2015/12/21

TJH: Inspire – Ode to Joy

Da Goddess @ 08:12

Tis the season for joy, is it not?

Yesterday, while baking cookies with King Arthur’s daughter and grandkids, I’d noticed something interesting: an upside-down candy cane cookie was right next to a wreath cookie, which was next to a mitten cookie. Looking at the way they were laid out there, it read “Joy” to me. Everyone else came over to look and they saw the same thing. It was appropriate for the occasion, as well as for the season.

Which brings me to my next bit of joy: my kids.

Mojo was down from Fairbanks the 2nd-9th. We only got a bit of one day together, but it was wonderful to see her, AND LD, again. Yes, they both met up with us at a little place down Temecula way. I’d told them we were going to do some photos for Grammy and Papa and they were cool with that. Here are a couple shots from that day.

Mojo 1

My sweet kids

LD 1

My Mojo girl

LD 2

Mojo 2

Handsome LD

A wonderful pair

Beautiful Mojo

2015/11/03

The Lost Sister

Da Goddess @ 02:09

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but in case I didn’t or if you missed it — I have another sister. Yes, I have my older sister, C., and my younger sister, J. But there’s also another sister. One I’ve never met.

When my mom was young, before she and my father got married, she had a child. She gave that child up for adoption. She’d named her, but her adoptive parents gave her a name of their own choosing. My mom never knew what that name was. She said her goodbye to that little girl and went forward with her life.

Years later, this child tracked down my mom. She didn’t want anything other than to know who she was, get some background on her, and, of course, get medical information from her.

I was the last one in the family to find out about her. My mom thought I might not understand. But Mom did finally tell me about her and I always wondered about her. B., as she was named, was a mystery. A mystery I wanted to solve. Or, at least, explore.

It’s been many years since the revelation of this mysterious sister and now I’m finally going to get some answers to the questions I have. Turns out she’s living in California, not far from my younger sister. She walked into the veterinary clinic where J. works and, in the course of chatting, discovered they were related. B. was suddenly a reality for us.

J. called to tell me about her and wanted to know if I was interested in meeting her. Hell to the YES! And now our journey of discovery begins.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress!

2015/11/02

23, Kiddo

Da Goddess @ 03:08

I was going to go with “23 Skiddo” except that it technically means, “get the hell outta here! ” And, really, that’s no good enough for my girl. Nope. Not good enough for her at all.

My Mojo is 23 today.

As I always seem to say, it feels like only yesterday that I help her in my arms. My mom was there in the O.R. with me as Mojo made her way into the world. It was the most amazing moment of my life! This glorious being from heaven above was gracing us with her existence. She changed my life in the best way possible. With Mojo, I finally understood what love was. I finally found my world of wonder.

There’s never been a day since her birth that I don’t thank God for her.

Honey, never forget what a blessing your are to so many people! Happy birthday, my darling daughter. May each day bring you new opportunities to be the best you can be. May you always have dreams. May you always have wonder. And know that you ALWAYS are loved.

2015/10/18

Training Day

Da Goddess @ 17:30

harness and leash training a 4 year old

My current project is training Fletch to feel comfortable in a harness and on a leash so we can take him with us to faire. That’s the plan. Fletch, however, is decidedly undecided about the entire endeavor.

He doesn’t mind being in the harness, thanks to treats and patience. Being outside is sort of okay, too, but just barely. Put Mr. Kitty down on the sidewalk and he loses all confidence. He turns into a wimpy cat, barely moving, almost crawling/slinking his way closer to me. Treats don’t help quite as well when he’s on the sidewalk.

Thankfully, we have time to get him used to the idea of being outdoors, on a leash, and dealing with the myriad of scents and sounds.

God willing, Fletch will soon be a great little travel buddy.

2015/10/05

Snow No!

Da Goddess @ 15:32

Mojo is experiencing her first autumn in Alaska and she’s learning how to deal with snow. Her text the other night went something like this:

I spun out a few times and thought I was going to roll the car a couple times. I was only going 30mph. It’s scary.

I told her to slow down. Whatever she thinks is a safe speed, she should reduce by at least 5mph.

I remember my early days of driving in snow while living in Colorado. I’m sure I pissed off a lot of my fellow drivers by going as slow as I did, but I was determined not to have an accident! I did well. I managed to avoid all the dangers of snow and ice… until I had Mojo.

There was the day I’d just dropped her off at day care when I slid through an intersection, up into a driveway, and bumped into a parked car. No damage to either vehicle, but plenty of damage to my nerves. And then there was the morning I was driving her to the hospital for surgery. She was having tubes placed in her ears. We were on the freeway and a small patch of black ice caused the car to slide right into the back end of another car. Thankfully the was no damage to either auto, but I felt so horrible knowing how much worse it could have been for us. The very idea that Mojo could have been injured was enough for me to start thinking about moving back to California.

Hmm ow my baby girl is all grown up and facing snow and ice on her own. I don’t think I like that! But there’s nothing I can do other than pray for her safety and tell her to slow down.

Parenthood ain’t for sissies.

2015/09/27

Vanity, Thy Name Is Fletch

Da Goddess @ 02:35

My darling boy, you are one of the silliest cats I’ve ever known. You are also one of the clumsiest cats I’ve ever known. And yet, you are also one of the vainest cats I’ve ever known.

Fletch doesn’t do it often, but when he does, he does it for hours. Doing what, you ask? Examining himself in the mirror. He’s prone to sitting in front of the mirror for long periods of time. Adjusting his position, this way and that. Stretching his neck. Moving his tail. Turning his body. Practicing poses. He’s like a teenage girl prentending to be a model. When he finds the one pose he prefers for the session, he gives himself a good long look in the mirror, blinks, good long look again, slightly turns, adjusts the pose to get it right, looks at himself in the mirror again, and then when he gets it exactly right, he stares. Stares. And then he stares some more.

I stand off to the side and watch him do this. I try to get his attention in every conceivable way, but he just wants to gaze upon himself. His very lovely self. Not even the promise of food can lure him away when he’s in one of his vanity trances. One of these days, I’ll record him doing this and post it online. One of these days. We’ll see how that works for me.

2015/08/15

The Gentle Goodbye

Da Goddess @ 02:08

International Cat Day model Celia

This is going to be a rather quiet and somewhat sad weekend for us. Come Monday morning, we’ll be taking Celia in to the vet’s to be euthanized. She’s been so sick these past few months and her treatments don’t last as long and are becoming more difficult to give her. So it was decided yesterday afternoon that the kindest thing we could do would be to let her just fall asleep and never wake up again. We’ll cry (I already have — several times) and we’ll say our goodbyes and be there as she goes.

The vet had listed a few options of treatment, all costly, of course, but none of the courses of treatment were guaranteed to help her at all, or to help her long term, or to even heal her. If we were rich, sure we might consider some of the options, but eventually we would have to make the tough decision and do what was, ultimately, the best thing for HER.

I think she knows what’s up. She’s come out of deep hiding and is in visible seclusion instead. She’s no longer flinching when I approach her because she, again, seems to know we’re not going to bother her with meds any further. All I want for her is to come out, spend time where’s she’s most comfortable, and be her lovely self as we prepare ourselves emotionally.

Celia is our gorgeous, furry princess. After she got over her initial shyness and distrust, she became very loving and exceedingly insistent we pet her. It was funny. Whatever it took to get us to bend to her will, well, she was willing to do it. And so were we. On the rare days when she was in play mode, Celia was hysterical. She’d chase and leap and skitter across the floor, she’d meow and make a big deal out of it. And then, five minutes later, she’d be done. Most fun was watching her play with Fletch. They were funny as hell together! Fletch loved it and he was always sad when she’d end the game sooner than he wanted.

There will never be another cat as beautiful as Celia. There will never be another cat as unique as she is. We’re going to miss our Baby Girl.

2015/07/19

Hot… and… Muggy

Da Goddess @ 23:51

Hot and muggy trending high in this part of the coutry. We are not fans. Not in the least.

As far as my meds go, I’m settling in with the higher dose of Oxycontin and having no real problems with the Baclofen. Well, I’m a bit sleepy on all of this, but that’s to be expected. I have noticed, however, that I tend to kind of fall out in the middle of typing or watching television. If l begin to drift off here, you’ll likely see random letters appear in no particular order. kkkkdddddddoooosssssssds]sssssssss yeah, kind of like that. I don’t even know it’s happening until I snap to and feel the heaviness ooi in my fingers and have to fight to get them to let upllllllllllllllllkkkkkkkkkkkklllll laasddddddddddddddddd

It’s kind of an odd sensation: that total disconnect with all the rest of the world at the drop of a hat. It’s very disconcerting, to say the least. I sort of nod off during conversations, watching TV, trying to type or play a game. Sometimes I’m just llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll do that. I do a lot of backtracking with the TV. And convos. If you saw how many times I’ve had to backspace this post alone, you’d be amazed.

Well, I’m going to lie down and hope I get some sleep. The sleep I’ve had since starting the Baclofen is working out well. I still wake up with numbness and tingling extremities and pain, but the sleep has been significantly more restful than I’ve had in ages. I”ll take it!

Oh, one more thing (I’ve turned into Columbo all of a sudden): My mom just turned 80 this weekend. Have a slug of some beverage of your choosing in her honor, please. We’re going to keep celebrating each and every event with my parents now that they’re both octogenarians.

Okay, now I’m really going to lie down, listen to the rain, and fall asleep.

2015/06/22

Just Rollin’ Along

Da Goddess @ 00:18

Celia’s doing so much better these days, but her recovery has led to another, unanticipated problem: she’s begging for food ALL. THE. TIME. Walking into the kitchen to get some water? She’s there, begging, “feeeed me! Feeeeeeeed me!” Walking by the kitchen? “Feeeeeed me! FEEEEEED MEEEE!” Five minutes after she’s finished eating? “Feeeeeeed me, Seymour! FEED! ME! NOW!” It’s become almost comical. Except it gets very loud at times. On the other hand, it’s a greater alternative to her not eating and slowly dying. So, all things considered, it’s a good thing.

My mom’s doing very since her T.I.A.s. She left the rehab center just a few days after she got there and has since been told she’s fine and needs no further follow-up as far as occupational or physical therapy. YAY! It’s so nice to get good news for a change, you know?

Sadly, my dad is having a rough go of it lately. He just lost a close friend to that fucking bastard cancer. He was younger than my dad and that has made it even worse. This comes on the heels of him losing another friend quite recently. It’s been a lot for Dad to deal with. I understand how tough it is for him to see his circle of friends grow smaller. Suddenly, the people who know and understand you are no longer there. Where does that leave you? I hate to think of him being so lonely. I hate to think of anyone being that lonely.

Mojo and her husband are doing well up in Alaska. They went to interview cats over the weekend as their darling little trouble maker needs a friend. No word yet on the outcome.

Spent Father’s Day with King Arthur’s family down in San Clemente. It was so much cooler down there than it has been up where we live. Reminded me of when I used to live there back in the day and reminded me of why I love the beach so much. KA’s family is a truly lovely clan. I really enjoy spending time with them.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Father’s Day and head into yet another work week with a light heart and kindness for those around you.

2015/06/07

We’re All in Recovery Now

Da Goddess @ 02:54

It’s been a fairly shitty couple of weeks around here.

We said goodbye to my darling Mojo and have been dealing with her absence, fretting about the drive. She arrived in Alaska safely and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

I ended up in the emergency department twice in one day for my back. Spent much of the next six days fighting back tears because I hurt so damn bad 24/7.I’m only now getting to a semi-comfortable place.

Then I get word that a friend’s cancer has spread and gone from survivable to inoperable and terminal. That was after finding out two other friends are battling cancer, too. It’s heavy on the heart, y’know?

Celia had to be rushed to the vet on Thursday as she had stopped eating, drinking, using the litterbox, and went into hiding. Her ears had bubbled up, as had part of her nose and a paw. Luckily, we found a new vet who said it was likely a food allergy, treated her with steroids and antibiotics (secondary infection from open wounds), and sent her home with us. Once home, we closed off the rest of the house so we could get to her and, lo and behold! She ate. And she started acting like our little princess again.

Of course, all that was manageable…and then I get The Call. My sister called to say my mom was in the hospital after having what they thought was a stroke. Now they say it was likely a T.I.A. or two. Her left arm, hand, leg, and foot are weak and she’s complaining that there’s some weakness on the right as well. At this point, I simply lifted my eyes to the heavens and begged for all her pain and infirmaty to become mine. I don’t care that she’s 80! My mom deserves better.

And now here I sit…praying like there’s no tomorrow.

If there’s another shoe or two? No, thanks. I have plenty. Besides, my feet have been swelling.

2015/04/12

Christos Anesti – Happy Easter, Part II

Da Goddess @ 00:01

Christos Anesti! ~ “Christ is risen!”

Alithos Anesti! ~ “Truly He is risen!”

Christos Anesti 2015

This year Orthodox Pascha is celebrated one week after the celebration of the Western Easter. The Orthodox date for Easter is based on a decree of the Council of Nicaea, Asia Minor, held in 325 A.D. According to this decree, Easter must be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon of the vernal equinox but always after the Hebrew Passover to maintain the Biblical sequence of events of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. The Orthodox Christian churches have adhered strictly to this formula.

“Christos anesti ek nekron
thanato thanaton patisas
kai tois en tois mnimisi
zoen charisamenos”

2015/03/23

Babies

Da Goddess @ 00:18

King Arthur’s daughter-in-law lost her father last week and so we attended the funeral. While at the church for the service, KA’s granddaughter was brought in by the lovely Lady M and Lord R. I first saw her from behind and her beautiful back of the head and her curls made my non-existent ovaries ache in the most awful way. Then another toddler arrived. He had gorgeous little curls at the nape of his neck, too. If I still had a womb it would have wept.

There’s something absolutely delicious about baby hair. The locks that gently twist around and fall softly upon their wee bodies are most delightful. Perfect sweetness. Just as unblemished as the new skin of child. It’s innocence in follicular form. Everything precious and hopeful is wrapped up in each tendril.

I know there are many who feel funerals are not the place for children — especially the very young. But I disagree. The solemnity of the day was eased away by the presence of babies and all the joy they bring with them. They’re a reminder of what life is all about, why we do what we do, and why we care. The laughter and gentleness of children are what fill our lives with joy and they are the perfect antidote to sadness. I’m glad they were there. And I’m glad they brought along their curls.

2015/03/08

That’s Sick

Da Goddess @ 23:35

I’ve been battling a sinus thing most of the week. We had some glorious rain and chilly weather for a couple weeks and then got slammed with Santa Anas that dried out everything and everyone. In the past, I’ve had sinus problems go into my lungs rather quickly. Now? Well, it seems as though it goes straight to my vocal cords and leaves me without a voice. On top of my almost constant sensation of throat thickness (because my neck is jacked up) this makes it difficult for me to swallow. It’s a very odd feeling.

Obviously, I also have sinus pain and pressure. I’ve been vigilant with regards to take my Benadryl and doing my saline washes. It’s pretty much all I can do to keep the symptoms in check. It doesn’t always work, but I keep at it in hopes that it’ll keep things from getting worse. I also drink plenty of fluids, including decaf tea. Have to try everything. Thankfully, I’m not at the Rudolph stage and I aim to avoid that as much as I can.

Sadly, I’m not the only sick one in the house. Fletch has been vomiting all day. He’s lethargic and warmer than normal. He won’t even attempt to drink. I’ve managed to get a few drops of water in him via a 5ml oral syringe. 20 minutes later it all came up. This time, instead of vomiting all over the floor (carpet, tile, it’s all game), he managed to get it into his food bowl. Poor guy! We’re doing all we can to make him comfortable, but if he’s not better in the morning he’s going to see the vet. I wish I could just hand him some Gatorade and chicken noodle soup, some crackers, and Tylenol and let him sleep it off like you would a person. That doesn’t work for kitties, though.

Maybe this week we’ll all get better. I’m putting that at the top of the TO DO list.

2015/02/05

The Fart Monster and Other Stories

Da Goddess @ 02:42

Miss Celia is doing much better these days. She still has a problem with her mouth and you can tell it bothers her when she yawns. Otherwise, she’s been doing really well. She’s eating. A lot. And is very vocal when she thinks there might be some food available. Especially chicken. She’s grooming herself more frequently. Her coat looks AMAZING and you can tell she’s putting on some weight because she’s looking more like a red panda than a scrawny cat. She’s playing more. She’s more affectionate. But…

She’s a fart monster.

Whenever she lets one go, she kind of jumps and looks at the spot where she was sitting as if to say, “what the hell was that?” As if she couldn’t have possibly caused that noise. Or the smell. Sometimes it makes her run away. It’s really funny. Except that it stinks. And she has a habit of sitting with her butt angled toward someone’s face. Or she is always swishing her tail toward us. It’s gross, but super funny.

We’re going to take her back in for a recheck to let the vet see how well she’s doing. We’ll also be declining more antibiotics. They wanted her on antibiotics again at the last visit and we declined. Poor thing needed a break from the torture of us shoving the meds down her throat. She HATES that. I mean, she REALLY REALLY HATES IT! Since we stopped the antibiotics she’s been happy and doing everything a cat should do.

We’re coming up on a year of having cats. They’ve changed our lives in wonderful ways. It’s taken them almost this whole year to really settle in and act like they feel they belong here. We didn’t expect them to adjust overnight after living in a shelter their entire lives, but we certainly didn’t think it would take as long as it did. With patience and lots of love, it happened naturally and has been a delight to watch them thrive. I told King Arthur the other day how happy I am that we adopted these two weirdos (including Little Miss Fart Monster) and how much it means to me that we have these furry little friends in our lives. The house feels so much more like a home with them here.
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King Arthur’s daughter is pregnant again. I mentioned on Facebook that I’d dreamed she was giving a bath to a baby boy, and then told her about the next day when we got together for dinner. She mentioned she’d just started to bathe Baby Emma in the tub after she started making such a mess in the kitchen sink so I attributed the dream to that. But then she called the next weekend to tell me she realized she hadn’t had a period since Thanksgiving and took a pregnancy test and…TA DA! Preggers. Lady M and Lord R are fantastic parents to Emma; Emma’s a wonderful child and I’m sure their next baby is going to be just as lovely as the first. If they end up with a boy, though, I’m going to have to start paying more attention to my dreams and charging people for my services.
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We have a new hummingbird nest on a support leg of the carport next door. It’s closer to the front of the house than the last one and I can see it a little better from the window next to my chair. Mama hummingbird is almost always on her nest. I’m pretty sure she’s the same bird we had last year. She flits off to eat and returns quickly. I’ve taken a few photos of her, but only when she’s not looking because I want her comfy in her nest. I can’t wait to see the babies, though! They are always so adorable.
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Just finished a book for my book club. It was wonderful. Tell The Wolves I’m Home is about a young teen girl in 1987 who loses her uncle to AIDS. After his death, the girl must deal with her grief, the discovery of his boyfriend, growing up, and learning what it means to love those around her even though they may have hurt others deeply. I can’t explain it more than that at the moment. I’m still digesting it and collecting my thoughts and feelings. All I can say is check it out for yourself. It’s a good read. Some in the book club weren’t nearly as happy with it, finding some of the characters and behaviors unimaginable. But as someone who grew up in the 80s, it all rang true for me. So, here I am, recommending it to you.
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One of the gifts I gave KA for Christmas was 2Cellos music. We’ve been listening to a lot of it lately. The video below is for one of my favorite songs on their In2ition album. Enjoy.

2015/01/11

Washed Away

Da Goddess @ 23:56

Okay, maybe we weren’t really washed away by all the rain, but it has been very rainy and it’s been lovely. California needs the rain and I happen to like it immensely.

I’ve been doing my best to try to get over the holidays and focus on getting something, anything done. A photo project? I’ve been working on gathering supplies for that, but whilst doing so I lost my studio space as the spare bedroom has become filled with stuff. Stuff that can’t fit anywhere else in the house. Stuff that just doesn’t need to be there…or here…or really anywhere. In other words, if we can’t actually use it and it has no real value, do we really need to keep it? It’s for King Arthur to decide. In the meantime, I don’t know where I can set up a studio. That means no photo project. Vicious cycle, really.

We spent the evening at KA’s daughter’s. Had pizza and salad for dinner. Played with Baby Toddler Emma. She’s such a delight! Silly, smart, sweet.

Been gradually adding photos to 500px.com as I’ve decided Flickr is a junk heap. Half the time the site won’t display photos (you get an error message) and when it does manage to work I find myself less than pleased with the quality of work on there. As well, they did away with subscriptions and, to me, that says they don’t much care anymore about the quality or type of work that’s uploaded to the site. It’s just a repository for anything and everything from everybody. 500px is proving to be a much nicer environment for what I’d like to do with my photography. The feedback I’ve received in the past couple months has been encouraging. Not only that, but people actually take the time to seek out other artists and discover new work. That alone is enough for me to want to upload my own images there.

Oh, something else I did this weekend: I finally watched some of the Veterans Day documentaries I’d recorded. The Last Patrol was my favorite. I wept at times, cheered at other times, and spent even more time contemplating the world and the men featured in the doco. If you haven’t seen it (or a trailer), I won’t spoil it for you by interjecting my thoughts other than to encourage you to see it by whatever means available to you. Here’s an article on Guillermo Cervera to [hopefully] pique your interest.

Time for me to go try to trim more of Celia’s matted fur. I’m tellin’ you, this cat is full of dreadlocks! I spent an hour carefully cutting away bits and pieces of matted fluff. It was a bit harrowing, but we survived and there’s still more to do. It calls me.

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