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.

2020/10/08

He’s My Sweetheart

Da Goddess @ 00:26
My sweet fuzznugget

Fletchy

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!

2020/09/05

Too Damn Hot

Da Goddess @ 09:22

At 0900 hours, it’s 95°F and is expected to hit 114°F later.

That, according to my chart, is too damn hot.

Fletch and I shall sleep through the hottest part of the day because why not?

Update: 0945 hours and it’s already over 100°.

2020/03/12

Floaty

Da Goddess @ 14:20

I’ve spent the majority of the day in bed. I’d been up for two days and finally collapsed from the exhaustion around 03:00. Despite waking multiple times, I was quite happy to remain floating in the land of soft, warm cottony slumber. It helped to have Monsieur Chat at my side and all the rain in all the world raining down on SoCal.

Speaking of rain, there’s a lot of it coming down. Lots. And lots more. And then some more. It’s kind of glorious.

I’ve been fully awake and moving freely about the cabin for an hour now and I’m still embracing the floaty feeling. Pain is not allowed more than a background murmur. I’m going to tackle the dishes and then curl up with the cat again, watch some tv, enjoy my little cocoon of comfort.

2020/02/05

Bundle of Joy

Da Goddess @ 01:08

My boy. He’s the only reason I’ve bothered getting out of bed the past several days. Aside from getting to the bathroom and getting meds and water, my fuzznugget is THE reason I’ve done anything at all since Friday. He’s pretty much stayed by my side the entire time. He’s a very good boy.

2019/11/27

A New Friend

Da Goddess @ 22:45

We have ourselves a new friend here in the neighborhood. While the Three Amigos (sadly) seem to be MIA of late, Dr Ginger Longhair has taken the opportunity to make his presence known.

He showed up at the top of the stairs yesterday to have a bath and say hello. Fletch let me know he was there. And for this being a strange cat, Fletch wasn’t at all upset. I think he just wanted to hang out and have cat talk with a friend.

Dr Ginger Longhair was fine until I opened the door and offered him some cat food. At that point, he decided I had gotten close enough and headed down the stairs.

Friends, he was stunning! I find myself longing to see him again. Every time I look out the window and don’t see him, a little piece of me dies. To his credit, Fletch hasn’t made a big deal of it. I think he’s hoping this gets him a playmate.

Cats.

2019/10/31

Boo!

Da Goddess @ 02:34

Are you ready for Halloween? I am. And I don’t think Halloween can serve up anything worse than what I’ve been through this week. Yes, I’ve already had my scares. And, yes, I said scares. As in multiple scares.

Let’s start with the winds. And the fires. They’re here. All we can do is be prepared for evacuation at this point. I am totally prepared. Thankfully, after one particularly tense afternoon, I realized we were going to be okay. Others aren’t so lucky and my heart goes out to them.

Today’s humidity stands at 4%. FOUR PERCENT. That’s very, VERY dry. And the winds are alternating between calm and the Wicked Witch is coming for you and your little dog, too.

The winds cause the weathervane on my roof to turn. Unfortunately, when it does turn, it sounds like a ghost crying about how heavy its chains are.

Also, being that my home is about 90 years old, windows sometimes open randomly. Not so much a problem for the windows with screens, but the ones without are usually the ones that pop open. And they usually have the most giant spiders and giant spiderwebs. No bueno. I have enough spiders, thank you very much. I’ve learned to jam paper, cardboard, old gift cards, and everything else I can into the gaps in an attempt to keep them closed. Most stay shut. However, one, in particular, proves difficult. The one with the most giant spider and web. Needless to say, I have been known to wake suddenly and sit bolt upright when I have even the slightest suspicion it’s opened up again. I’m not sleeping well, obviously.

Despite all that, I’m better off than those who are in a fire’s path. I keep praying for firefighters to gain the upper hand on all the fires and let people return home…provided they still have one. Please say a prayer for them.

On to other things.

Then there was the other evening when I returned home after having dinner with my sisters and our mom. Normally, Fletch is waiting at the door. No Fletch. I called for him. Nothing. Panic set in. If he somehow got out, he wouldn’t stand a chance against the local strays or the coyotes that are frequent visitors in these parts. Then, in a burst of inspiration, I rushed to my closet and opened it to discover a VERY upset cat. He bolted out of the closet, practically knocking me over. He’s been known to sneak into closets and cupboards and pantries and just about anywhere he could possibly get closed in. I’m usually very careful about checking for him, shooing him out, and closing doors. I missed him sneaking in behind me as I prepared to leave this time. I was gone all of three hours. He wasn’t happy to have been stuck in the closet, but he was relieved to be let out.

Unfortunately, this was the one time Fletch really really really had to pee while trapped. After tearing apart just about everything stored on the floor, he chose to pee on the two worst things to pee on: a leather backpack (KA paid $5 for it, but it was immensely useful and a personal favorite of mine) and — oh, God, this one really hurts — my camera backpack, complete with three lenses and my old camera. The camera and lenses survived, though I lost a variety of ephemera I can’t replace. The important stuff survived and that’s what matters most.

Throwing out both bags made me want to cry. It was a ridiculous reaction. For one thing, both bags can be replaced (or, y’know, not) and all turned out okay gear-wise. Secondly, I hadn’t used either since moving. Whatever importance they held was strictly (weirdly) sentimental and didn’t warrant tears. Thirdly, Fletch did what he had to do. I can’t fault him for heeding nature’s call. Bodily functions are bodily functions. In fact, I’m kind of proud of him for not getting the urine all over the carpet. Quite thoughtful, if you ask me! Actually, I’m guessing nothing got on the carpet. Every time I’ve opened the closet, I take a significant breath and can’t smell anything.

Now, my new fright is having to find a replacement camera case. I’ve started my search and am overwhelmed. Do I want a rolling bag or a backpack or messenger bag or something else? Do I want a bag capable of carrying two camera bodies, five lenses, a flash, my laptop, and the other accessories necessary for a successful shoot? I don’t have a camera shop nearby where I can dig around and try bags on for size. (I miss you, Calumet!) So, I’m trying to sort through the plethora of options online and finding myself paralyzed by the prospect of making a choice.

After all this, I think I can manage whatever Halloween has in store for me. I have candy for my landlords’ daughter as well as any other kids that might show up. I doubt I’ll see anyone else, but I’m prepared nonetheless. I can always eat whatever’s left.

Saturday is Mojo’s birthday. It’s also the landlords’ daughter’s birthday. Mojo’s gifts were sent and a card is on the way. Little Miss Tiny (Fletch’s name for her) has a couple little, inexpensive presents to open because she’s quite honestly one of my favorite kids I’ve ever met. I can’t help but pick up a book or some other little item for her. Fletch adores her and that’s a ringing endorsement if ever there was one.

I got way off track here and it’s late. This is where the post ends. Except to say:

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

2019/10/12

Teeny Tiny Teeth

Da Goddess @ 02:36

I can’t help but love Fletch’s teeny tiny, itty bitty teeth. They look so precious and delicate and I just want to touch them! Actually, I have touched them when he’s in a very deep sleep. I wouldn’t be able to do that while he’s awake.

Most people only think of cats with sharp…pointy…teeth*. I was that way, too. It’s what catches the eye and that’s usually enough. But with my little ginger monster…sigh. I just…and it’s so…because…sigh.

Being on my own with only Fletch at my side, I have a lot of time to simply look at and study him. There’s much to be said for examining your pet. It’s a fun, inexpensive pastime. I recommend it to everyone.

But, seriously, it’s really enjoyable for me to study my little gingersnap and commit my findings to memory and sometimes with a camera. Even if it’s a camera phone.

Don’t look at me that way. It’s a low impact, gentle, quiet, and harmless activity. Plus, it’s free. If you want more from me, you’ll need to hit my PayPal account and help finance another activity.

Oh, hey! There’s an idea! PayPal me $10 or more and give me one idea per donation and I’ll do it (documenting the activity with photos and maybe even a video). The donation should equal the average cost of whatever you chose. And don’t forget, my body is broken and I have to avoid activities that would break it further.

Eh. Probably not, huh? Yeah, I should stick with the cat thing.

* bonus points if you get that reference.

2019/10/02

The Unbearable Lightness of Being…Adorable

Da Goddess @ 01:57

Cuteness

I find this unbearably adorable. That’s it. Nothing more. Just…this.

Except, this:

Cuteness

2019/09/17

Best Gift Ever

Da Goddess @ 14:22

Aside from a drink holder from McDonald’s, the best gift I’ve ever given Fletch is a “sock” filled with silver vine.

He won’t leave the thing alone.

This is what I was hoping would happen.

He bites it.

He bunny kicks it.

He rolls his body over it.

He tosses it in the air.

He even sleeps on it.

Right this very moment, he’s lying on it & making little sighs of joy.

Greatest $9 ever spent! (I almost didn’t get it because I wasn’t sure he’d like it. I’m glad my instincts were right.)

I’m going to nap while he’s zonked. Sinuses. Back. Early wake up call from the cutest little sweet potato. You get what I’m saying.

2019/07/15

Ugh #62518

Da Goddess @ 08:09

The pharmacy that sends my prescriptions was slow with my pain meds. Today was started on Tylenol, which is only slightly better than nothing. Still, I took it because I needed some sort of relief…anything. Tylenol was my only option. The delivery of my meds is supposed to happen today and I can’t wait.

Since I had no pain meds, my walk was abbreviated this morning. I’ve been gradually adding distance to my meanderings; however, without meds, I basically did just enough to shake some of the stiffness I’ve had. Yesterday, I completed most of my regular route. There were, unfortunately, too many days last week when I did NO walking due to my pain level.

Last week was also notable for serious ankle pain from an old injury exacerbated by a recent fall. I’ve fallen more times in the past six or seven months than I have in the past three or four years combined. Only a couple of the recent falls have had led to new injuries. Thankfully, none have been too TOO bad. Like all our recent earthquakes (I’ve only felt two aftershocks), it leaves me feeling something worse is just around the corner. Waiting for the other shoe to drop is a morbid past time for anyone, but doubly so for me since the insurance company has decided to play games when it comes to allowing me to see doctors with whom I’ve established therapeutic relationships. In other words: the insurance company is full of doodyheads and I’m fighting for every single thing I need.

So, um, that’s what’s happening in my life.

●○●○●○●○●

Oooh! Oooh! I forgot: this morning, as I was dumping my recycling in the bin, Tabby Cat came to see me. S/he is one of three strays who visit us sporadically. The other two are: Tux, a dusty gray tabby with white bib and feet. Lean and tall, too. And, Blackie. Blackie is, you guessed it, black. Blackie is the most frequent visitor and also the most skittish. Their visits almost make up for the lack of meds. ALMOST. I’m not an idiot…nothing makes up for no meds. But the cats are a wonderful distraction when I’m not feeling great.

Okay, enough of that. Time to get back to the dazzling magical content you’ve come to expect from me. I’m sorry to disappoint y’all on the regular.

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