Beds, Dreams, and….

Trying the new ‘block’ whatever it is on WP. I am not liking it. But, like all updates, I reckon I’ll have to figure it out and get used to it. Whatever. 

I’ve been frustrated with several things lately. It isn’t a surprise that WP is adding to the annoyances! The closet in the master bedroom has a rod with The Craftsman’s things on it. (mine are elsewhere in the house) He moved a few things so I could have space on it, I hung up a single jean jacket and the rod has fallen twice! I sort of wonder if my doll has had anything to do with it (see the look on her face!)? She’s been a dining room decor for two years and has been relegated to the closet for December! 

The bed is where most of my frustration tends to lie…(is that right???). It isn’t as soft as I like and I miss having room to sprawl. I tend to prefer to be warm and the Craftsman likes few blankets. Or one single blanket! We have conceded to my preferences by adding a folded one and a polar fleece one on my side. (they tend to slide off when I cuddle under them shivering!) The cats are locked out of the room at night, so they love when he leaves in the morning and the door is open! (I used to have a sheet on the bed to keep the fur off of the blankets. I need to find it! I think it is in the closet with my doll!) 

The most frustrating thing about this bed is it is for sleeping and an occasional proper kiss. I know we need to figure out how to be a couple again and diving into sex is probably not where to start…but damn, I miss everything involved with the action! I was thinking about how The Craftsman is always tired all the time, how he thinks we need a new bed (he said the same thing about a computer and managed to side step my assertive pushes in that direction over Black  Friday deal days!), and I was trying to decide what wore out the bed. The simple math pushed me to sleep! If two people have 20 min of intimacy once a month for 10 months or so, that is about 200 min a year (give or take times when there may be more or much less activity). We have had this mattress for probably 15 years….I guess it has probably been used too much! 

I woke up several times this morning, I had another low last night. The dreams I had were disturbing. Almost every one was about a date or meeting that was set up and cancelled at the last minute. Incredibly depressing, but normal. Tomorrow night our family is supposed to attend a play. The kid wants to do something else, The Craftsman has the day off and is taking his mom to a lawyer in the morning to set up her will (she is in her mid 80’s), and he is often subject to headaches when things are planned and can’t go. Which is one reason I remain flexible when plans are made with anyone! I’ll just need to wait and see what happens and be content. 

I wanted to share the note my Diabetes physician wrote for me about changes or not changes in my health plan. She feels the lows may be from the move from Alaska to Oregon and the different sorts of stress I may be under. Basically, she wrote I may be interested in the Freestyle Libre glucose monitor (she was sad I am adamant I do NOT want an insulin pump!), she wants me to increase a med to two tablets and maybe three if I wasn’t better, and she is having me take a different ‘statin’ for cholesterol. I’m glad she wrote it down, it is an index card to save forever! (I love the bizarre penmanship!) 

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Toys! Cat Nips

“Life is more fun if you play games.”
― Roald Dahl

When I left Alaska, I had found Mittens absolute favorite green mouse toy under a throw rug. It was fairly flat, but smooshed back into mouse shape moderately well. I was going to give it to her, but then decided she might like it in her new home. I dropped it into a box I was having mailed and promptly forgot about it.

A week after our traumatic journey, Mittens was bored and playing with all sorts of things. I was cleaning and tossed her a couple of cat toys, which she treated with indifference. Then, I tossed her an army man (this is intriguing. My youngest is 24 years old and army men litter the house!). Oh my! She tossed that little green man around like Sid on Toy Story Later, Little Bear brought home a box from the PO and I told him what Mittens had done, he said Moses loves to toss them around, too. ! I could see a whole new scene with cats and toy soldiers!

When I opened the broken box, I discovered the mouse I’d packed. Mittens was thrilled! Eventually, she lost it. Little Bear later found it in his blankets. I think it was a very good idea I packed her toy and I believe it is helping her feel more comfortable in her new home.

Familiarity is a positive thing when big changes occur.

Piffle plus

I was going to discuss dishes from on the range, but life has dashed off like runaway horses. Not that I know what run away horses are like outside of a TV show or movie, but still. I did have fun on Thanksgiving. I made a spice cake (it was on Podman and Chirp’s anniversary), a stellar crust for a not so shabby punkin pie, and a delicious turkey and a few other meal accessories.

The next day was a trip to the ‘ranch’ (It is just a few miles away). The guys needed to put in watering troughs (called guzzlers) for birds. Very odd giant plastic contraptions. Little Bear said after they were finished that they looked like hunting blinds. If you have ever read the charming story called ‘The Fox Busters‘, you might think it resembles a blind, too!!!

On Tuesday, I went to the doctor and learned I am doing really well diabetically speaking. (I need to send her office a note to tell her of the rest of the day…) My A1C is 6.4, my thyroid is great, as are all the rest of my numbers. She updated a few of my meds, but we are going to pretty much let me get sorted to my Oregon lifestyle and then see where to go from there. I left the office feeling pretty good. I discovered the Sportsman Warehouse I was told about was right next door to a Bed, Bath, and Beyond and a Ross, (which I wasn’t told about) and found nothing I needed except a rug for the bath. It was less expensive at Ross, but I’d already purchased it at BB&B. On the way back to the house, I stopped at a Safeway. I should have gotten dinner, but thought I’d be home soon. Nope. BAD BAD BAD.

Cartoon Police Car Lowrider Car Pictures

I felt funny and was confused. I pulled over and drank a glucerna when I found out how low my glucose was. I was really puzzled by the Chevy behind me, I didn’t know why there was a car behind me when I was stopped. I pulled back out on the road was was super confused. Nothing looked familiar. There were Christmas lights on darkened houses and there was a sign saying the town I lived in was near, but it didn’t look right. I pulled over again and got out of my car when lights flashed behind me. The nice policeman didn’t let me drive to my house (which was just a couple of blocks away) after he told me where I was. The Craftsman was more than 18 miles away with Little Bear. I was at the mercy of the policeman. He drove me home in the backseat of his incredibly uncomfortable vehicle (I think all the comfort is in front!) that was COLD! Turns out the Chevy driver thought I was drunk and was keeping an eye on me til the police arrived. All in all, I made it safely to the house. I need to call my doctor and tell her about this low. I’ve had a lot of them lately. The Craftsman thinks it is cuz I’m not eating as many carbs, so I maybe need to lessen the amount of insulin I take. On the other hand, now I feel high from over treating and need to take a lot more insulin. Stupid roller coaster!!!! Sometimes I really hate this disease and being one of those One in Four who has a chronic illness.

Thankfully, there are mountains and sunsets in Eastern Oregon…not as cool as Alaskan ones, but still nice.

Thankful- Cat Nips

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~W.J. Cameron

Mittens has adjusted to a house of two older male cats better than the two older males have adjusted to her. Maxwell is definitely aging and meows very loud now, cuz he can’t hear himself. Moses hisses and growls, yet he’s not as aggressive as he was with Kila. Part of it might be Mittens maturity, too. She’s over 10 years old and we gained Kila at barely 3. Kila was never mature and enjoyed romping. Mittens, she tends to walk around Moses if he is being annoying. It is funny to watch her disdain. She has hissed a bit at Maxwell, but he can’t hear her anyway!

Both boys are glad to see the female two legger back. Or at least, they are glad to be able to snuggle up to a body after the house empties in the morning and visit with me outside! I’m not too sure they are keen on my giving out CBD drops at bedtime. Maxwell is much harder to dose, he needs it the most, too. Moses is, I think, becoming resigned to them. You can see both of those two hurt as they move. Aging is hell on both man and beast. I’m not putting the drops in their food. Maxwell refuses it and Moses mostly nibbles.

Oddly, the other night, I thought I heard something in the laundry room. I was sure of it when Moses looked up from where he was sleeping on my legs. Then, there was a crash and even Max looked up. I carefully tiptoed out to the laundry room and saw something had fallen, but there was no evidence of an intruder, other than the empty food dish on the floor. I’ve been told there is a neighbor cat who sometimes visits. I was talking to the eldest son at the time and he laughed. His comment between the cats about town? ‘Man, you gotta visit these guys. Cat nip is so old school, they’ve got better stuff in their canned food!’ I had to remind him that CBD oil is not hallucinogenic.

Cats and kids. Crazy adorable fools.

On the Range

Write it. Shoot it. Publish it, crochet it, saute it, whatever. MAKE.” Joss Wheadon

I’ve been busy in the kitchen the last days. I absolutely enjoy cooking. (I also like being taken out for meals, but that isn’t something that happens often.) This last week I’ve made so many tasty things. The cookies and cinnamon cake went over quite well. (I am getting ready to make PB Chocolate chip cookies next. I don’t have m&ms to toss in, but chocolate chips are basically a naked m&m, right??)

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This meatloaf is one of my favorites and Little Bear keeps asking what I’m going to do with the leftovers. I’ve been eating them all by myself! (Being the mom doesn’t always mean I need to give up good things. Slowly learning this!) I must admit, I’ll put the rest on crackers with cheese melted on top as part of our dinner tonight. I prefer the loaf cold, but not everyone is partial to cold meats. (I wonder if the kid will insist on ketchup???) I know he did a spot of cooking while I was gone, his cookbook is well marked!!!

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I’ve cooked a few things from this book, but it looks like Little Bear liked a few more recipes than I did!!!

The next couple of days include a blood draw and more shopping (first foray out on my own since my return to Oregon!). Because of the draw,  I am drinking tea and beverages with electrolytes. I’ve had a few really low lows, so that has been annoying. I stayed in bed late today. I love the mattress pad I purchased in 2016. Alas, The Craftsman says it hurts his hips. So much for memory foam. Thursday, while I am cooking, the guys will remove it from the bed and shrink wrap it for a future sale. It hasn’t been on the bed long at all and while it was there, nothing more happened than sleeping a few hours out of 24.

I have one dr appointment on Wednesday after my blood letting. I tried to make one with my MS doctor, but they said I needed an old patient referral. So, I had to call my primary doctor’s office to schedule a new patient appointment with a new physician because the previous primary doctor I used to have has moved. All this in order to get that referral! At least I will get to see my Diabetes doctor next week with no waffling around.

I’m looking forward to cooking for the holidays. Although, I asked to have the turkey put in the store room (we usually keep thawing birds in there as the temps are chilly, but not bad.). Unfortunately, the temps this week are in the low 30’s to 20’s. I finally brought it in the house to see if those temps might assist it in warming a bit! (the area it is in is still cold, but not as cold as the other room!)  I also have a roast in the sink. I think that will be tomorrow’s evening meal. We can snack on it on Thursday afternoon before the main meal. I forgot how much these guys actually eat!!!

I have gotten a bit more cleaned. Saturday is when I decorate for Christmas. So, I reckon I’ll do more cleaning as I get those things arranged. I’ll also see just what things are not needed and pass them on. I’ve gotten several things sorted and bagged to be donated. Not ones for this great idea. I am going to have to do this, especially next year when I go thru all of mom’s things.

Oregon Part two-

This first week back, I’ve seen many movies. Granted, I am pretty far behind in the Marvel Movie Universe, but I didn’t know we’d watch almost all of them in one week! (OK, we still have the Spiderman ones to watch and I think the first part of the Infinity War) I’m truly a Marvel fan. And definitely a fan of Tom Huddleston.

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It has been hard to adjust to the house. I had forgotten to bring any of my travel toiletries, so didn’t have shampoo or soap for my first shower back (OH! The shower is lovely!!!!). There wasn’t any place to put my things (I’m finally mostly unpacked and it is now Saturday!) and the closet where I keep most of my clothes was full of dust and even cobwebs! (do you know that dusty clothes popped in the dryer with a dryer sheet makes them smell like floral scented burned dirt? I really need to wash them!) In fact, in my craft area, there are a great many webs as well as piled up things moved from another area of the room. I know The Craftsman cleaned, it was just there was so much for him to do. Even the yard is a mess and my rocking chair was left out. (I’m not sure why he didn’t keep the growth contained. He’s very good with lopping off and shaping trees, flowers can’t be too much different!)

My skin is incredibly dry here. No one has touched it but myself, so I guess that is ok. I’m too tired to try to instigate more and he’s always tired. I laughed to myself the other night when he mentioned he was looking forward to not being tired so we could ‘enjoy’ each other. I want to cry with frustration. I didn’t want to scrub when I arrived back (I don’t mind the cooking, I’ve made sit down meals every night and one batch of cookies and a cake. I was also told Saturday afternoon there was a church Thanksgiving dinner Sunday) and I’d like held for longer than a few seconds in a hug. Kissing would be nice, as well. I know I need to give the two of us time to see if we have a future. We’ve lost so much of the past, we need to get reacquainted again. I have been more assertive and I know that has raised some eyebrows (about activities and purchases). I haven’t had time to grieve here, either. But, I can see why. Mum was never much a part of this life. She visited a couple of times and was more of a presence than a person here. It has just been incredibly odd, to say the least.

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I love my kitchen!!!!! 

The guys have some tasks to do up on the ‘ranch’. Something they’ve been working on most of the summer, but opted to wait til now to actually do. So, I’ve been alone most of this Saturday and part of Friday night. I need to find something to take to the meal tomorrow and the idea that they could do part of their project before 10 am, as well as tomorrow afternoon, is shocking! (Procrastination is strong in this family!)

Return to Oregon

It has been ages since my last real post and I am sorry. I do follow thru those which show up via my email, but I don’t reply outside of my head! (and thus, no one gets to see what I am saying. Probably a better form of not communication….)

Since the septic saga, I cleaned and made mom’s house ready for someone else to stay in. (I did forget to put my shampoo away and get out the new stuff in the basement vanity.) I packed and repacked and sorted my own things to take back to Oregon. I did a million errands in that last week I wasn’t supposed to be there. The security system is in place and I ate some of my favorite things. (Except for Thai food, the truck closed down for the season a while ago!) Mom’s mail will be forwarded, the electric company is sorted, and Mittens got her travel papers (see link for that horrible experience!)

Packing was crazy. I am always very organized when it comes to traveling. I make a list days beforehand, including everything I might need. By the time I actually get the items in my bags, I have crossed off things on my list and often put the list in my bag. (TSA could use that paper to see what is in there, but they’d rather rifle thru personal belongings) This time, I had no plan. I couldn’t even find a plan! My lists were vague and I’d often start a task and stop in the middle confused. It eventually was done. Almost everything was eventually finished, but before that, it snowed. (I did dress for it later!)

I was so happy to have snow for my last weekend in Alaska. I even played for a while on Saturday night. Granted, it made a bit of a mess and I didn’t get to go to the church to say goodbye, but it was lovely. TnT and Jewel and her dad came to visit and help me on Sunday. The neighbor’s plowed (there was a lot of snow!) so we could have some ease in our movements. One of my security guys dropped in to get a key. My sister texted and it was decided she’d stay at home. But, I had celebrated her at a birthday gathering a few days before. I didn’t sleep well on Sunday, since I had to leave dark and early on Monday, but I managed!

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Jake’s Birthday-she’s holding the drink. 

The next day started well. Nancy took me to the airport and regaled me with stories of flying with 4H chicks and laying hens to their fish site every summer. She told me about living in a tent with a cat when she first moved to Alaska and made me realise how much I appreciate a modern lifestyle. TnT met me to say goodbye and I didn’t have time to be as sad as I might have been normally. Mittens was no thrilled with the experiences she was having! (Travel with a full grown cat not used to it is probably similar to traveling with a teething toddler)

I was glad I’d packed a couple of breakfast bars, they compromised most of my food intake that day! I drank my last can of diet Pepsi in Nancy’s SUV, had one bar before the flight to Seattle (I also had a cookie I was given on the flight out of town), one during the flight to Seattle, and a half a glass of white wine from Seattle to the small town I was disembarking in.

I was met when I got off the tarmac by a grinning Little Bear and a smiling spouse. I actually got a whole hug from the kid (we are working on those) and The Craftsman lightly kissed me hello and put his arm around me while we waited for luggage. It was nice to not have to manage more than Mittens, my bag, and her empty cat carrier (we had two carriers by the end of the trip). At the rig, I climbed into the back seat with the cat and smiled. The last times I arrived back there were flowers. Not this time. Then, Little Bear mentioned they’d stopped for dinner at McD’s and had gotten me a hamburger. Since it was 730 AK time and 630 in the PNW and I’d lost blood and was tired, I opted to eat it while The Craftsman finished his own meal.

On the way to the house, they pointed out things that had changed in the last two years. (the roads in the next town have definitely been modified. I was glad to have a head’s up on that one!) At the house, I noticed that even though a great many things were different, many were the exact same. Mittens was happy to be released from her confines and I made plans to go shopping the next day. (I’ll continue with the story of this first week in my next post!)

Home is melting!!! The lake the neighbor’s skated on last Saturday is now rather wet! TnT sent me a photo and my nice frozen drive is a quagmire of muck. Any burglars who visit will get stuck!!!!!

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Flight of the Angry Cat- Cat Nips

And that’s the wonderful thing about family travel:  it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind.  ~Dave Barry 

I wanted to post this on Wednesday, but am trying to catch up. This is rather long, it was a terrible trip! Family travel is always interesting, this trip will definitely be locked forever in scar tissue!

Mittens did not adjust to the carrier well. She was given her little relaxing pill about 530 in the morning before incarceration. The drive from the house to the airport was not too easy for her, but I figured, the pill hadn’t gotten into her yet. At the small airport she was mildly annoyed, but I wasn’t too worried.

That first flight was bad, it was a precursor of the rest of the day. Foreboding, if I had known it. I was able to fit the carrier in comfortably under the seat, it was dark, and there was turbulence. When we disembarked, I hot footed it to security. I wanted to get thru before any sort of rush. Mittens wasn’t impressed with being removed and then stuffed back inside her blue home for the day, it didn’t matter. Eventually, she calmed a bit more. I think waiting in a quiet spot where we’d eventually board helped. I was near the window where our plane out of Alaska was waiting for cleaning and new passengers. We were there for close to 3 hours or more.

That was when things took a dip for the worse. I’m still very annoyed about the whole thing. It was close to boarding, so I decided I’d better go to the bathroom. When we returned to our quiet spot, an airline employee popped around the corner of the spot and asked my name and if I had a cat. I responded yes. She looked at the carrier and said, ‘That isn’t going to fit.’ She zipped around the wall and then I was called to the desk. I was told there was a good chance my carrier wouldn’t fit and they were going to preboard me to have me check. This didn’t sound too bad. I knew it had fit well on the small plane, I was sure it would be ok. I got on the plane with no one around me except stewardesses who suggested I measure any seat in a certain section as they were all the same size underneath. I slid the carrier with Mittens inside underneath a random seat and it didn’t fit. Bewildered, I turned it and it still did not fit. I was then told I’d need to get a new carrier for the cat.

I left the plane and went to the front desk. There I was asked what I wanted to do. When I responded I was told to get a new carrier, it was discovered there wasn’t one in the area. I’m not sure where they had to go, but the blamed thing was 55$ and soft. I was asked if I still wanted the blue carrier and when I responded yes, they sent it on without charging extra.

This time the two of us entered the plane last and the new carrier didn’t fit under the seat at all! It was worse than the first one. After I landed in my seat, I realized the zip for the top was on the far end and thought I should move the carrier around. Darn good thing I did, it wasn’t secure and an incredibly pissed Mittens almost got out! The lovely lady next to me helped secure the flap as I kept Mittens in place. I spent that entire 3 or more hours bent over the carrier, tapping the side, talking to Mittens, and managed to get a pinky finger mauled. The carrier, being soft, was writhing with angry cat like an unborn alien. The black mesh often had stark white claws poking through. The yowls went from soft heart rending sounds to curses of pure evil incarnate. I was fortunate my seat mates were kind. The man on the window side was plugged into his earphones and didn’t seem bothered by the cat accompaniment near his feet or the woman next to him who kept bumping him as she tried to manage the cat from her seat. The lady in the aisle seat also helped hide the fact that the carrier wasn’t under the seat in front of us. She was wonderful! (the first photo is the carrier on the plane to Seattle. The second was after arriving in Oregon. The black one is a tad thinner and shorter, but the height was close to the same. The hard plastic did slide better, too)

 

Eventually, we arrived in SeaTac. I was so tired and so thankful we didn’t need to take the tram to the next destination. I called Mittens’ vet in Alaska and was told it was ok to give her another pill. I also gave up blood. Mittens seemed slightly more at ease, so the last flight wasn’t quite as awful. I am pretty sure a good portion of her horror on the larger plane was where we were seated. We were over the wheels and it was not quiet at all. The vibrations underfoot were intense for human toes, I can imagine how Mittens felt!

I was able to relax a bit on our last flight and even enjoyed a half a glass of white wine. It took a bit after landing to get our luggage, there was an announcement about some difficulties. I wondered if it was the empty cat carrier stashed somehow in with the rest of the suitcases. No matter, we left and eventually got to the house. Mittens was very glad to be released and has not gone back in the open blue carrier for any reason what so ever! I put her old blanket in it in case she felt she needed a secure spot. I also found a pill in the bottom of the black mesh bag.

All in all, traveling with a cat was an experience I learned several things from. First, I will never do this again unless the cat is used to travel or is much younger or is stuffed. Second, people like pets, but not if the critters are unhappy. Third, soft sided carriers are made for the transport of calm creatures.  Fourth, call the pertinent airlines and ask them to tell you exactly the specific sizes for carriers for travel. And last, imbibe fabric in the carrier with calming aroma approved for a feline, people in the cabin, and harried two leggers!

Where did the time go?

I changed my ticket. I had to, I’m running out of time. It’s now for the Monday after next. The septic is finally fixed…we’ll see for how long. Security will be put on the house this week, we can’t use modern technology cuz mom is in the boondocks. So, thankfully, I’m glad I kept her landline! I’m not sure how I’m going to manage to keep things running the next months. It would be too difficult to empty things out now, though. It’s still too close for me, no matter what others think. The house is getting cleaned and I’ve decided I will never burn candles except on birthday cakes. Her bathroom walls, bath, toilets, window and what not was covered with sooty black crap. I have a picture, but I have trouble adding from the iPad.

Meanwhile, I’m sharing (PUN) a favorite artist and tune from YouTube. Enjoy!

For the Birds!-Cat Nips

“The noisy jay swoops by and reviles me, he complains of my meow and my malingering.” Henry N. Beard

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I stopped to speak to a friend and found this stunning cat staring at the birds in a nearby yard. I poised my phone to take his photo and wasn’t able to capture it. I then realised I’d caught the attention of the owner of the house! So, being a cat person and a bird person, I went to speak to her. It wasn’t her cat, but she’d been feeding the birds and the youngster had been coming over from next door to check things out. While we were talking the cat jumped into the tree and poised perfectly. The beautiful two legger removed the gorgeous furbaby from the limb and held it gently until the owner’s daughter came to retrieve it. We were both a bit surprised, the daughter had an enormous dog and the cat was NOT impressed with the dog. He scratched the woman’s neck! The girl soon came back sans dog and took the feline. Crazy quick cat experience and the gaining of a new acquaintance! (The cat is named Klaus, from Vampire Diaries)

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