2020/11/24

Tiny Hearts

Da Goddess @ 02:21

Both kittens have these delicate faces with little hearts for noses. They’re absolutely adorable and I hate having to leave them outdoors. But having them in the house is not an option; Fletch’S physical and mental wellbeing is priority one. That doesn’t mean I can’t love these two little darlings and play with them every chance I get.

Tiger Lily and a heart for a nose

P.S. When Fletch is on the porch and either/both cat(s) are around, it’s always nose touch followed by Fletchy hissing. Everyone then retreats to a neutral place and settles in.

2020/11/22

TJH: Inspire – Sunrise

Da Goddess @ 07:12

Believe it or not, these are from two consecutive mornings. I was surprised by how very similar the clouds were. What are the odds? I went back and forth a number of times to verify these were taken on different days. Yep. Go figure.

Sunday sunrise

Sunday sunrise

Saturday sunrise

Saturday sunrise

2020/11/16

Roll Call

Da Goddess @ 11:39

For anyone keeping track, the animal count here has been rising the last few months. It’s risen again.

Not counting the massive flock of crows that descend upon us each day, the current total is as follows:

Dogs: 4. Badger, Bandit, Bentley, Bristol. Bentley just joined the pack.

Cats: 3. Fletch (mine). Tiger Lily and Zelda (not so much mine, though I put in the time and effort).

Goats: 2. Bella and Bamberella. I’m not spending time with them the way I used to. I don’t want the kittens over there as the goats have some respiratory thing they can’t kick.

Humans: 5. Most of the time. 3 in the main house — usually, some times a couple more. 1 downstairs neighbor. 1 in my place.

It can feel very crowded when everyone is here at the same time. I don’t necessarily mind all the animals, but I do mind some of the humans when they fail to act responsibly. It’s a lot of stress I don’t need when I have kittens clawing at and climbing the door because they’re starving and thirsty. At one point, the main house folks were out of town for a week and KNEW the cats were out of food before they left. I know this because I had told them. I’d told two of them. I cannot abide negligence when it comes to animals, children, and the elderly.

There are a lot of stressors with the people in the main house and I have made aware the problems with them to the property manager because I no longer have the bandwidth to handle most of them myself. I’m officially the old guy of the neighborhood yelling at kids to get off my lawn.

One of the issues has been resolved, but we’ll see how long that lasts. I’m not hopeful. Not hopeful at all. Why? Because another one of the issues was with the dogs (I love them, but believe me when I say that’s a lot of dog shit that’s never picked up and a good deal of it is in the yard right where I can smell it). It turns out they were only approved for two dogs. Their response to the reminder from the property manager was to add a fourth. Again, dog shit. And the barking at night when they’re all left here alone is both comforting and irritating. Comforting in that I know no one could ever sneak onto the property without the four furry alarms sounding. Irritating because it goes on for hours at a time, sometimes very very very very very late. It’s just a lot. A LOT.

So, grumpy oldster that I am, I’ve been weighing all my options. I’ve been looking for a new home. The obstacles I’m facing are: 1. Cost. It’s stupid how much even a one bedroom costs in the worst part of town. 2. Availability. With Covid decimating jobs, everyone is economizing and cheaper places go quickly. 3. Cat-friendly places are few and far between. I’ve looked at places I can rent by myself (see items 1 and 2) and shared rentals. The problem with shared rentals is the ludicrous restrictions regarding cats. Outside only (not my boy; he’s strictly indoors unless on a leash and would never survive) or I’d have to keep him in my room. We went from 1200+sq ft to 400sq ft and that was hard enough. Trying to keep him in one small bedroom would be the death of him. And me. As Pam has noted with her dogs, since moving out on my own and ESPECIALLY during the pandemic, my attachment to and codependence on my fuzznugget is off the charts. Which is also why I can’t imagine giving him up just for a place to call home.

What am I going to do after next month? I have no fucking clue.

In the meantime, I’m doing my best to survive the ever-expanding roster of living and breathing creatures here on the lovely single acre I call home.

the kittens at rest

2020/11/03

Life Amongst the Ruins

Da Goddess @ 00:32

That title means nothing. Not a damn thing. I just really liked how it sounded in my head.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. It does kind of feel like my life is in ruins, which is ridiculous since I’m finally getting all my medical shit taken care of (work comp notwithstanding) and I’m feeling better than I have in a while. It’s more that I feel overwhelmed by a lot of what’s happening.

Diabetes: check
Blood pressure: check
Cholesterol: check
Mammogram: yeah, a whole other can of worms
Podiatry: if you have diabetes, podiatry becomes a “thing”
Ophthalmology: upcoming

Like I said, a lot of stuff happening at once. My mammogram was scheduled, rescheduled, and finally happened. Before I even left the building, I was called back to talk to the radiologist. She called my doc and got the okay to do a diagnostic mammo because of what she saw on the screening one. Within the space of an hour, I was screened, diagnostic’d, scheduled for an ultrasound, and scheduled for a biopsy (“better to schedule it and then cancel if it’s not needed than to need it and have to wait,” they said). See? A lot of shit at once.

Oddly enough, I’m okay with all of the shit coming down around my ears. This is what happens when you don’t have access to healthcare for an extended period of time. It’s just a lot to take in all of a sudden. My head is just now slowing the spin, this dizziness is starting to ease up, and I’m happy with how everything is being handled. Go figure.

In other news, Fletch doesn’t care much for the kittens. It’s weird, because he talks to them and will flop onto his back, enticing them to come closer, but they’ve become too wary since he hisses at them and seems to prefer hanging out with the dogs. (I don’t think he truly prefers the dogs; I honestly think it’s more a case of the devil he knows.) Still, I have high hopes for him to eventually be the elder statesman of the feline kingdom here. I’d like to see him rule with a benevolent paw and embrace these youngsters for the lovely creatures they are.

I may be wanting the impossible. I’m probably wanting the impossible. I’m totally expecting too much from a fuzzy being who’s been living the good life of an only cat for (probably) too many years.

At least I can count on the drama of the animals to keep me distracted from worrying about my health issues. That’s a good thing and I’ll take it any day of the week.

Lily finds her light

2020/10/19

Zelda

Da Goddess @ 16:21

This is the little beauty called Zelda. She’s the more intrepid of the two cats. Her name means “gray fighting maid” and it’s entirely appropriate for her. She and her sister have wonderful extra toes on both front paws. They’re solid little cats and have the most delightful and tiny meows.

Just Call Me Wilford

Da Goddess @ 02:04

After getting all my lab results from my brand new primary care physician (it’s been so so so many years since I had one), it’s been determined that I have full-blown diabeetus, just like Mr. Brimley.

In fact, chances are, I’ve had it for years.

Now, armed with my glucometer, lancets, and test strips, I can monitor exactly how rotten I feel at various times throughout the day.

Imagine my dismay when my pre-breakfast, post-walk reading was 431. Worse, my pre-dinner glucose was so high I only got “high” as my reading, meaning it was over 600. Not anywhere close to anything adjacent to the neighborhood of “yikes, that’s not great.” It does, however, explain why I feel like shit most of the time.

I’ve had three doses of metformin thus far. Two of atorvastatin. Two of lisinopril. I’ve turned down cookies from the neighbors in the main house. I walked my ass off despite severe lower back pain (I almost fell three times in the course of one walk, which is why I always carry my phone). I was busy all day long with various chores and playtime with the dogs, goats, kittens, and Fletchy*. My reading should have been lower. I’m praying for better results by the end of the week or I’m calling the doc.

Since I was an educator for new diabetics at Children’s back in the day, I have a good amount of knowledge on hand. What I don’t have experience with is the metformin and the other meds. I know it’ll likely take at least a week before I start to see my numbers come down, but I don’t like having to wait. I want instantaneous results! (I am well aware it doesn’t work like that.)

So, this is where I am now. Diabetic and impatient. But also hopeful. And grateful. Who knows how much longer I’d have had if I’d not been diagnosed and treated.

* Fletch is now an ambassador for cats who are adjusting to life amongst other animals. He even laid down for Badger, the youngest and most rambunctious of the dogs. When he met Zelda, the gorgeous gray kitty, she’d hissed up a storm and jumped from the second story porch we have. She was fine after the landing and was reacting to the dogs, not my sweet boy. Later, Fletch hissed and yowled a bit when they again met again, holding a grudge. It’ll take time for him to realize she was just afraid of the situation and not him.

2020/10/16

Message Received

Da Goddess @ 10:02

Just got a text that made my day.

This is a message from San Diego Registrar of Voters. The post office has received your ballot for the upcoming 2020 General Election and it will be delivered to us soon.

Yay!

P.S. just got a call with the same message. I’m so grateful for the tracking system of ballots.

2020/10/15

A New Favorite

Da Goddess @ 09:46

I couldn’t love this site more if they paid me!

My two favorite stories thus far are from Henry Herz and Kathleen Jowitt. I think Jowitt’s piece is especially gorgeous.

2020/10/08

He’s My Sweetheart

Da Goddess @ 00:26
My sweet fuzznugget

Fletchy

2020/10/07

Oh, Bee-have!

Da Goddess @ 10:59

A couple weeks ago, my friend was playing with a band and it was livestreamed. I went down to the main house and sat on the porch so I could have a steady signal.

It was so nice to see him get to perform again and to be part of a live music crowd (so weird to say that about something happening online).

It was hot, but not unpleasantly so. I think I would have braved even hotter or even worse conditions for the sake of the music. And then it happened.

Two bees started to get a little too close. I carefully swatted them away. Repeatedly. They seemed to take the hint and disappeared. Only to sneak up on me and go in for the sting.

Both stings were hellaciously painful. I’ve never experienced that kind of pain from a sting in my life. They brought tears to my eyes! The only upside was knowing their efforts to bring on the pain meant their deaths and reprieve from further attacks.

Now, the last time I was stung (2003), I ended up with a mild allergic reaction and cellulitis. I worried about both this time. I doubled up on the Benadryl and cleaned both sites thoroughly (gritting my teeth the entire time). I made poultices for them with baking soda — no meat tenderizer in my pantry — and hoped for the best.

I’m still here. No ill effects beyond severe itching and some swelling. Woo hoo! (I take my wins any way I can.)

I’ve been extra cautious about the bees still hovering about. You never know what the tipping point is with allergies. 9 went from being VERY allergic to having mild response to being more reactive to mildly so dozens of times throughout my life, so caution is warranted.

We’ll see what happens the next time.

Until then, the closest I want to come to bees is eating honey, thankyouverymuch.

2020/10/06

And, We’re Back

Da Goddess @ 10:59

Sometimes my internet connection is so poor I can’t even get more than two words down before I lose the signal and all ability to post.

I’m actually okay with that. I know, right? Me? Yeah, me. But it’s true.

Without TV and internet access, I’ve found I’m surprisingly fine. I’ve been watching DVDs and reading and doing weird things like, oh I don’t know…the dishes. Or I’m out hanging with the goats or the dogs. Or with the dogs and my cat. Yes! The cat has decided he doesn’t mind the dogs.

The other morning, Fletchy flopped down in front of Bandit and offered up his belly. OMG! It was adorable and so very very very very trusting. Bandit wasn’t sure what he should do beyond giving the belly a sniff and then walking around the cat, which led to Fletch trying to play with the dog. Big ol’ Bandit was very tentative about the invitation to play because he’s been around cats enough to know it could very well be a trap. But, it wasn’t. Fletchy just wanted a little fun.

The more the cat’s around the dogs, the more I realize just how much he needs a friend. Not that I’m going to be bringing any new fuzzy pals into the family. I just see what he so desperately wants and needs. So, I encourage the friendships with the dogs as often as possible. Maybe someday we’ll be in a position to expand our family. I just know it’s not happening any time soon.

And since I have a good signal, I’m going to have a go at uploading some photos.

TTFN!

2020/09/13

Balls. Big, Big Balls.

Da Goddess @ 10:45

The renters in the main house here on the property have the two dogs who live here full-time and then there’s the son’s dog. Since the young son isn’t here on a regular basis, neither is his very funny canine.

Part catahoula, part lab(?), part clown, this dog is constantly looking for things to do. That’s part and parcel of being a pup, but it also speaks of the way he’s being raised. Badger’s owner is training him to do pool/water rescues and to also be a good horseman’s dog. It’s a delight to watch.

Recently, Badger’s developed into more of a grown dog and has lost much of his puppiness. Gone are the too big feet and the comical poses. Now he has an enormous noggin (it’s planet-like in size) and a sureness of foot, which are lovely. He also has ginormous balls. His balls are so big they align themselves NOT side-by-side, but rather front to back. Big, big, huge balls befitting a stud bull or horse.

Said balls got Badger in trouble not long ago. Seems the female dog here was in heat and somehow got out. Badger boy did what nature told him must be done and the two dogs went at it like…well, animals. Thankfully, no pregnancy. But this led to the owners to FINALLY deciding to neuter and spay the two dogs. Why it wasn’t done sooner, I have no idea.

Other than the german shepherd, Lady, we had when I was very young, every dog or cat we owned as a family, and the ones I’ve had on my own, have been fixed. I was taught it was responsible ownership and a kindness to our dear companions. I still believe that wholeheartedly. Aside from reducing pet overpopulation, spaying and neutering reduce the likelihood of diseases — cancer, in particular — of the reproductive sort. For me, this is paramount. If we can spare our beloved companions from illness, we should. So, that’s what I’ve always done and I tend to look at people who don’t do this for their pets with my head atilt like Bopper, the RCA dog. I just don’t get it. There are so many companion animals living life on the streets and/or sitting in shelters awaiting a death sentence.

So. Yes, I looked at the owners here in (with? Or just…) askance. How and why do you NOT spay or neuter your dogs? Especially when you have a male and female who spend a lot of time together. Especially when you don’t want puppies.

I guess the pregnancy scare was just the thing they needed because both dogs are going in for their surgeries today (or maybe tomorrow since nobody seems to be able to remember the days of the week anymore due to quarantine brain). I am breathing a big sigh of relief.

And so it goes here in the heart of my little world. No pregnancy scares in the future for the sweet dogs who live on this land with me. No tempting balls of fluff and utter cuteness in my path. No chances of cancer of the reproductive organs for two beautiful furry friends.

Oh, and those massive balls will no longer have to go through life in one-by-one, single-file formation.

2020/09/11

It’s September 11th — 19 Years Later

Da Goddess @ 02:14

I have such a difficult time on this date. Despite having friends who have birthdays today, know people who celebrate wedding anniversaries today, etc., I just can’t get the knot in the pit of my stomach to ever fully go away.

All too easily, I recall the TV being on and the images of the most unbelievable event I’d ever seen flowing from that glowing box. It was unreal. It was horrifying. My heart wouldn’t stop pounding. I kept thinking about the people trapped in the Twin Towers, the people in the airplanes, the families, the people who were in the area. As much as I knew my life had changed in those hours, I knew theirs had changed even more drastically.

I wanted to throw up. I wanted to scream. I wanted to rain down vengeance upon whoever was responsible for such heinous acts. I also wanted to just wrap myself around my children and protect them from the ugliness and evil that man can inflict upon his fellow man.

Amidst the sorrow and anger, I also felt the power of community and the love most of us carry for our families, friends, neighbors, towns, state, and our country. I stood among the people in my neighborhood and, even though some of us were meeting for the first time, felt the warmth of their handshakes and embraces. We weren’t alone. We were in it together. There was so much more good in the world than bad. The proof was all around me.

But sadness and anger don’t go quietly or quickly. Not even when surrounded by love. They were there, yet we grieved as a group. We relied on one another for support: a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, a hand to hold, and a desire to be better to each other and toward those we encountered in our lives. Mostly, that worked. It helped us through the darkest hours.

As the years have passed since September 11, 2001, we’ve lost much of that sense of love for one another. It’s as if we believe we no longer have need for it. But, of course, we need it now more than ever. We’re struggling to just stay alive these days, literally, in many cases. Lockdown, isolation, quarantine: signs of the times. Makes it harder to be there for others. But we find ways, don’t we? Food left on a doorstep for a neighbor. Phone calls. FaceTime, Skype, Zoom meetings, and many more ways to keep in touch with the people who are in need of some support. We mask up. We wash our hands and/or use hand sanitizer frequently to reduce the risk of spreading disease. We find ways.

And so. Here we are: 19 years after one of the most defining events in our lives, in the midst of another defining event. Let’s remember what happened and apply the lessons we learned then to what we’re going through now. Let’s be good and kind to the people we encounter. Let’s remember how quickly they can be taken from us, whether by acts of terrorism, violence, or disease. Let’s be better versions of ourselves and encourage others to do the same. Lead by example.

Let’s also take a few minutes to remember the losses on that day and in the days since. Let’s remember who we were and who we are deep in our hearts.

Never forget.

2020/09/06

Another Shitty Day in Paradise

Da Goddess @ 12:20

It was 106° by 10:00 this morning. At noon, 111°F. We’re not done watching the mercury rise. Blech.

Yesterday, during peak heatwave, our power went out. For a couple hours. 114°+. I woke up drenched and congested and absolutely miserable. Keeping my fingers crossed it doesn’t happen again.

I soaked my feet and legs in the pool during the outage. I did the same thing this morning. It was so hot so early, I just gave into the cool water. I’d dunk my whole body in right now, however, I would 1. have to put on a bathing suit, which requires effort and movement, and 2. would require me to walk downstairs and to the pool, and 3. would require me having to walk upstairs after AND change clothes again. To that, I say NO FUCKING WAY, JOSE & JUANITA! This is a perfect example of why I need to be very wealthy. If I had oodles of giant stacks of cash, I’d pay someone to change me and to carry me to the pool. I would. Absolutely.

2020/09/05

How to Deal with the Heat

Da Goddess @ 09:26

The dogs have decided to play before it’s too hot to play.

Extreme heat advisory is in effect for the weekend and beyond.

I may throw myself into the pool soon.

Playing before it gets too hot.

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