Monday, September 30, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Big Lump Under The Rug

I fell asleep in the easy chair, and when I got up, I saw this.  It took me a while to realize that it was probably Zoe under the rug.

What Is It?

I was weeding the garden, and I looked closely at the soil.  I've never seen this before.  Maybe they're little, tiny mushrooms!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Run, Rabbit!

For this first time ever, I saw a rabbit running down the highway along side of oncoming traffic.  All I could think of while watching him run was, "Stay on the side - don't get in the street!"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


How does he know?  My gray cat, Henry, has some kind of crusty stuff on his ear, so I made an appointment to bring him to the vet.  I don't know of any cats that like going to the vet.  As soon as my cats see the kitty carrier, they scurry away and hide under the bed, so it's a major commotion trying to pull them out from under the bed.

Henry was curled up in his little bed on top of Walter's kennel.  I went through the utility room, closing the door, so he couldn't hear me getting the kitty carrier in the garage.  I pulled the carrier off the shelf, and then I put it on top of the washing machine.  I walked back into the room, and Henry had vanished.

How does he do that?  How do cats know that you're taking them to the vet?

Well, I tracked Henry down:  he'd run to the bedroom, and when he saw me, he bolted, running under the bed.  Luckily, I could reach him by grabbing his legs and pulling him out from his hiding place.

I swiftly deposited him into the kitty carrier and brought him to the car.  He uttered one long meow, but he was silent for the rest of the trip to the vet.

When we were led to the examination room, I took him out of the kitty carrier and held him.  He crawled up onto my shoulder and sat right behind my head.

This visit, no shots were involved.  The vet just gave me a cream to put on Henry's ear.  He said it was vasculitis.

While the vet was explaining how to apply the medicine, I started having a hot flash, and I grabbed the newspaper I'd brought with me and fanned myself.  The vet asked me, "Are you OK?  Do you need some water?"  I said, "It's just a hot flash."  He patted me on the shoulder.

All in a day's work....

Monday, September 23, 2013

A First

I caught my cat drinking my coffee.  That's a first!  I know better than to leave a glass of milk or water on the counter or table because  the cats can't resist taking a "sip."  Actutally, they'll stick a paw in the liquid and lick it off the paw, or if the liquid's high enough, they'll lick it from the top.  What I caught Harry doing this morning was licking the top of the coffee in my coffee cup.  I never thought my cats were interested in coffee.  Now I know...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Sound

Everyone who lives with cats knows the sound: a cat upchucking.  It's what made me launch from the coziness of my bed this morning.  I saw my little gray cat, Henry, crouching at the foot of the bed, down on the carpet, throwing up, and a dark stain appeared on the carpet.  I got out of the bed quickly telling Henry, "Don't eat it!"  Yes, people who live with cats know about this lovely habit, too, though in this case, it was a hairball or hairlog, and Henry didn't seem to be interested in eating it.  But that didn't stop the other three cats or the dog from investigating the mess on the carpet.

There is a certain way to clean up vomit.  DO NOT RUB IT INTO THE FIBERS!  Get a knife, and delicately scrape the mess into a paper towel.  You can almost avoid stains if you do it this way.  You can learn from my experience.  I have LOTS of stains throughout the house.  That's because I'd sop up the mess with a paper towel, which just pushed the detritus further into the carpet fibers, thereby, forever marking that spot with cat vomit.  No matter what cleaner you use, for all their promises, this method guarantees that the carpet will retain the mark.  Oh, well.

So this morning, although I wasn't fully alert, I ran for the paper towels and butter knife and tried out the gentle technique of scraping rather than smashing.  I was pretty happy with the result.  It also helps that the color of the carpet is gray...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Cat on the Microwave

This is Henry:
He sits on the microwave and oversees the table while we eat.

Here's a close-up:


This is what I stepped on:

It was on the patio in the backyard.  Good thing I had very thick flip flops on - I felt something when I stepped on it.  Imagine my surprise when I saw what it was!

Come to Capernaum

This past summer, our church put on a different kind of Vacation Bible School.  

Our minister's wife, Beverly, made the poster to show us the  blueprint. 

We had a well in the center of the town of Capernaum.  All of the adults had clothing that we imagined the people in Jesus' time would be wearing.  The children had "tunics" (T-shirts) cinched in the middle with a leather string, and each person wore a name tag.  The children's name tags bore the name of the tribe they were in, and each tribe was headed by a tribal mother.  Each shop was staffed with one or two adults and two teenaged helpers.  Altogether, ninety children signed up for Bible School.   

Acting out the Bible story of Jesus and the loaves and fishes

The well in the center of Capernaum

The story book which opened up with several different backgrounds which changed according to the skit being acted out each morning

God's Story - the front of the story book 

Map of Israel - the back of the story book

Benjamin's Garden Shop - we taught the children about the types of plants and how they were used for food and medicine.  Each child got to plant seeds in pots, and they took the plants home at the end of the week.

Joseph's Carpentry - the children got to hammer pieces of wood together and paint their creations.

The Pottery Shop - children rolled out clay and made animals or whatever their imaginations came up with, and at the end of the week, they got to take their work home.

The Weaver's Shop - the children learned how to weave and make an artistic piece.

Ephraim's Fine Foods - the children got to taste lentil soup, flatbread, stuffed grape leaves, and other types of foods.

Manasseh's Metals - in this shop, the children made bead necklaces. 

Mosaics - the children made pictures from tiny pieces of tile.

Issachar's Prayer Rugs - the children embroidered the fish symbols onto pieces of material and made their own rugs.

Synagogue School - the children, led by a Rabbi, wrote scriptures on scrolls.

Hannah & Ben talking with Mom in front of their house, talking about what Jesus said

Every day, the children watched a short skit.  
Then each tribe went to their home and learned about what it was like to live in Jesus' time.

Tribe of Simeon

Tribe of Zebulon

Tribe of Levi

Tribe of Gad

Tribe of Naphtali

Tribe of Dan

Tribe of Asher

Tribe of Judah

One of the most wonderful things about preparing for this was that everyone in the church contributed their time, talents,  service, and resources to make this happen.  We worked for seven months beforehand to get Capernaum ready for Vacation Bible School. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

80 cc's

I called to get a doctor's appointment today because my left knee was swollen.  I did everything I knew how to do on my own: interferential current therapy unit, ice, elevating my leg, and compression sleeve.  Leg still in a bad way.

"We'll see you today at 10:15 today."  I hadn't realized that it was 9:45 already, and I hadn't even gotten dressed or eaten breakfast.    I can get ready in a hurry.  And I did.  I might have been on time, but then it rained like it was a hurricane.  Still, I was only 10 minutes late.  Of course, all the handicapped parking places were taken, and I had to park in the parking garage, and that is a long walk when only one leg is really working well.

I should never worry that I'll be late for a doctor's appointment.  When was the last time you made a doctor's appointment and the doctor actually saw you at that time?  Right.

I waited until almost noon before the physician's assistant came into the exam room.  I knew what she was going to tell me.  "We should drain your knee."  Yep.

So I told her, "You should ask for someone to come in here and hold down my leg while you're draining it because it's going to come off the table."

She heeded my warning, but the person she came back with was a tiny woman.  I looked at her doubtfully, and she must have read my mind (or known from the look on my face), and she said, "I'm stronger than I look."

The P.A. was good, and she told me she wouldn't do anything without letting me know ahead of time.  I appreciate that.  She sprayed my knee with ethyl chlorhydrate, at least, I think that's what it was, to make my knee cold and kind of numb.  Then she told me when she was injecting the knee.

The tiny woman held tight to my leg, pressing down with a death grip.  She was right.  She was stronger than she looked.

OK, not too bad.  And then it was bad.  I had forewarned them that I wouldn't curse or scream, but I would probably yell.  I did yell, but not too much.  The tiny woman asked me  questions about where I swam, and I knew she was trying to distract me, and again, I appreciated that.

I asked if it was finished, and the P.A. said, "No, not yet.  Don't sit up yet."  The tiny woman asked if she could let go of my leg.  I told her, "No, you better not let go yet."  She held firm.

It started hurting a lot (understatement), and I yelled a bit ("ow, ow, ow, ow!!!!).  The P.A. said, "Almost done."  And then it was over.  I asked how much fluid she pulled off, and she said about 80 cc's.  The I sat up and saw that there were two full syringes.  One was yellow, and I asked if that was pus.  She said that was just the fluid around the knee.  The other syringe had blood in it, and she said that was because they'd drained the Baker's cyst in my knee.  She said, "You didn't even know that I put another syringe on the needle.  That's why I said for you not to sit up yet."  I said, "No, I didn't even realize it." (Good thing!)

So I caught my breath, and the P. A. said she'd send in the man who'd fit me for a knee brace - which is a stop gap measure until I decide to go through with knee replacement surgery.  He came in, measured my poor knee, and said he'd contact me in about two weeks.

Walking very slowly back to my car in the parking garage, I marveled at the people walking so easily past me.  I told one woman in a tan uniform, "You are so lucky that you can walk so well."  She laughed, but watching my painstaking gait, she understood.

I'm sitting here with Walter at my feet and a huge ice pack on my knee.  I've cancelled all my activities for the next few days.  I'm taking it easy.