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

2020/10/19

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.

2020/09/01

Not My Dogs

Da Goddess @ 09:06

Since the new tenants in the main house moved in, I’ve benefited from the fact that they have dogs. I get to pet, play with, and just sit quietly with the dogs almost any time I want.

Big boy Bandit and I became fast friends while his sister went to work with their mom. Bandit and Fletch have even developed a nice little friendship since he visits so frequently. It’s pretty adorable. While they don’t cuddle or anything, there’s an easy vibe of chill between them I love to see. Bandit is a mellow boy and has no interest in chasing the cat or doing more than sniffing him or occasionally giving him a lick. Fletch will allows this and rarely does more than give a short, soft meow and has only once attempted a pathetic hiss. He wasn’t perturbed at all; it was, for the most part, a demonstration that he could, if need be, become riled. Even the one time raising of his paw was done sans claw. More like “I’ll bop you one, Mr. D.O.G., if I feel you deserve it.” Yeah, even his displays of catitude are mild. He really seems to enjoy his new interspecies friendship.

Bandit’s also a big old fuzzy love muffin around me. He checks on me throughout the day, lies at my feet, and does his best to be my protector. It’s the sweetest thing. Because it’s often just me (and Fletch, of course) on the property all day, he watches over me (us) and does his best to bring joy to my doorstep. He succeeds. With flying colors. Whenever he’s not around, I miss his solid and affectionate presence. He’s really a lovely, kind, gentle soul.

Now, Bristol, she’s a different story. Yes, she’s rather laid back for a herding dog, but she does have an energy about her that’s undeniable. And while she’s always gentle and calm around Fletch, she simply prefers…me. I’m not sure what it is, but she has decided I’m cool and am her favorite non-family person.

I’ve only ever had one other dog get so excited to see me: The Smash Family dog (God rest her beautiful soul). Back in the day, Tori would turn herself inside out and upside down while absolutely losing her head whenever she saw me. One time, the (former) Mrs. Smash needed to borrow some scrubs and a stethoscope for a play and she reported back to me that Tori went crazy when the items were brought in the house, all because she could smell me on them. I was just as taken with her and this behavior always tickled me. On the penultimate day of Tori’s life, I was able to spend time with her, photographing her and just loving on her. She was very weak and unsteady, but she was happy to see me like she always had been, just unable to wriggle and be silly with her affection. I was honored to have been a part of her life, but even more honored to have been loved by her.

And now Bristol reminds me of Tori, what with her enthusiastic greetings and her inability to show even the slightest bit of moderation in her efforts to let me know she’s glad I’m around. Last night, after being away from the old homestead for less than 48 hours, she spotted me and sped over to me to say hello. Her mom kept trying to calm her and apologized repeatedly for Bristol’s excessive behavior. “I don’t know why she’s like this with you. She never does this with anyone else! I’m so sorry!” I told her not to worry and that I was pleased that the dog likes me so much. And then I told her about the only other sweet girl who acted the same way when she’d see me. We decided Tori must have chosen Bristol to be the conduit for her to keep loving me.

This morning, she approached me with the same wild, unbridled joy as she had last night. She settled down as I pet her and talked with her — Bandit patiently waiting for his turn for pets and scritches — and then she ran off after hearing the baby goats because she simply MUST check on them every time they bleat. Once she ascertained they were okay, she bounded up the stairs and gave me another ebullient hello, though slightly toned down. I ruffled her fur and gave her a lot of pets and scritches. Forty minutes later, she and Bandit have both picked their spots to lie down and conduct their sentry duties up here on my porch.

There’s just something so wonderful about knowing you’re loved by not-my-dog dogs. You know they don’t have to love you. However, when they do, it’s incredibly heartwarming and you can’t help but feel special.

To all the not-my-dogs out there, I love you!

P.S. Bristol might be preggers. I know I can’t afford to have a puppy, but I have a feeling I’m going to be in big trouble when/if there are pups.

2020/08/07

Waiting for Doggo

Da Goddess @ 12:59

Mark B. Mills wrote the most perfect story. I laughed, I cried, I wanted so much more. I’m Waiting for Doggo to make another appearance because it is simply so captivating.

I have to say I hated that it was such a quick read, but I loved it, too, for the same reason.

Everything about the improbable love story fell upon my heart wonderfully and it’s a book I’ll return to whenever I need a little pick-me-up.

2020/08/05

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

Da Goddess @ 09:04

I just finished I Hold a Wolf by the Ears by Laura van den Berg. A collection of short stories, it’s absolutely delicious!

Each tale is perfect on its own, but as a set: magnificent. At turns intriguing and heartbreaking and as simple and complicated as humans are, the characters are given a chance to speak for themselves, to recount their own stories in their own way.

Every protagonist is someone recognizable and familiar as if made up of the parts of ourselves and our known world. They’re us, or a part of us, and this is the common thread tying the stories together (although a couple do happen within the same immediate vicinity).

I found myself returning to the beginning and starting over again, compelled to find new clues within and perhaps discover the secret to slipping into the stories myself, getting lost in the fog alongside my new friends, holding them when they need it the most.

Deftly crafted, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is my newest and strongest recommendation to anyone who loves to read and appreciates finely told tales.

2020/07/04

Happy Independence Day!

Da Goddess @ 15:12

Happy Fourth of July

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.
~ William Faulkner

May your 4th of July be safe and happy! And may you recall what this day is truly about.

Freedom is a hard-won reward. We can’t take it for granted or we may lose it. So, please, take a moment today and consider how special this great nation of ours is — we have fought for our right to disagree and speak our minds, as well as the right to take a day off and celebrate all manner of our liberties.

In this day and age, with quarantines and isolation, with loneliness and the loss of gathering together, especially on days like today, it’s good to remember the days of yore, times gone by, the times we thought were rough, but have turned out to be the good ol’ days, and be thankful we’re still here to celebrate and say God bless America!

Stay safe, friends. Stay safe.

2020/05/18

When I’m 54

Da Goddess @ 03:34

(it’d be better as Studio 54, but c’mon, I don’t have access to a glitterball & I’m not wasting my tinfoil hat making one!)

54.

I seriously never thought I’d be alone on my birthday because of a pandemic. I always assumed it would be due to my having pissed off everyone I know and love.

But, here we are: the world is trying to ease back into living like we did before we knew about this thing called covid19. I think it’s too soon to ease up, but what do I know? I’m sure the politicians of the world know what’s best for us. Not. If nothing else, the people throwing caution to the wind and gathering en masse sans masks in bars (I’m looking at you specifically, Wisconsin) and other such places will be our guinea pigs. I just don’t want to hear any of them crying about it after. Common sense dictates you proceed with caution and if you rush out to throw back some drinks in the local tavern with a bunch of other people who you can’t verify have been sticking to the isolation protocol, well, you get what you deserve. It’s like going into a brothel and having unprotected sex with a sweet painted lady. Chances are you ain’t goin’ home alone.

So, yeah. There’s nothing in my 54 years of experience (as a human or even as a nurse) that could have led me to envision THIS as the reason I’m spending my birthday alone.

Crazy times. Insane, batshit crazy times.

Yay. Actually “yay” in all lowercase letters. Good news is I made it this far. Bad news is I made it this far.

Cheers!

P.S. someone please bring me vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. Boring, I know, but I have a hankering. Small Walmart cake is perfect. Refrigerated section.

2020/05/07

Dad. Two Years On.

Da Goddess @ 13:49

Today is the second anniversary of Dad’s death. I miss him more today than ever. I miss his grumbling and his yelling and his laughter. But most of all, I just miss HIM.

He was one of a kind. He was belligerent and bombastic. He was loud and often angry. But he was also loving and kind in a hundred little ways. He was thoughtful and funny. He was creative and had a vision for junk that was incredible. He was upcycling long before upcycling was a thing. He bought junk, but he sold functional art.

Dad, I will miss you forever. I love you always.

2020/01/27

Mad for Plaid

Da Goddess @ 23:27

I have never seen a plant that looked like it was swathed in plaid before. But now, I can’t think of anything else.

Meet Euphorbia obesa.

Euphorbia obesa

Doesn’t it look like something created from tartan and pure imagination? I feel like this is the most Celtic plant in the world, except it’s from nowhere even close to Ireland or Scotland. Maybe it just wants to be. Perhaps its DNA test proved there was no way it could be from either country, but in a fit of pique it wrapped itself in plaid, declared itself a Celt, and has decided it will die upon this hill, no matter how many tests say it’s wrong.

I totally get this plant. I have one DNA test that says I’m 0% English, Irish, or Scottish. I have another that says 2.5%. While I’m not sure I agree with the data from the 2nd 2.5% test, I’m hoping it’s true. My little sister took a 3rd test (as in a third company different from the two I dealt with) and got a smidge of British Isles. Maybe these two separate companies are more accurate? I dunno. But I understand that plant. I understand wanting to be a part of a culture…I’m a bit mad for plaid myself.

2020/01/07

89

Da Goddess @ 05:30

Dad would have been 89 today.

I miss him so very much. Every single day.

I’m so grateful I had a father who was so memorable and missable.

2019/12/20

Thy Shall Not Covet, Thy Shall Not Covet, Thy Shall Covet

Da Goddess @ 15:38

Oops! I may have accidentally coveted.

Never have I wanted something so unnecessary in all my life. (Kinda like a sewing machine I’ll use once every decade or so, but am convinced I’ll use more often if only I had one.)

2019/12/10

You Bug Me

Da Goddess @ 00:25

You bug me. But in a good way. What I’m trying to say is this: go have a look at this article on treehoppers. It and the bugs it discusses — absolutely fascinating.

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