December 30, 2006

Another Exciting New Year's Eve

Yep, looks like Pa and me'll be celebratin another New Year's Eve the same ole way.

After a few stiff shots of moonshine-laced eggnog, we'll do the nasty on the front porch shellin last season's dried "Happy Beans". The one's we in the trunk...uh..."someone sent to us" from Mexico. (Yeah, that's it: "someone" sent them to us.) Then we'll use an old recipe Pa picked up from Moondoggie back at Woodstock: where we mash em and roll em up in some good Jamaican papers I've had since the 60's, mon. Kick back, light up and rock in the New Year on our rockers with memories of Jimi, Janice and The Dead dancin on that ole front porch roun' midnight when the ball drops in Times Square.

About the same time Pa & me'll drop one last dime...toke one more for Crosby, Stills & Nash (pre Young), give in to the usual munchies and chill on the porch till dawn. Been a bummer of a year. Hope when the sun comes up and the clouds of smoked Happy Beans drift do those old troubles and woes. Probably just making way for new ones. *Sigh* But....considering the alternative of not settin on that porch again next New Year's Eve with Pa (even without the Happy Beans)....I'll take whatever the New Year has to offer.


December 21, 2006


Well, we got the tree afterall. Debated and debated. There was so little time to do much of any decorating not to mention so little energy. But, as I sat one afternoon last week in the vet's waiting room while Tyler was receiving one of his three-times-a-week courses of medicine, I decided that just as we had gotten a small tree for Tyler for his first Christmas with us (which I really didn't want to do because my first beloved cat, Mister, had died earlier that year and all I could think about was the first Christmas in nearly 20 years without him)...I decided we would have a small tree, again, for Tyler and now for Sandy as well. It would be a "Tyler & Sandy Tree".

It's a small tree. Bigger by some standards, but smaller in comparison to our past trees. About 4 feet high, resting on top of a two-foot table, it stands alone in the living room surrounded by only a few little soft Christmas sculptures. But it's the decorations which make it significant. After searching through all my own handmade and gifted handmade ornaments, I ferreted out only the angels and all the cat ornaments I could find. Or anything relating to either Tyler or Sandy or Mister.

Above it all rests the angel I made over 12 years ago. Above it all she looks down on the tree. Above it all I hope her symbolism and the message and hope of Christ's birth looks down on us all. In my home and in yours.

Blessings and Prayers to all.

December 05, 2006


I've always plunged full-tilt into the pre-holiday preparations for Christmas. But with each passing year and another yuletide clearing the pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving stuffing off the table to make way for fat red candles surrounded by holly wreaths and gold ribbons, I'm finding it more of an effort to plug in those twinkly lights inside my head and sparkle for the remainder of the month.

This year health problems have gone beyond hampering the final bed down of the garden and brought things outside to a grinding halt. Unplanted perennials, still in pots have at least been plunged into thick piles of freshly-shredded leaf mulch or are sharing residence in the finished, other compost pile. Pain and depression over said pain has broken through a normally strong demeanor and kept me hunkered down, fairly immobile inside for spells. When I have regained some energy, positive attitude and the pain lessens, I've ventured outside usually to cut back as many tall, unsightly annuals as I can and letting them lie for the birds to feast on. Or arranging them as a pseudo-ground cover for what would otherwise be bare beds because of my inability to spread my usual layers of shredded leaves. On even better days, I managed to rake some of the larger, wetter leaves from the perennial beds and my husband scattered some of the aforementioned shredded leaves and grass clippings around the more tender specimens. But, for the most part, as was the case two seasons ago when my father passed away, the garden is on its own. What comes back...comes back. What doesn't....well...

And now my two little ones - my cats, Tyler (to the left) and Sandy (right) - have been spending more time at the vet's office and the specialty veterinary hospital about 25 miles from here than even I've been spending at my own doctors' offices! Adrenalin is a strange body chemical, and it never ceases to amaze me how it can mask whatever debilitating pains you may have at the time, so you can accomplish what would otherwise be impossible - if you thought about it too long. When it's come to emergency duty and round-the-clock watching over of my little ones, that adrenalin pumps out those needed endorphins like those that washed over the woman who was able to lift the car off her injured boy. (I'm sure we've all heard that story, and I don't doubt its voracity for a moment!)

Whether it's lugging heavy cat carriers, sometimes two at a time into and out of the car; tackling frightened felines to med them; staying up all night to watch over them; who eats what, when and who leaves "deposits" and how much and keeping charts; relearning intravenous and intra-muscular injections and even with the help of my husband as a "handler" when trying to administer subcutaneous fluids till that 100mls. drip out of the bag ...that only reveals the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what I'd do for them.

Then there's the inevitable bad communication between doctors. Only this time it's animal doctors. There's only one difference between animal doctors and human doctors especially when it comes to your asking questions, being aggressive, doing your own research, double checking their staff is administering proper meds and doses during hospital stays...and that single difference is this: One deals with two legged patients and the other deals with quadruped. In other words, they and the frustration they engender are identical. Oh, sure, you can luck into the occasional great sympathizer or compassionate caregiver, but that doesn't mean they're competent. So sometimes you have to sacrifice communication for competency. And that doesn't necessarily mean your (or your animals') treatment still won't get screwed.

I'm sure we've all had the feeling at one time or another when dealing with a human or animal doctor, that your name has been circled in red in their "secret little charts" and filed away under: "Difficult Patient" or "Difficult Patient-Owner". I suspect there's an internet site out there only privy to be logged onto by physicians where patients they consider to have attitudes are shared. "Attitudes" in doctor-speak translates to: "One Who Asks Too Many Questions". In my opinion, however, the unspoken (doctor-eye's only) full definition is "One Who Asks Too Many Questions For Which I As The Person Who Went To Medical School For Umpteen Years Should Know The Answer...But Don't And I'm Too Proud Or Conceited Or Egocentric To Let Her Know That, So That Makes Her A Patient With An Attitude Who Just Asks Too Many Questions". WHEW! Talk about off-gardening topics!

So the garden as well as the holidays take on a different priority this year. The survival of one and The Glory of the other will each do fine without my usual hoopla and hustle. One is up to Nature and the other is The Creator of that Nature. I respect and honor both. Right now, I trust the garden to Nature's quite capable hands and I hope I'm kept in the hands of The Creator to keep me going strong enough to keep my little ones in my care. Of course a little care direct from Him to my little kitts wouldn't be refused either. As long as I can keep that adrenaline flowing and those endorphins kicking in when they're needed. Painkillers don't help half as much as the desire to help them and that's a pretty damn strong desire.