Saturday, November 17, 2012


Okay, I'm blubbering. I just got a notice from Heifer International telling me that "Someone, somewhere is getting a goat" because a gift was made in my name by Win and Sheldon. I don't know how to express what this means to me. As poor as I am, I have witnessed and lived among worlds of deeper poverty, and I never forget it. Plus I love goats inordinately, I adore their milk and cheese and stubbornness even when "domesticated". Some woman somewhere will now, at the very least, have access to daily protein nutrition for her family. (I keep having to go back and correct errors because I'm typing through blurred vision.) Thank you, thank you.


Friday, November 16, 2012


Scout has worked herself into a lather. I have one of those cat play wands complete with cord but missing the toy that was once at the end of the tether. I flailed it about enticingly and she pounced, grabbing it firmly and trying to haul it away to her Handball Court in the foyer.

However, I kept a tight grip on the wand and the cord slid smoothly out her teeth. We have endlessly repeated my tease, her pounce, and then her gallop away, eyes and tail high, looking like Custer streaking for the Little Big Horn. (You can almost hear the strains of Garry Owen in the air.) Only to be foiled by it eluding even her cleverest grip, as she moves higher up the cord or wraps it around a paw.

She utters a tiny high MEEP of frustration as the sinuous adder wriggles loose again. To get hands-free to write this, I pretended to throw the wand, then quickly hid it under a blanket. She missed the sleight of hand but still knows I am To Blame, and has come to search my palm, the keyboard, and even sniff my hair irritably.

She has a hot temper, that one. I am starting to think of her as choosing Rosie O'Donnell for a role model. While Dinah is pure Callista Gingrich.


Thursday, November 15, 2012


Eddie came and took me through a rigorous round of upper and lower body resistance exercises while explaining to me the rules of craps, one of the few games I've never played. Scout had to be locked in the bedroom for this as she goes gonzo over the Therabands and my exposed feet.


Tammi had a cooking marathon, making wholegrain/flax/blueberry pancakes to be reheated for the next several days; steamed Yukon Gold potatoes; and Indian-spice-marinated pork cutlet for my dinner tonight. We already have stewed tomatoes and home-poached chicken for lunch today. Plus I get to have my weekly banana for dessert, a real treat.


I bought FortiFlora from the vet yesterday as it is making Dinah eat whatever it is sprinked on; she cleared out a bowl of W/D kibble last night. She will not touch the probiotics I already had. This new stuff costs $1 a day but at the moment I will delay another bill to get food inside her. She and Scout double-teamed to wake me up an hour early today, in part by squabbling over the damned empty bowl.

I created a Wish List of stuff I need and stuff I want, will post it at my blog.  This seemed like a good visalization counter-balance to all the end-of-life documents Marj and I are preparing.  I plan to go on living, and might as well daydream about what that could include.

Two weeks from today, Margot will arrive...


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin arrive in Washington, D.C.
Scout decided to become paws-on during today's bath and shampoo, then squeaked indignantly when she got, you know, wet. She was also in the wrong place when I had to roll to the side during linen change and her tail got pinned under my shoulder. She did the kitten version of Margot's Brummy "GEROFF ME!" and bit my elbow before I could react.

I am basking in the photo of Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren everyone I know has posted up at Facebook. They are undoubtedly fulfilling the Bechdel Rule in whatever convo they are having, and are wearing slacks, my friends, not let-me-reassure-you-about-my-femininity Bachmann-bot dresses.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Nursing visit for the week is done. We discussed the logistics of me getting a shingles vaccination, esp since I reacted so badly to chickenpox at age nine. Will ask the doc for it tomorrow at her visit. Pushing hydration has helped with the allergy-med change. Jessica also suggested I ask for another Nanci visit to get the skinny on this latest social service offer; so many of the state-sponsored plans in Tejas have unforeseen drawbacks, and Gilead's caseworker extraordinaire knows all the stuff nobody else warns you about.

Also powered through PT with Eddie. Sat up and got back prone unassisted; remaining sitting for 15 minutes before pain overswept me. I'm now trembling uncontrollably and feel chilled, but triumphant. Scout came again to gape at me sitting; she will have a seizure once I become any form of mobile.

MoW delivered lunch during PT. Today is burger day with ranch beans and a peach crisp. One of their down-home meals. I won't feel like eating for at least an hour, however. Usually all I can manage after PT is a bottle of water and a pain pill, followed by an abrupt nap. Later this afternoon will be more social service calls. I am up next week for recertification for both nursing and physical therapy. Inch by inch, row by row....



Here's the weekly best of what I've gleaned from I Can Has Cheezburger efforts. There are some really creative folks out there.


Monday, November 12, 2012


On Friday we replaced the front porch bulb which had burned out. The only kind left in my cupboard was a 150 watt halogen, and my nighttime patio has become bright as day. About an hour ago, I was riveted to see Puddy the Possum make another appearance. She climbed to the very top of the birdfeeder pole, balanced a minute on the decorative crossbar, then flipped herself backwards, head down, hanging by clenched little grey feet and her somewhat prehensile tail. She inched upside-down to the tray where we set out black sunflower seeds and cracked corn, crawling onto this with her front legs and finding a solid perch.

She is lit up like the Great Pyramid at Giza during tourist season, but does not seem to be fully aware of it. Twice people have walked by on the sidewalk, only two feet away from her, and she freezes as they stop to gape: She is very good at immobility. After they move on, she resumed breathing and munching.

I eventually called for the cats, to share, and that's when I discovered the door between here and the hall is shut, with the cats sequestered on the other side. This is the third time such an event has happened in the last few weeks, and I have been quite critical of negligent attendants. However, tonight after Debra left I looked down the hall at Scout playing, and she and Dinah were both in here after Debra's departure. So the door closing was done post-Debra, which means it was one of the cats doing the deed. I'd bet any amount of money on Scout. She is relentlessly curious and will not stop messing with anything that moves. She has now managed to lock herself and Dinah away from me for the night.

Fortunately, Dinah's room has a bowl of kibble, their waterer, and a litter box, so their needs will be met. I imagine Dinah will be royally frustrated before 9 a.m. rolls around again.

Ah, Puddy just left. Wild kingdom is over for the night.

In poor cripdom news, I got a packet this weekend from another social service agency that I failed to qualify for in the past but likely will now. I pulled out the form this morning and recognized it as the self-same 25-pager I filled out last week for recert of attendant care and three weeks ago for food stamps, even down to the mailing address. I called the agency in question and got the caseworker there whom I've worked with in the past. She verified it is basically the same form, and all the documentation I must include (another 25 pages) will be identical, but these agencies sharing an address cannot share my forms with each other.

So I spent two hours this afternoon re-entering all the same data and arranging for another set of copies of the latest documents they want, which Tammi will have to pick up and mail tomorrow at the cost of an attendant hour. Yep, the Republicans sure have saved a bundle with all this relentless paperwork and suspicious checking -- three times the number of personnel hours just to prove I don't have a secret trust fund. A new question on the forms this year demands to know if I have a burial plot or prepaid funeral: Would I have to cash that in to get aid? What an evil line of inquiry.


Sunday, November 11, 2012


Jack, a 16-year-old goat, formed a devoted relationship with Charlie, a blind 40-year-old horse. Jack essentially became Charlie’s eyes, and would lead him around the ranch property where they both lived. When Charlie finally died, Jack lost his sense of purpose and rapidly failed. They are buried together in one of the private meadows where they loved to graze.

When you wake up from a long headachy nap to a loudly-purring, velvety-soft kitten stretched solid across your chest, you take your time even opening your eyes. You whisper her name and feel her flex sheathed paws against you. You realize, once again, that love and communication are usually the same thing.

This week I watched Nature's Animal Odd Couples and was struck by how biologists who study animals have felt prevented from using the term "friendship" for fear of anthropomorphizing. Social sciences still flee from the spectre of not being real science. However, you'd hope they could realize the pounding emphasis on animal mating behavior, to the near exclusion of other equally significant bonds, is driven by our own heteronormative bias.

Species benefit includes company and love, however you define it. We can come up with those definitions if we stop prioritizing male-female reproduction as the only drive in nature.