Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!!!

It is nice to have a four day weekend but this weekend is more than that to me. Thanksgiving has to be my favorite holiday. It is less commercial than Christmas. It is about a nice meal with traditional favorites and family. Now my family get together isn't the big deal that most think of, but it is a day that I plan the meal way ahead and we all sit down to eat at the same time scheduled around who has to work and who has the day off.

This year's meal was strange to say the least. No turkey. That is strange enough, but Dan didn't come home as he had that unexpected week off just two weeks ago, and he needs to come home soon for a shot in his spine, so the biggest eater wasn't at the table this year. Danielle is now vegetarian, and Stef hates seafood. So, I planned on a Costco chicken (smaller than a turkey) and a shrimp platter (I would eat some of both meal plans). Costco decided to run out of the shrimp platter and I had to settle for the sushi tray. Danielle is used to good sushi from where she works so wasn't at all satisfied by the makeshift sushi. Stef enjoyed her chicken and I had mashed potatoes, gravy (for me and Stef) and deviled eggs, veggies and dip, dinner rolls to die for, and the two layer pumpkin pie with the cream cheese layer on the bottom.

Danielle then went to work. Stef and I followed a few hours later and visited her at the bar she works at one day a week and sat at the bar for a drink. It was fun to see her at work. She made Stef two fancy drinks and it was better than sitting at home by myself after dinner.

So, no turkey, no cranberries, no green bean casserole, no stuffing. And a drink at the bar in Troy. Very strange but really nice. This holiday gives me warm fuzzy feelings.

Now to deal with the craziness and anxiety that only Christmas can give me. . . .

Monday, November 24, 2008

peak and boo.jpg

peak and boo.jpg
Originally uploaded by jntrowley
I found this picture and it makes me smile. I think we are ready for a new cat. But we have to realize that the new cat won't be Bob. Bob wasn't Bob when we got him. He had to grow into that. Maybe this weekend?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The New Frugality

So now we are hearing on the news little tips on how to be frugal. We all need to start brewing coffee at home and carrying it to work in a travel mug. We all need to write on the backside of our scrap paper. We need to combine our shopping trips so we can save on fuel. Pack your lunch and save lots of money!!! Use coupons and combine them with sale items and become rich with all the money saved!!!! Don't go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Make a list and stick to it!!!! Eat at home. Forgo the restaurant meals. Drink tap water. We used to do that, remember?

Ok, I do all of the above. Why aren't I rich with all the money I have saved for the past 50 years? My dad had a saying, "You can go broke saving money". Dad was right.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Life is Back to Normal?

Dan is back at work. He left on Friday after being home for a week. It may sound cruel that I wanted him to leave but you can't pay the bills with togetherness. He makes no money with the truck sitting in my driveway. So now things are back to normal somewhat.

Danielle is studying alot. That is good.

Stefanie is stressing alot about overdue student loans, poor wages, old vehicle, etc. Join the club.

It does seem funny to get up in the morning and not have a cat try to trip me going down the steps to make coffee. It seems really lonely and dark when I come home from work and I truly am home alone. Over the weekend I heard a little noise while reading the paper and thought just for a split second that he was vomiting. He wasn't. Once, I thought I saw him dart from behind the recliner toward the front door. Then I remembered that he was dead.

Sunday was my birthday. I had gone to sleep the night before with my phone on vibrate and missed several calls from an upset Stefanie about her car breaking down and "Please call me". Then I read text messages from Dan telling me that Stef thinks her transmission went on the old Bonneville. Lovely and all before the coffee was made. Happy Birthday to me.

Then I make my way downstairs and see bits and pieces of Stefanie's belongings and am reassured that she did make it home after all. Then I am annoyed that her car is at home and not towed to the repair shop. Then I think that she was just thinking about getting home and that she would deal with the car later. OK. Then I am annoyed that the car has been deposited by the tow truck behind my car and I am trapped in the garage. OK. I can wake Danielle up to get her keys and move her car out of the garage first and then I will be able to work my car out of it's place and go buy my Sunday paper. Then I think maybe I can start the disabled car and move it. OK. It starts right up. Maybe it won't drive? No, I pull out onto the road and drive around the neighborhood. OK. I look under the hood, check the fluids, and look for broken belts, etc. Seems normal. So why did she say she broke down on the freeway and have to be towed home?

I get in my car to go get the Sunday paper and it is very cold. And quiet. I am driving down the road and my blower fan is not running. I turn it on high and nothing. Great. Now my car is possessed too. I check under the hood when I returned home and everything seems normal. Great. No blown fuse. No broken belts. Nothing. I decide to sit on the couch and read the paper.

I drive to Costco later in the day and realize that it is getting hot inside the car and I turn the heat down. My fan is working now. I am happy about it working, but that is weird. I get up Sunday morning thinking that I have two cars to take in for repair and before the day is over, I have no car problems that I know of.

I park in the garage and go to the mailbox to check for mail from Saturday. Several birthday cards are waiting for me. Happy Birthday to me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why I Don't Do the Christmas Letter

This is so typical of my life. Whenever I think I can stop worrying about Dan's employment or lack of, something happens to burst my little bubble. Last year he got fired the Monday of Thanksgiving week. The next day a deer ran into my car as I was making my way to work. There went the Christmas bonus. What a Christmas letter our family would come up with. I think that may be why we don't do the Christmas letter.

So this November, he comes home for his 4 days off after driving for 30 days straight as an over-the-road truck driver. He gets home 2 days after poor Bob died. He didn't even want to come into the house that night. He asked me if he was going to like going in there, and I told him he would if he likes empty.

On his fourth day home, we went to his appointment to get an injection in his spine to deaden some of the pain in his back and legs and feet from his arthritis and evidently from a pinched nerve somewhere in the lower back. That went well actually. He seems to be in a lot less pain and is finally able to do some things for himself finally that I have had to do for him when he comes home. That is a cause for celebration. Maybe he will be able to cut back on some of the pain meds. Hope.

On Tuesday, he wasn't able to go out on the run they came up for him because he had to make a trip to see his medical doctor to get the blood sugar checked. He passed that test and was ready to leave out on Wednesday. No run. Sat in the truck ready to go for nothing. Came back home. At this point, I couldn't deal with one more meal to cook for him. I want and need to get back into the salad/stir fry meal plans that I have been living on (and losing weight on). I had a half a can of soup and ran to Burger King for him.

Today, he slept in the recliner waiting for the run that never came. All day. Now he has the company truck here. They are losing money while the truck sits in our driveway. However, they don't want to spend money to just have him drive out of this area for a load. Time to spend money to make money. I am going to tell him to file for unemployment tomorrow if they don't come up with something.

This year's Christmas letter would not be much better than last year's would have been.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Are We Ready For a New Cat?

Well, we are starting to talk about adopting a rescue cat. Danielle was so adamant at first about never getting another cat as long as she lives. Now she's thinking what to name a new cat. She says she prefers a male cat, maybe named something like Frankie. Stef doesn't care what we name it as long as it is cute and little. I tried to remind her that a new cat would not be Bob. Bob wasn't Bob when we got him. He had to grow with the family and became his own person. Each animal has their own personality and I am afraid we would expect this new cat to open doors with his paws on the doorknob, flush toilets just because he can, and love us at first sight. Bob didn't love us at first but that was 12 years ago and no one really remembers what he was like.

Bob came from a pet supply store in Warren where he was living in a cage with his mother. The rest of the litter had been adopted when I first met him. We had been thinking about getting a cat for a short time and I just happened to be browsing in the store and came across a little gray and white sleeping kitten. His mother had been returned once already because she was too mouthy. That should have been a warning but I took the little kitten home anyway. I took Stef to the pet supply store after work that day to show her but she was too scared to hold him so a little girl shopping with her father held him. We left with him in a box and Stef was afraid he would get out. I am not sure what she thought he might do to her. She wasn't used to animals and wasn't too sure what would happen if he climbed out of the cardboard box.

As a surprize for Danielle that evening, we took him to the ballet studio when we picked her up from dance class. That was his last outing just for fun.

Think I may stop at Petco to look at the animals up for adoption. We'll see.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Two Pounds

The two pounds that I have been struggling with the past few months are gone. My house is clean. I renewed my driver's license and my license plate tag. I dropped the water bill payment off at the township office before the cutoff date. I returned my library books and washed the car. I renewed my subscription to a cookbook magazine that I enjoy. Now what?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

flush it flush it now.jpg

flush it flush it now.jpg
Originally uploaded by jntrowley

Why I Didn't Vote

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
I won't be blogging anymore about Bob after today. He died in Danielle's arms on Tuesday, Election Day. Stefanie called me at work and was crying so hard that I really couldn't understand much of what she said. I called Danielle and heard Bob crying in agony and told her I was on my way home. Unfortunately, he died while I was stuck in traffic on 696.

When I got home Stef was in the kitchen crying and Danielle was laying on the couch. Bob was under a little gray blanket on the living room floor. He liked to sleep on that blanket and now he was lifeless under it.

I lifted the corner of the blanket back and saw his little head with an open mouth and I recovered him. We took him to the vet's office and paid the $50 to cremate him. I told the girls that when I was a kid we just would have buried him in the back yard. Truthfully, when we get a lot of rain the backyard floods and I couldn't think of him under water like that.

Everyone at work was so nice to me and even stuck a sympathy card in my locker. I work with a lot of animal lovers. That made it easier. They had all heard my Bob stories for the seven years that I have worked in that office. Now they shared my grief.

I am going to send one more picture after this one. He is irreplaceable. And this next picture is priceless to me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cat Depression

Tonight I came home from work and sat on the couch with the cat wrapped in a towel and force-fed him. His little jaws are like steel traps. He is weak from not eating. Dan keeps calling me to ask how he is doing. Stef took him out today for an outing. He went to the neighbors to look for the crickets. None there. All packed up for the winter.

When I was done giving him CatSure (like Ensure for old people) and medicine to stimulate his appetite I tried to stick some food in for good measure. What am I doing? I told myself I wasn't spending money on this cat. Ten dollars for one can of CatSure. Three phonecalls to the vet, an extra trip there to pick up medicine to make him hungry. One can of food that the vet said was real "tasty". All for what? A cat that lays in the rocking chair too weak to clean the excess food off his face.

I promised the girls that he wasn't going to die. The vet said he is perfectly healthy except for the arthritis. He is "focusing on the pain". And he has decided to die. He has no will to live. What now?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sick Kitty

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
We took Bob to the doctor Wednesday evening. He was traumatized to say the least. The exam had to take place in the back room because they had to muzzle him and the blood curdling screams we heard made my skin crawl. Poor Stef immediately started crying and her mascara poured down her face.

The doctor was real nice to us but let us know right off the bat that we were probably dealing with organ failure. Not very comforting. He ordered bloodwork and that only showed that he has high cholestral. Next came an xray. At one point they came and got Stef to help them because he got away and they needed help catching him. Stef beat me through the door so I just waited in the exam room.

The doctor came in with a laptop and showed me the entire insides of my cat. Kidneys good, small liver, a big gas bubble in his stomach from all his screaming. And then he shows me the arthritic lower spine. A cortisone injection and he should be "fine by tomorrow". Bob was now convinced that he had died and gone to hell. He received his injection and we were out the door.

Today is Saturday and he won't eat, barely drinks water, and stays in the hall closet most of the time. I have tried all his favorite taste treats and no result. My husband suggested I take him outside to get some fresh air. I opened the front door and he smelled the air and out of the closet he came. I opened the screen door and he went outside, stretching his back legs as he gingerly made his way onto the porch. Over to the neighbors he went to look for last summer's crickets. They had packed up and were gone for the season so he came home and carefully made his way up our steps and went under the green tulip chair and sat.

After a while I opened the door and he came in slowly and went to the living room to try and vomit the contents of his stomach. Not much there so he went back into the closet to sleep.

This can't be my cat. My cat is playful and bright eyed. My cat bites his owners and eats or wants to eat constantly. In the twelve years we have had him, never once have I tried to get him to eat. I usually tell him that he can't eat again!!!!! My cat wanted to eat every hour. He used to think that every move we made must mean that we were headed to the kitchen to feed him.

I did try and call his doctor today and left a voicemail for him. I just need some type of advice on what to try and feed him or how to force feed him. I am worried about where this is going.