.  This fellow tried to encourage me to work there after Michael died, but right then, well, I had enough of sickness and dying.  Besides which, I was busy trying not to be sick and dying myself after my aspartame toxicity lifestyle.  **Note to readers, please look into how damaging “Aspartame”  the artificial sweetener is to the body.  It nearly killed me and you need to realize how toxic it can make your body. – I encourage you to look it up.  Changing to no processed foods and no artificial sweetener saved my life literally **  Ok, back to the blogging…now, five years after my husband passed, I wish I lived closer to town, then I could do it if I wanted to.  Harry and I chatted before mom had her draw and he was just getting off his shift.  He held things together on many occasions, the ones that really come to mind  are arriving at the ER and my husband had collapsed onto the floorboards of the pickup truck.  No way could I pry him out of there, he was in agonizing pain and not quite what might be termed cooperative.  Harry came running with the wheelchair and got him up and into it and into the ER.  Another time, they were full of people, everywhere.  No gurneys available.  Same thing, agonizing pain for my husband, and he laid down on the floor in the hallway.  On a run to the lab, Harry saw him and went and got a bed from the infusion center and once again got my husband up and into it.  The whole staff there did their best to care for him, but the end result still came.  Just as a reminder folks, if you are using a chemical of any sort, follow the DIRECTIONS !!!!!!!!  Do whatever precautions the bottle says please and you won’t end up with a horrible disease.  Harry was a lifesaver for me, and we always have a great time talking when we do see each other – even if it is with gaps of 3 years then 2 years between.  The last time we talked, it was the morning after I had my emergency appendectomy.  He had seen my name on the charts for the day before (he works nights) and came to see me that night, but I was conked out.  He came back to visit that next day, and it was so nice.  An intelligent man.  What a nice thing.  It was at that point that I realized also that I weighed approximately what a Volkswagen did, and changed my diet completely.  Exercise was never the issue, it was processed foods and the fact that I can sit across the room from a plate of food and the calories are absorbed through the air – like I am a calorie absorbing human air fern.  Now, after this time, I am no longer a VW, I am on my way to being a normal for me size.  A 10/12 now, and I figure in six months I may be back to being me.  Now if I could only lose the “fat chick” in my brain………self image has always been off.  Oh well, at least now I am healthier than I had been in years.

On to happier things !  With surgery set for Monday, we are once again on the countdown.  I will have to get to town for a few things, then I can do what is needed without any thoughts of other things on my plate.

Updates.  The orphaned kitten, who I dubbed Baby Belle is now Bell.  Not imaginative, but normal for me.  The nurse cat Belle is a wonderful mom.  This next Tuesday, Bell will turn 6 weeks old.  However, since he wasn’t walking much, I first attributed that to him being fat as a toad (one kitten, big milkbar).  Sadly, that is not the case.  While healthy, he seems to have no balance.  He can hold his head up, and scramble about.  He eats, drinks, uses the cat box with no messiness.  Just can’t walk a straight line.  I have a goat like this…….the vet tells me the same thing.  Inner ear abnormality or neurologic defect.  It is normal for him, and he spends a lot of time on his side purring and playing with things.  My son looked at him and announced “we have to keep him”.  Yep.  Darling baby though……….just needs bumper pads on the sides of his enclosure.  He may well grow out of it, or not, but he will be given the time to mature and we shall see.

The kittens that were found at the campground sans mother over the weekend a week plus ago are doing well.  The nurse cat Delia is a good girl and her own baby, Zat is growing well.  I feed them a plate of canned food, soaked kibble and milk replacer two or three times a day.  Photos are a difficult thing, they are in a HUGE carrier right now, and I am planning to move them into a playpen asap.  They need much more floorspace. Then I can get some light on them and take some photos.  Kitten season is here, and I can barely stand to go to the shelter.  Many are placed in new homes, but some are not, and well, I will be finding homes for these here – I reject the idea of fostering them if they may be euthanized once arriving at the shelter.  The shelter does a good job, the whole problem is that animals must be spayed and neutered !!!!!! Please save some lives today and get that done.  If you have feral cats, you can borrow a trap and a lot of vets do the surgery for free on them.  Then you can bring them home and release them.  So then they have better quality of life, no more kittens and free rodent removal !  A great trade off for some time spent.

Lots to do today, better get started !  Enjoy !

Ok, yesterday, after a very long road trip, another xray for mom after that – we got home, I did chores and went to bed………..knowing that we would talk to the surgeons office today about “what next” for mom.  Indeed, the placement of the cage  is a marginal bit off……and her pain level is indescribable.  So, more surgery for mom on Monday.  Tomorrow before the chickens get up is blood work and an MRI.  We will get through this, so mom will be able to get back to the business of living comfortably and we will get on with life in general. That is my plan, and it WILL happen !!!!!!!  As anyone who knows me will attest, I am stubborn and we are going to make this happen. Period, end of report.

The kittens are doing well, the baby I am calling the Zat cat is doing well, and her eyes are beginning to open already.  Most amazing.  The five kittens who were abandoned are doing well too.  They get meals twice a day of canned food, soaked kibble and replacement formula along with being mothered by Delia the borrowed mom cat. 

Thunderstorms are forcast, better get outside and feed and do chores before we see some weather I think.

Quail calling outside 🙂

Nothing like taking my 2 week post back surgery mom for her checkup – to a different office, adding 30 miles to the 75 we were already slated to go.  Gak. The joys of living in the sticks.  Never again.  Poor mom. Good thing the confirmation call said WHERE it was to be………to miss this appointment after going all that way would have been terrible.  While things went well at first, there apparently needs to be a bit more the doctor will need to do.  We find out about that today.  After the surgery was completed, he did tell me that he might have to do a bit of a “tune up” for her if she was still having any problems…….and that she won’t have to wait long to do it.  Nerve pain is terrible, I really don’t know how anyone can compare pain levels, unless of course they had everything known to humans happen to that one person………then wouldn’t they get used to some of it ?  Beats me, and right now, I just want my mom to be feeling better and get healed and on the road to a better lifestyle. 

So, if in your busy day you can take a moment to say a word for my mom, jingle, pray or just good thoughts, we appreciate it 🙂

Enjoy your day, updates on kittens and the Zat cat tomorrow !

The baby owl

The baby owl

I am thinking that since the owls blend into the tree they are roosting (as you can see by the photo above) the smaller birds don’t see them at all……thus remaining surprised when the owl grabs one of them as a snack.  It happened yesterday, and the mom owl grabbed a young starling.  It made a startled TWEET and then all heck broke loose.  The baby owl startled and lost his footing, almost falling out of the tree.  The starling population went NUTS, fling straight at the owl, who flew off and had her snack.  A short while later she was back, sitting near her owlet.  The starlings cooled off after a long period of squawking and cussing, and then it was back to business as usual.  Today, the mourning doves are in the side trees, cooing their little heads off.  
The owl and his mom watch me when I am doing chores and seem interested in the activity.  I am soon to make my chickens coop into a chicken coop with attached runs.  That way, I can let them out to cruise the yard when I am there………the owls so far have been polite, but since I saw one of these types of owls snatch a full grown cat once years ago, I don’t trust them at all.  Kona seems to stay hidden usually, and I hope that will be what saves her too.
Tired tonight, don’t seem to have gotten much accomplished….one of those silly days.  Oh well.  Lovely weather though, about 75 and slightly breezy.
Night all !


Memorial day has a bigger meaning since all the wars of late.  So many lives lost on both sides.  Heartbreaking entirely.  The photos of those left behind, and on the same level of tragic note are those injured in the wars.  With the roadside bombs accelerating the incidences of traumatic brain injury, this war is like none before it.  I still think going back to hand to hand combat only would make those in charge THINK about what happens to those on the front lines fighting for our country.  I thank each veteran from the bottom of my heart for taking up the cause to keep us free.

When I was visiting in Pennsylvania, I was astounded to see the elaborate graveside decorations that were done.  Picnics held after the visit to the cemetery.  What a nice thing.  When I was younger, I visited the gravesite of my great grandmother and found that a peaceful thing to do.  I was happy to have been able to do it.  When my grandmother and great aunt passed they were cremated and tossed in the sea.  No marker, no place to reflect.  When my Pop passed, we knew we were moving, and chose to bring his urn with us.  Same with my husband.  Once we get moved, after my visit to the Veteran’s office, I found that we can have them buried in the Veteran’s cemetery.  I will be happy to have that done.  WalMart sells a lot of decorations, and the locals here do it up right too.  When the crosses and wreaths and ribbons and flowers are in the store under the fluorescent light they are almost gaudy.  But a year in the sun will fade them, that is why they start out so bright.  People forget, people move on.  Some traditions are worth keeping 🙂

Have a nice day today and hug the family you have !

    Having just read my usual internet stuff, I was terribly saddened to see that a fellow I knew in passing, jockey Rene Douglas, was involved in a horrible spill (accident) at Arlington Park late yesterday. 

Overall, we don’t usually see just blatant jockey errors made.  However, a fellow rider screwed up, took his horse off the rail, bumped Rene’s mare hard, and when she was moved out, she clipped heels with a horse in front of her that was tiring.  She went down head over heels, and threw Rene on the track, and rocked over in her fall and landed right on top of him, she was unconscious.  It took the track workers a few minutes to haul her off the top of him.  He is alive, but broken up in a bad way.  He was in surgery for 7 hours, and while he could feel his legs and move prior to surgery, he apparently can’t now.  There is grave concern for his spinal cord, which was pierced by a bone fragment.  They worked to stabilize his neck and spine, and won’t know how this will work out for him for 10 to 14 days, when the swelling will go down.  Jockeys are the fittest athletes in sports.  Jockeys are well aware of the risk involved with piloting 1200 lbs of energy down the track.  Each time you go out to ride, you know it could be the last thing you do.  However, there is something so amazing about sitting atop a Thoroughbred, it is the biggest rush you can imagine.  At top speed you can’t hear your fellow riders unless you yell loudly, the sounds of the horses breathing, the hoofbeats, even the pop and slap of the reins and saddles creaking add to the din.  Riders study prior races of the horses they are named on to ride, they study the Racing Form to see how they were ridden in the past races, thinking how to improve the horses performance that day.  We all know that wrecks, spills, accidents are always just around the corner, and we work hard to be prepared and professional when on the track at all times, be it in the morning galloping for a trainer – to gain favor and hopefully the mount when the horse is entered in a race, or helping new riders, learning from the riders who have been around a long time.  I was really intent on training, but I had the best riders in the world helping me out, giving me tips on how to teach a horse this or that.  Most riders ride until their bodies give out, then they have to find a new occupation.  Not an easy thing.  The transition from rider to trainer is a leap most don’t care to do……when you ride races, the horses are bringing all they have to the gate in that two minutes.  Training involves a totally different mindset, time is taken to ensure the horses physical capabilities are solid, that his emotional state is trained to knowing what race day is – what to expect, how to act, when he can run.  Some retired riders become TV commentators.  Some work publicity.  I know several who became race track stewards.  But it is never the same.  My heart aches for Rene, who woke up yesterday morning as one of the top riders in the US, and when he woke up from surgery today, he has a new job. To heal, to live to still be part of his wife’s and children’s world, in a totally different capacity.  The doctors think he may have lost the ability to use his legs for good.  For a rider, the emotional impact will never soften.  He has his life though, and his family and I pray that he comes through this better than is predicted.  Sadly, the mare “Born to Be” was euthanized this morning, still unable to rise, damage to her spine as well.  Godspeed Born to Be, and may Rene recover in the best condition he is able.

I never take a day for granted, I have seen too many wrecks, horses, people, automobiles and even planes to do that.  Each and every day I wake up and am able to move to see the sunrise I give thanks.

Enjoy the rest of the day, I have to run to town for kitten milk replacer – I am fostering some kittens for the shelter, with a mom cat, but they need more milk………  They will reimburse me for the formula, it is worth it to see the kittens do well……..but that will be another blog entry !

Small blossoms

Small blossoms

These blossoms are perhaps 2 1/2 inches in length.  Much smaller than the “usual” blossoms.  Each one now is losing color, and from the top of the tree down they are beginning to dry up.  Scent is fading……..but I am so happy they bloomed this year.

I still feel horrible, and am going to lie down for a bit. Hope you are more energetic in your spot of the world !

My rhumatoid arthritis is worse today than it about ever has been.  I had planned to move some things and get busy cleaning the garage out.  Nope, not today sadly.  ***sighs***

On a better note, Delia, Zat and the newly introduced kittens are doing great.  Delia gets up when she sees me coming and has to tell me all about the babies.  What a good mommy !  She keeps Zat front and center it seems, instinct telling her to keep her where she can see her and safe from getting squished I believe.  Whew !

Going to finish my bit of cereal and my decaf.  Is it time for a nap yet ?  Complain crab bitch grumble grrrrrrrrr.  More later perhaps if my hands will cooperate.