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Wherein you will find posts with humor, photos, reviews, occasional rants and journalistic entries of interest to me alone but that I hope will touch you, the reader, in some way. I remain sincerely yours,
A Work in Progress

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jenny got up this morning and said she had her day planned.  
She was going to make a snowman and when that didn't work she was going to move on to making an igloo.  Then when that didn't work she was going to go sledding all the while eating snow for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  
She makes me smile.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Sugar on Snow

Just like in the "Little House" books.
The girls have always wanted to do this! 
I boiled the syrup down til it was nice and thick, poured it out on the snow where it hardened.  The kitchen smells wonderful!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20th Blizzard 09

It was still dark when the first child ran past our bedroom door looking for her snowpants.  We couldn't see anything out the windows, they were covered with snow.  The phone rang, church was canceled.  And I utterly gave up on trying to sleep in as gleeful noises and outdoor preparation continued in the living room.
Snowsuits, coats, scarves, jackets, hats and mittens and out the door went Jenna with Arwen.  I don't kow who is happier.  There is 11 plus inches of snow and the dog  disappeared.
Mike just snuck out the front to ambush them with a barrage of snowballs.
Arwen is now " helping"  Mike shovel the deck.  It was cuter when she didn't weigh 75 pounds.
It is supposed to snow all day.  I think we have our white Christmas this year for sure.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Elves at Work and a Few Other Things Playing

Jenna making her Christmas presents.  
Don't worry if you can't figure it out, they are a secret!  

Rowan at work on hers.


Kittens at play.


You Probably Had to be There but...

For background purposes, we spent 2 years trying to find out what was wrong with our daughter and finally have a bit of a handle on it.  She gets hives and angioedema and all kinds of other urticaria rashes and such and is on medication for some of it.  Yesterday, she woke up with her top lip swollen and blistered.  It was a little painful and she was unhappy and I called her dr.  The receptionist said she would be in the office at 1:00 so we headed to town to do some shopping.
Long story short, she didn't call until 7:30 and then to tell us that Rowan is on the maximum dose for her meds and that they likely wouldn't help the angioedema anyway.  She tells us to use cold compresses on it.
So, off to the kitchen Rowan goes and gets some ice and puts it in a towel and she sits down to watch tv with us.
Shortly thereafter, she says, "Mom, I think it is making it worse".  So I looked at it and by golly it was a great deal more swollen.  It occurred to me then, that she also has cold urticaria and that we had actually compounded the situation.  Not only did she have angioedema but now she had cold induced hives as well.  The poor kid's lip was swollen all out of proportion and so help me, it struck our funny bones and we couldn't help it, we completely cracked up. It was just one of those situations where you make a choice, laugh or cry.
We chose to laugh.


Friday, December 11, 2009

This morning as I was cooking soup, Rowan came in the kitchen to make tea.  I turned around and she had put the little wooden clementine crate on the empty burner next to the one on HIGH!!
We had a little chat about using common sense in the kitchen and safety with fire in general.

Later on, I sent her downstairs to sweep the wood-stove area.  A new job on the chore charts for winter.
I was at the computer and she was reading when I smelled smoke.  I asked her if she had put more wood on and she replied that she had not.  So I am now thinking things like downdrafts and chimney clogs and head down to the woodstove.

The basement was smoke filled and I instantly found the problem.  Rowan had done a great job sweeping but no one had emptied the ashes yet.  So she dumped the sweepings in it and went upstairs.  Being mostly tinder, they quickly caught on fire and were riotously burning on top of the bucket, smoking like mad.
Yelling like a banshee, I barked orders for an oven mit and an open door and made her take it outside to finish burning.

And we had another little chat about using common sense and general fire safety.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

This morning I tried to stay asleep as Mickey purred and paced trying to get me up to feed his furry face.  The the little chirrups of the kitten were added to the mix as he joined Mickey in trying to coax me out of bed for breakfast.  So I gave in.  Up I got out of bed and smiling, watched Mike play with the kitten.
Just then Arwen, as is her wont when I get up, jumped up onto the bed with Mike.
It all happened in a blur.  Arwen jumped up, the kitten hissed like a broken pipe and leapt six feet off the bed....
sideways into the wall with a whomp!
Mike and I were howling in laughter, the kitten was hiding under the bed, the kids woke up and Arwen just sat there with absolutely no idea what had just happened.
Pets are funny.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Replacement Theorem

It was pretty wretched.  Percy Jackson was not only gone, but the woman keeps calling every time he isn't home to make sure we have not let him back in. I didn't sleep after she called at 10:30 to ask if her were here because he had not come back.   I can not believe she let him back outside the very day she got him home.  Even though I told her he had never once asked to go outside she said he would be miserable any other way.  So, no way to hide him even if he did show up, I can't lie, no matter how good my reasons.

Jenna went to sleep sobbing and woke up the same way.  My eyes were puffy and sore from the crying I did for both their sakes.  And so, using the replacement theorem, and an adoption fee lovingly given by Nana, Elaine and I took her to People for Cats.  I fell in love with a big, gorgeous, affectionate male tiger named Teddy, but her heart was set on a kitten that looked exactly like Percy Jackson.  She wanted to pretend the whole thing never happened.  There was nothing there and she wanted to go to Centerville when in walked a lady with 3 tuxedo kittens ready to go.  And home we came with Percy Jackson the 2nd.

He isn't Percy and he never will be, but hopefully, he will be her very own.
As for myself, just like Cocoa, Lucky, Frodo and Samwise, I will miss him always too.
Maybe I can still beg Mike to let me have Teddy.  He needs me.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Maybe it it a part of getting older....

                                                      But I seem to take things a lot harder than I used to do.

It started with Frodo, my dear cat from A Helping Paw.  He was black and white and fragile and so incredibly affectionate.  He had never had a home and we loved him on sight.  We lost him 3 months later to a stomach cancer.  It made me so very glad we had brought him home and he was adored and taken care of before he died.  His last few days were hardest.  Elaine and I tag teamed on staying with him until he was struggling and we took him together to the vets.   It hurt when he died but it wasn't so bad, he was like a little miracle kitty. Rescued in time to have a family.

In honor of Frodo, my birthday cat came home with me in February from People for Cats.  I pulled in and said, "Honey, come see my birthday cat!" And Mike said, "Happy Birthday, you can keep him."  Funny man, he had agreed we could honor Frodo with another adoption.  Samwise too was an incredibly affectionate cat.  At first shy, I picked him up daily and hugged him and set him back down.  He would "check in" every few minutes with me and head butt and purr for a few minutes and then go do more cat stuff for awhile.  He liked to hang out in the bathroom at night, guess he figured sooner or later someone would show up to say hi.  Sometimes he would cry, I never figured out why and I would get out of bed and come "check in " with him.  The day I came home from the missions trip in New York, I picked him up... and there he stayed, at last soaking up being cuddled.  One night he didn't come home.  Jenna and Rowan and I spent weeks walking around the neighborhood calling him.  Mike and I put up signs in the pouring rain.  I took it really hard.  I still do.  I couldn't tell you why I loved that cat to such a degree, but I did and I do.  We had some phone calls which raised my hopes over and over but never found him.  One night, our neighbors showed up in the driveway with a carrier.  They were so thrilled, they thought they had found Sam for us.  It was such a kind thing for them to do.  When I opened the carrier, and it wasn't Samwise, a little part of my heart died.  I still can't talk about him without crying.  But the little waif inside it was skinny and flea ridden, so we took him in.

Well, the waif was a mess wouldn't come out of Jenna's room for over a month.  She was thrilled, finally a cat to cuddle with her and hang with her.  After a few weeks, I let her name him.  She called him Percy Jackson after the main character in her favorite book series.  And that's what we called him, Percy Jackson, the whole name, no nickname.  And he filled out and cleaned up and he was sleek and smooth and beautiful and we loved him.  He had just come downstairs a week or two ago and had finally made himself at home.  And he was funny, long, lean and lanky and remarkably clumsy for a cat.

I went to the vets this morning for the dogs vaccinations.  I was checking out the bulletin board, still have not given up hope that someone has found Sam, and there was a post-it.  It read, "lost cat, black and white male, Waquoit, Betty".   And I knew.  I didn't want to call but for Sam's sake, I did.  And she lives just around the corner and came to get him.  And so, Percy Jackson is gone now too.

I can't believe how hard I am taking it.  I am a mess.  Jenny Wren is devastated.  It seemed karmic that a cat like that would show up when I was missing Sam so very much, and now he is gone too.
And there is another small aching hole in my heart.
This sucks.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday 12/2/09 Birdwatching


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