Sickbed delusions…

I attended our grandson’s regional spelling bee this morning at 9:00. I got to spend about 20 minutes occupying our 2 year old granddaughter in the hallways of the college it was held at. By the time 11am came around, round five was over and I was feeling feverish. I excused myself and came home. There, I got into jammies, crawled into bed and fell fast asleep for the next three hours. I’ve been trying to stay sorta awake since, because I want to be sure I can sleep tonight. Thus, my little ditty.

Why do my male cats insist on cage fighting in a litter box? Every now and then I wake to find litter everywhere in the bathroom, the box lid halfway across the room, the scooper too. It is funny when you get to witness it, but I hate the clean up. If only I could teach them to clean up after themselves. Bwaaahaaahaaa!

My tummy feels a bit nauseous, but also a bit hungry. The few crackers I tried an hour ago have stayed down.

Why is it that we get stay in bed sick whenever we have a busy schedule? We were supposed to have a gal over to discuss some stuff relating to our fellowship gatherings today. Had to go through the process of explaining I was sick, Thanking her for the well wishes, then rescheduling. Tomorrow I am supposed to provide a bride, groom, wedding planner and a mom a tour of our barn/wedding facility. More explaining, finding a creative way to not cancel the tour, and thinking. Not thinking clearly. Good thing this wedding planner is already familiar with the facility from a previous wedding she organized last year on our property.

La la la la la.

I hate being sick. But I am determined to make the best of it. Catch up on some sleep deficits, play some Solitaire on an old hand held game. Sleep more. Lose a couple pounds in the process. Not the best way to do that, but a minor perk of no appetite.

Look for the silver lining folks. It’s usually there. Just, sometimes hon have to look harder than at other times.


Grand grands…

Boy and their toys.

Feeding ducks and fish

Watching cartoons

We visited a different park every other day


Watching swim lessons

A banana bread baking contest between mom and Grammi

Dinosaurs and trains

Playing games and building toys

Origami straw rockets

Walks to the store

Noisy meals

Gourmet cooking

Little boys arguing

Covid…. sigh…

Shopping with our daughter

Lunch at a really cool Soba restaurant

Helping address and stamp my daughters New Years cards

A snot tsunami after a sneeze

Two boys howling like wolves

Origami monster corner bookmarks

Bey blades crazy

Walks to the post box

Veggie Tales Silly Songs with Larry

Quiet mornings for prayer before the family wakes

Reading a great book

Being buried in stuffed animals

Coloring via app during kid TV time

Watching cooking shows with our daughter and son (in-law) after after the boys bedtime

A weekend road trip to the place my father served in the Navy

A Japanese dollar store trip

Coffee… lots of coffee. Almost daily trips to a coffee shop.

Tiny and huge hotel rooms

Mountains, oceans and plains

Smallest elevator I have ever seen

Word of the day: Magnificent

Random outbursts into song and dance during meals

“I’m hungrier than a peacock eating snacks”

Pokémon chip cards

Guard Cat

Waking to two 4.4 earthquakes, that I originally thought were my cats scratching themselves on my bed.

Walking past the guard cat, seriously, with a pillow for a shield.

Gift giving and receiving.

Extravagant hospitality.

Aunts, uncles, cousins grandparents and great grandparents

Blowing bubbles

My father explaining crossword puzzles to his great grandsons

Wind and Sun

Used Kimono shopping with my daughter

Goodbye tears leaving them

Happy tears to see my honey again

Outside time…

Today is Sabbath. I have no schedules to keep. No grandchildren to pick up at certain times. No chores to get done. No place to be, no one to see. It is a day of leisure, and I savor every moment.

Since the morning was cool, I decided to take the cats out for some fun. I let them out, then brought out my bowl of oatmeal with blueberries I picked yesterday with a grandson, and a few craisins. As they did their customary rolling around on the cement to begin the time, I positioned a chair in the sun and put two navy blue cushions on it. They went sniffing around the patio and patio furniture, frequently turning to check if I was still in my chair.

I decided to put my phone and daily paper planner down and really enjoy the moment. It wasn’t long before the big boy Waldo caught the scent of something and headed out uncharacteristically slow to the middle of the yard. It was interesting to see him in hunting mode, since he is usually the big, oafish playboy. His smaller brother galloped out to join him. I enjoyed watching them both stick their faces into the old vole holes in the lawn, and doing the super slow hunting movements. It was particularly beautiful to watch as a cloud would begin to cover the sun, and I could watch a wave of darkness move across the yard, followed by a wave of sunshine as the sun reappeared from behind the cloud. It made the scene somewhat… ethereal? It was like watching a beautiful slow dance.

That lasted for about ten minutes. Waldo got some ants in his pants, turned towards the house and came galloping back at full speed. I could hear his paws as they thudded into the lawn and could almost feel the ground shake. He is a big boy at 20 pounds. Twice the weight of most of the casts I have ever owned. Soon his brother did the same, but at a more relaxed pace.

As they were hunting, I wondered if there was anything I could learn from them that would apply to my spiritual life. I don’t want to be a hunter. Hunting is for preservation, or sport. Nope, nothing there. After they returned to the porch, they began to wander out of sight around the corner of the house. The rule is stay in sight, or you go in the house. They get one reminder. I will go pick them up, tell them they need to stay close, and put them down in front of my chair. The second time, if there is one, I pick them up and tell them, if you don’t stay close, you go inside, and I put them inside. Waldo did it first, then Statler. As I watched them graze on the grass I thought to myself, and prayed at the same time, that God would come after me to bring me into his protective sight should I ever wander out of his sight, and that he would be willing to shut me up in his house if I keep at it. I know his word talks about giving the disobedient over to follow their own lusts I don’t want him to wash his hands of me. Ever. I want to make my heavenly Father happy. I want to learn obedience, even if that means receiving some discipline.

By this time, the clouds weren’t little anymore, but it was mostly cloudy. With the sun hiding, the breeze was getting too cool for my jammies. I called the cats to come in, to no avail. I went after Waldo first. He did his little run away a few feet from me and flop into the lawn. His way of saying “aw mom, do I have to?” I carried him in without a struggle. His brother did the same.

I don’t ever want to be so disobedient that I can’t learn. I don’t ever want to be so disobedient that God washes his hands of me. I want his blessings. I want to know the joy of him being happy with the life I have led. I pray that you can find joy in knowing YHWH/the LORD, the creator of all things, and see his blessing upon your life when you chose to live according to his instructions for life. Oh taste and see that the LORD is good!

Mice, Mice, Baby…

Statler is a mouse hunting machine! With summer weather, we eat dinner on our back porch regularly, and have started letting the cats out with us. The first night out, our black cat, Statler, slowly made his way out to the vole holes in the lawn, and crouched. There he patiently waited for about 10 minutes. In a flash he pounced and threw something into the air. He had caught a mouse that was now using the defunct tunnels! He quickly brought it back to the porch where we were, and played with it until it stopped moving. We then made sure it was dead and disposed of it.

It was amazing to watch his hunting instincts kick in so quickly! We weren’t sure since the boys have been inside cats for almost two years. what an amazing miracle to watch. And it was repeated the next night also!

A few days later, Waldo decided to prance out to his brother and try to “help”. He was not stealthy, or slow, but awkward and quick. We think he would be more of a bird cat. He lives playing with a feather toy on a long stick. He also seemed to want to patrol the perimeter of the yard. It was interesting to watch.

Watching animals of all kinds make me praise our Creator, God. It is amazing, and humbling. But, it makes me feel… significant. Because I am also one of His miraculous creations. I hope you have one of those moments in the near future. A moment of feeling significant.

Happy feet…

When Statler, our black cat starts winding around my feet, I know he’s wanting some love. Some “mommy pick me up and cuddle” time. As soon as I do, his paws start opening wide, then closing right. I call this his “happy feet”.

Happy, happy feet!

This week, I also have happy feet, for the first time in years. I was born with my right foot twisted in towards my left. It was corrected with braces before my memories begin. Over the years, I had to wear “corrective” shoes. They were ugly, expensive and invariably made my long flat feet look even bigger than life. For a few years in my early twenties, I tried wearing ballet style shoes, and heels. That didn’t last long, as the pronation caused ankle pain. To a podiatrist I went and I have worn orthotic inserts ever since. They would relive the pain for a few years. When the pain returned, I would try a different style of orthotics. Sports shoes were my life, but I wanted to wear sandals during the summer with dresses. I took a few summers wearing sandals, and seemed to do OK. It’s probably good we have short summers here.

Anyway, over the last three or four years, I noticed a bone had shifted in my arch area. I began had a three month episode of crushing pain at the end of the day that would cause me to limp horribly. Not good for the back or hips or knees. I could no longer wear my Birkenstock’s, as that dropped bone hit the arch area hard, and it was downright painful. The pain in the inner ankle continued to increase, making walking uncomfortable. I began to limit my activity around the house and property, and stopped walking with friends. I went through several sets of orthotics during that time, each set working for a while, but the pain eventually returning. Soon, I began experiencing unbearable pain with my first dozen steps each morning. After a bit of research, I decided to sleep in a plantar fasciitis brace. It keeps your foot flexed at a bit over 90 degrees. I figured if the tendon was shrinking at night being relaxed, and the pain was from re-stretching it, then keeping it in a semi stretched position would help. It did. No more pain in the morning. The daily pain continued to increase. I went to one foot doctor who listened to my symptoms, looked at my X-rays, but never touched my foot, only to tell me that it was just a matter of time before I would need surgery. No compassion, no intermediate options presented. The other day, I went to another foot doctor, basically to be told that I just needed better orthotics, and he could sell them to me because the ones I was wearing were crap. I asked about options, specifically if physical therapy could help. He pooo-pooed it and said it was structural, better orthotics would fix everything.

I left his office in tears feeling without any hope for a pain free future. I decided to make an appointment with a physical therapist any way to ask if it could help my condition. While we talked, the therapist worked my foot, twisting it, pushing on bones, etc. She said it was definitely a good fit and recommended an exercise and dry needling (acupuncture) to relax the muscle the tendon was attached to. I said I would do anything. By the time my first session was done, the dropped bone was up again, not to its original position, but definitely better. The muscle in my calf felt beat up, and I had a tight piece of tape around my foot, which was uncomfortable. She said that because I have always had a structural issue, we probably couldn’t get it back to 100%, but could get it at least 50-75% better. I couldn’t stop the tears of joy. The best thing I left with that day was hope.

Yep! That’s one of my long, size 12, narrow feet.

Twenty four hours later, the tape has relaxed and doesn’t hurt anymore, my calf feels great, and I walked up the stairs on my toes again, not flat footed like I have had to for the last few months. Monday I get my current orthotics adjusted for my new foot structure, and I have happy feet too! The pain has been minimal today, and I have hope. My attitude has changed, I am not consumed with worry about whether I will be able to walk next year, and I feel like a weight has been lifted from me. My soul is at peace. I even slept better last night.

Hope is a powerful thing. I pray that you can find hope for whatever it is that you are worried about, and that your soul can find peace in hope, and that you can have Happy Feet today!

What’s on my mind…

As I am reclined on the couch with my ankle resting on the back wrapped in an ice pack, my mind is wandering. It is hard to shut it off. I really want to read my Bible and drift off for a nap, but, am having a hard time shifting into low gear.

One cat is curled up at my un-iced foot, the other is snoring on the ground somewhere behind me.

We recently added two bedrooms in the loft above our shop event room. I need to get the rest of the base/door trim installed soon so the painter ca. Come and caulk and do touch up. But, I really should make the time to caulk, so we can save a few bucks. I am pretty good at getting a smooth caulk line.

We are looking into the cost to landscape a formal garden with our tax return money. How much can we do ourselves? Is it worth the chiropractic visits that might ensue? I need to follow up with the concrete guy about patio costs. And I need to touch bases with the stone guy about getting the estimate doe the stone wall and the outdoor fireplace. Since both my honey and I have been involved in the real estate industry for years, we are always thinking of resale value. Our barn is more of an event center, and should city water and sewer make it down this way, we could use it as such. We really should have an outdoor space for events.

Trying to figure out how to keep kids from plucking up entire rose bushes when we have large group gatherings. the last gathering we hosted for Purim found two of my fathers rose bushes broken off at the root. Since I found one entire bush in one of our playhouses, I can only assume it was broke. Off by a child in full run, or broken off to use for some sword play. We are talking about putting a large play set out in the yard, but where is the best location? We will probably shift my food garden space to behind our greenhouse, and put the playset out just past the lawn where the parents (who aren’t watching their kids) can see it. Then fence the food garden in so they can’t destroy it when it is planted later in the season.

If I fence the food garden, I can do it myself with T-posts and cattle panels, but the cost of those materials is similar to the cost of the materials I really want for a 6’ black cyclone fence. However, I can’t I stall that myself. The difference in price would be about $10,000 in the two fences. I think I need to lower my expectations and just put up the one I can by myself this year and be happy. But without a permanent fence, I’m not sure what to plant my grapevines on. Decisions, decisions.

I should probably put some of the physical therapists suggestions for my dad to use in my life to avoid what I have seen him struggle with in old age. Limps throwing backs out, etc. He saw a VA physical therapist for the first time last week. The hope was that they could help strengthen his back and legs so he could stop using a cane, which he has been using since his slip on the ice. After just one visit, he is walking like he used to six months ago, well before his fall. She retrained him how to put his socks on, how to walk with his cane properly, how to get in and out of a car to best avoid falls, and so much more. The transformation is amazing! He has been good about following her instructions and doing his exercises. That takes a lot of stress of my shoulders, figuratively and literally.

How can I self treat my ankle pain if I don’t know what is causing it? I have been told that an MRI is the next step to seeing what’s wrong, by a doctor who has a horrible bedside manor. His nurse took X-rays. He walked into the room, introduced himself and told me “Well, your on the path to needing surgery on that ankle tendon. It’s just a matter of time. Put more arch support in your orthotics, and call me when you’re ready for the MRI”. Yea, NO, I won’t be calling you, I will find someone with a little more compassion, who will maybe do a bit more thorough investigation of what could be happening. I realize that an MRI may still be necessary to find out if it is damaged or infected, since each would require a different form of treatment. But I don’t want to spend a thousand bucks (or more) for one, and have to go through the process of getting that reimbursed through my medical sharing insurance thing. But, I should probably do it sooner than later to avoid causing any further damage.

Should we start letting the cats out during the day to get the mice in the lawn/garden space? Would they hunt them? Would they wander the neighborhood, something we don’t want. Are they big enough that the hawks won’t go after them? How in the world can I supervise them when I am outside to work, not supervise? Last summer we let them come outside with us in the evenings when we sat on the porch to watch the sunset. They mostly stayed close to the house. Until, I calmly said, “Okay boys, it’s time to go inside”. The black one let me pick him up and put him in the house. Waldo the Wild and Weird on the other hand decided a run towards the neighbors field would be the appropriate course of action. What a butthead! Needless to say, I am not looking forward to trying to train him to stay close. But, it needs to be done this summer. We don’t want to let them out all day and night, since we have many stray cats in the fields and they are scrappy fighters. I spent our first summer here helping our neighbor heal up her cat’s fighting wounds. I don’t want that with our boys.

There. Now that all those thoughts are out of my brain, maybe I can relax and read and nap. As long as the cats don’t start WrestleMania on me again.

Hope you have a great day!!

He’s sloshed…

Sloshed. That word should date me. When I was a teen in the early 80’s (yikes!) that word meant drunk. I’m not sure what the word for that is today, but it’s probably not the same.

The he in the title is referring to Waldo, our biggest cat. Although he is over twenty pounds at this point, he is still very much the kitten at only a year and a half. Waldo has a fascination with water. Not a negative, I have rabies type fascination, but the “I have to see it move” type fascination.

It started out the first time he noticed the water in the humidifier tank bubble. He would sit for hours watching and waiting for it to bubble. Then he would bat at it, peer around and through it trying to figure it out. After that, he moved to the water dish. Oy vey! When the cats were younger, they would often wrestle around their water dish in our bathroom, frequently sloshing the water all over the floor. The solution to a wet floor was to move the plastic container into the wall in shower. If it got knocked, the water was contained in a made for wet spot.

Fast forward to the present. Once Waldo got bored with the humidifier, he began to deliberately move their water dish around in the shower to get the water to move. That quickly turned to aggressive moving of the water dish so the water would slosh out of the dish and onto the pebble textured shower floor, where he would try to keep it from getting down the drain. Now, although our floors are dry, they have cute, large cat ow tracks from the shower to the bedroom.

Waldo getting sloshed

Whenever I see him in the shower playing with the water, sloshing it about, I think it’s funny to tell people that my cat likes to get sloshed. Now, you may, or may not appreciate my attempt at humor, but hopefully this has pinged a picture in your mind that will make you giggle or at the very least smile whenever you hear the word sloshed, or see a cat in a shower or a water dish.

Birthday letter

Wednesday was my birthday. I turned 56 years old. Our son and his family joined us and our close friends. My honey gave me two cards, one from him, one from the cats. He has always had a sense of humor. I opened the one from my “boys” and there was a typed letter inside. After reading the first paragraph and my eyes seeing the words “Dad said it was OK”, I began to panic. However, panic quickly gave way to belly laughing and laughing tears as I continued reading. I wanted to share it with you. Hopefully it will start your day out with a smile!

The card front.

To the Best Cat Mom Ever!

Hey Mom! Guess what!!! We got you a present for your birthday!

We know that you will never find two kitties as wonderful and well behaved as we are, but we have been talking about you to a couple of our friends on FurBook and they all want to be adopted by you. Isn’t that great news?! We told them all that we have plenty of room and that our food just magically appears everyday, and that our poop magically disappears too!!

We know that you like to get some sleep sometimes, so we have put together a sign-up schedule for your lap and have built in two five minute bathroom breaks every day, and also three hours of interrupted sleep every night. Aren’t you excited?!

If you aren’t as excited about this as we are, then just stare at all the eyes on the front of this card for about an hour or so and that should make you feel much better about this. If you still aren’t as excited about our birthday present to you as we are, I just want you to know that this was all Waldo’s idea and that I had nothing to do with it.

Thanks Mom! We love you very much and hope you have the best birthday ever!

With love, Statler & Waldorf (above two hand drawn paw prints.

PS We already talked to Dad and he said yes.

PSS We slo may need a couple of extra cat toys. Just saying.

Statler (black cat) Waldo (grey cat)

The tears streamed down my cheeks as I laughed my way through reading the letter aloud to everyone at the kitchen table. When the lighter died down, my honey apologized for not giving me a present. I reassured him that he had given me a present. You have to understand, he hates writing. This was one of the best gifts he could have given me. He spent time to create something. He had fun doing it. It blessed me and made me laugh. It was a huge win-win for us.

I hope you enjoyed the laughs as much as I did. And, if you have never owned a cat, and therefore didn’t understand some of the references (interrupted sleep, poop magically disappearing, etc), I have a few extra kitties I can send your way….

The Wilds…

To our cats, Statler and Waldo, “changing the bed sheets” day is their favorite day of the week. It means it’s the day before Sabbath, and it means The Wilds.

For anyone who has never tried to change the sheets on a bed with cats around; please allow me to enlighten you. The Wilds is kinda what it sounds like. The comforter gets pulled off the bed and suddenly there are two cats on my bed. One fitted corner is pulled back and a cat jumps under the sheet. The other jumps on the cat under the sheet. I leave the room.

When I return to what appears to be an empty room, I finish pulling the fitted sheet off. By the time I start trying to tuck in the second corner of the new fitted sheet, Statler has appeared and taken a full speed, running slide into the corner I am tucking in. After having one of his nails stuck into my thumb, I learned to be extremely careful. Again. I leave the room.

Sneaking in one more time to try to finish the job, as the sound of the flat sheet being opened begins, they both appear again! Sliding, jumping and wrestling in, on and under the sheet. I leave the room again.

If I wait long enough to finish up, the Wilds have dissipated and they have fallen asleep somewhere out of reach of the sound of sheets and I am able to finish the job.

This is why it can take all day to change one bed’s linens. Why don’t I lock them out to get it done quickly? Oh my goodness! It is so much fun to watch them play, and it tries them out. I think it is therapeutic for me to laugh like that when I watch. I hope you have something to enjoy each day, even if it means taking longer to accomplish something.

My day…

My day began around 4:45. I woke up to use the bathroom. That stirred the cats, so I laid in bed a while hoping to go back to sleep. I will usually thank Yah/God for the many things in my life I consider blessings. A warm bed, cats to purr and a husband who loves me.

By 5:15 it’s time to get up. I meander into the office where my clothing drying rack is and grab my clean gardening clothes. After dressing, it’s into the kitchen to fix oatmeal, pour everyone’s water for the day, pull my honey’s apple slices with peanut butter out of the fridge. I usually walk out to the end of the driveway to grab the newspaper while the oatmeal is heating. The dishes that dried on the counter overnight get put away, and a protein shake is made for my father’s breakfast. The newspaper is read while I eat my breakfast, today, oatmeal with previously frozen blueberries. Around 7:00ish, it’s out the garage door to start whatever gardening is on the schedule for the day. Today, my nice flowerbed in the crook of the driveway needed weeding. Some grass seed always seems to sneak into the beds no matter how careful they spray.

This summer, watering is a daily occurrence. My father typically waters the veggies, blueberries and roses, I water the porch pots that have flowers and herbs in them. I found myself ready to just let things die the other day, as I was weary of watering everyday. Most summers, the mulch holds enough water to go at least a couple, if not a few days in between watering. Not this year. And so, I water. By 9:00am sweat is pouring down my face and I start cleaning up to head indoors. Weeds get bagged, tools go back to the tool bench. A final walk through the garden to make sure everything is in order. Then check the monster zucchini plants for those zucchini that were little yesterday and monsters today. Today, we have no more freezer space for veggies, so most of the such will go to the local food bank.

Head into the kitchen to divvy up the squash, then remember the Swiss chard needs to be harvested and processed. Go back out to cut the chard, being it in to wash, inspect for bugs and cut up for our next stir fry. My dad is a stir fry king. Since it is getting close to 11:00 now, I shift gears and toss a load of laundry into the washer, and take a few minutes to fold and put away the wash clothes that have been sitting on the counter for a couple days now.

What’s that sound? A cat, digging in a food dish, that’s sitting on the counter waiting to be refilled!!! Shoo the cat off the counter, get more food and refill it. Where was I?

Since I have been away for almost seven hours now, my tummy is grumbling for some food. Make a roast beef cheddar sandwich with some fruit and veggies on the side (maybe a cookie to top it off). If the local paper has arrived I will read that while I eat lunch, otherwise, I sit with my daily planner open to review what still needs to be done. I am also winding down energy wise, so a nap is in order.

The green sectional in our bonus room is my napping spot of choice. A feather pillow and a down blanket, paired with the purr of our big boy cuddled up next to me makes for the perfect nap.

Fast forward to 2:00pm. Feeling refreshed and ready to go, I put my socks and shoes back on, and head out the door to get a couple hours of mowing in. The tractor mower is pulled out of the shop, ear protection is applied and let the noise and vibration begin. I enjoy creating fun patterns on the new lawn. I hope to bring a smile to anyone in the private jets flying low overhead. Periodic pauses are taken for electrolyte consumption. Once I finish with that, I let the mower cool, then get it all cleaned and rinsed down before re-parking it i. The shop and heading inside to clean up. I am trying hard to get showered and clean before my honey comes home each night. That works about 75% of the time.

Dad on the mower

If I am in charge of dinner, preparation begins. If dad is cooking, I will prep some snacks for my honey, or toss a couple loves of sweet bread together. I tend to just keep working h til my honey gets home. Makes for a long day and a stiff back. Dinner is usually eaten with my father, as it is hard for me to eat much past 7:00pm. Once again, I put away clean dishes and scoop litter boxes while waiting for my honey’s arrival. Once he comes home, it is time to wind down. Listen to him vent about his day, watch some tv, maybe join him for dessert before 9:30 rolls around and I am drifting off to sleep. I make sure to stretch my calves to help my flat feet while we watch tv.

After brushing teeth, we crawl into bed, and play several games of solitaire on our handheld games. He beats me 9 out of 10 nights, winning more than one game, whereas I can go a week without a win. A sweet kiss goodnight, and he leaves me to drift off to sleep. He on the other hand is a night of, and is off to watch some news and such.

I hope you can find joy in dropping into bed after a productive day. Remember, even if all you managed to do was keep your kids alive, you were productive. Even if your day was behind a desk, you came home to your family. Let that feel good.