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.
I was lying on the sofa this morning, doing my best to immerse myself in a TV show as a distraction for the pain I was in. Sleep was not on the menu last night. Not for long. As soon as I would drift off, pain would ramp up and wake me. Try as I might, I could not get comfortable in bed. So off to the sofa for me.
It wasn’t much longer before King Arthur woke up and came out to get some coffee. As has been our routine of late, he checked on Baby Hummingbird #2. He opened the blinds so I could see, too. Suddenly, he became very animated, “look! Look! He’s flapping his wings!” And after a few test flaps, #2 was up and flying. #2 came over to the window to peek in at us and then flew over to the neighbor’s car. After some slipping and sliding on the slick car, he fluttered about under the carport, took another gander at us through the window, and then was off to join Mama.
One baby hummingbird has left the nest! Poor sibling left behind. Looking everywhere for his/her big brother/sister and finding nothing. I have a feeling Baby #2 is going to be flying off in the next couple days. One it’s gone, I’ll be posting photos. You know how I get…superstitious and all that rot.
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.
There are two…TWO! baby hummingbirds in the nest outside.
One is definitely more animated than the other. I don’t know if that spells trouble for the other one, or maybe it’s just that one hatched earlier and is more developed. Either way, I’m happy to see the second baby.
Photos are slow to come because they’re still so tiny. And the eyes are barely open, more chameleon-like than birdy at this point. It’s exciting to watch.
If you read the previous post and wonder if there is any joy at all in my life, wonder no more. At least one of the hummingbird eggs has hatched! I’ve only been able to see a tiny bit of a very tiny beak poking out of the nest, being fed by Mama Hummingbird, but it’s at least one more lovely bird in our community.
We had a lot of rain on Sunday. Violent downpours off and on all throughout the day. I worried about the baby bird. I worried about the mama. All is fine, though. as Mama was feeding the baby yesterday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
L.D. is here! Only for a few days, but he’s HERE! We’ve already watched a couple movies today and now we’re having a Celebrity Name Game marathon (I love that show!).
He goes back home on Thursday after dinner. Boo hoo! But we’ll all be together as a family and that’ll be fantastic. Mojo, my folks, my sisters, etc. All together for a lovely meal. And then we all say goodbye. Sigh.
For now, though, I’ll be focusing on enjoying my son’s company and generally having as much fun as possible.
P.S. The cats are happy he’s here, too.
P.P.S. “Quickly, quickly! There’s no time!” Non-Stop with Liam Neeson was a good “edge of your seat” movie. We were all yelling at the TV and trying to guess who the baddies were. So, watch it if you want a good action flick. However, don’t bother with The Counselor as it was slow and the sort of movie you wish you hadn’t wasted your time on.
Back in my day, “puffy jackets/vests” were called down jackets or down vests.
Back in my day, leggings were stirrup pants. (Athough, to be fair, I prefer leggings and hope stirrup pants never return.)
Back in my day, a diet drink was water, iced tea sans sugar, or Tab.
Back in my day, cable was new and exciting. Now, we have DIGITAL cable and DVRs and all sorts of newfangled things. I like these things.
Back in my day, I was just a kid. Now I’m a grown up and it’s less fun than I’d imagined. EXCEPT for all the things I can do when I want to do them. Sure, there are more responsibilities and complications and that whole aging body thing, but overall, I quite like being a grown up. I do, however, miss the wonder of discovery that childhood brought. I miss the gentleness of life. The innocence.
You know, the more I think of it, “my day” is still here. Things are changing, to be sure, but so am I. And as long as I’m breathing, kicking, screaming, laughing, loving, learning…it’s going to remain MY DAY.
I’ve been sick for a week now. Laryngitis, headache, occasional fever, some congestion. You know the drill. And I’m sick of it. I’ve exhausted all my patience with being sick, of having to strain to be heard, of getting dizzy when I move. I’m so done with it all.
On the plus side: I’ve seen a bunch of good movies, binge watched some shows, almost caught up on all my regular TV shows, read some books, snuggled with the cats, and managed to NOT get King Arthur sick.
Bad news: I got this update from the San Diego Zoological Society in my mailbox:
We regret to inform you that over the weekend we received terrible news: Suni, one of the last remaining northern white rhinos, passed away at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, where he was living with three other northern whites. Poaching is not suspected as the cause of Suni’s death.
This brings the total world population of northern whites down to only six: three remaining in the preserve in Kenya, one at the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic, and two here (including our Nola), at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
As profoundly devastating as this news is, with your support we will continue working to save and protect the world’s most threatened species.
You know how I feel about rhinos and this makes me exceedingly sad. For anyone (like you, Pam!) who has watched the Stephen Fry series Last Chance to See, you will likely remember Fry’s trip to Africa (and to the Czech Republic) as he documented the efforts of scientists to move two northern white rhinos to Africa in hopes of getting the few remaining animals breeding. Personally, I hate to think of us losing a magnificent animal in our lifetime simply because humans have hunted them out of existence. And that is exactly what’s been done. Sometimes we humans suck. For more about the death of Suni, Nat Geo has an article very much worth reading.
To end on something more positive, I found a sweet series of photos of stray cats by the same guy who did the series of photos of his neighbors (sans their consent — of which I’m not a fan and find his intent to profit from it a bit exploitive, but no one’s asked my opinion). Anyhow, I figured I’d send you off to look at both and see what you think. (I adore the Strays series immensely as it totally captures the essence of absolute catitude, and while I’m not a fan of the method of capturing the images of The Neighbors, I do see the beauty in the images.) So, go on…have a look, then come back and share your thoughts. I’ll be waiting here with my nasal spray and tissues and remote control.
The best part of traveling for me these days is returning home. As much as I’d like to really enjoy being out and about, the simple fact is my body doesn’t agree with my head and my heart.
After I recovered from the faire, we had the drive to contend with. It was exceedingly painful. My shoulder was frozen up again. My right leg and hip were locked and painful. My left leg and hip were grinding as if there were glass on raw nerve once again. I medicated for the drive and was shit for company for poor King Arthur the entire way home. God bless this man! He puts up with so much of my physical pain beyond what most people would. I cannot begin to tell you how very much that means to me. Yes, he gets mad and yes, we argue about it, but when all is said and done, he’s exceedingly patient and helpful when I’m going through the worst of it. If I didn’t already love him so much, that would certainly seal the deal.
Because the meds I’m taking do a number on my dreams and sometimes on my partially-sleepy mind, and because of a few recent events, I got to thinking about what I’d want to have happen at my memorial should I die. Don’t go getting worried! I’ve always been this way. I plan for the future.
One thing I want to have happen at my memorial service (and I hope there would be one!) is to have a playlist already picked out. You know, music that means something to me. Music that moves me deeply now. Music that would hopefully lift the spirits of those in attendance. (You have to plan these things or else someone who doesn’t know you puts together the most dreadful stuff!) Of course, all that got me thinking about what kind of legacy I’d leave behind and, you know what I got? Nothing. Instead of depressing me, it gave me pause. It makes me wonder how I’d be remembered, leaving me feeling as if I’d betting get my priorities in order and start being the sort of person who would be missed after I go.
Weird, huh? But that’s where I’m at. And I’m okay with that. It’s given me a great deal to think over.
What about you? Any plans on how you’d like to leave this mortal coil?
King Arthur brought us out to Vegas for ren faire this weekend. We won’t be going until tomorrow afternoon, but we’ve managed to have fun even still. Last night we went to see Human Nature (thanks to my friend who is in the band), went for dinner afterwards, and then threw a couple games of darts.
KA got to meet another one of my dearest friends and they hit it off well. I love when that happens! I credit Big B with saving my life when he encouraged me to move out here years ago. For those who remember, my living situation before the move was horrible and I didn’t see any way out of the whole sordid mess. Once I moved, life got better. So Big B is one of those very special people to me, just like KA. That they met and liked each other? HUUUUUUUGE! It’s a very big deal to me.
Also spent the better part of this afternoon in a meeting at the time share KA owns. Couple hours doing that isn’t so bad when you end up getting to stay somewhere nice for basically nothing. The property is very nice and the people are accommodating (yes, it is their job, but when it’s genuine, it’s even lovelier). So, after that meeting, we came back to the room and have settled in for the evening. I’m wiped out. Yesterday’s drive wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exactly great for the old back and it’s left me a bit exhausted. Now it’s off to early bed for me. Maybe. Probably. Could happen. Who knows?
Little Dude came into the world exactly 18 years ago at this very moment. It seems like only yesterday — in my heart.
I feel so very priviledged to have watched him grow from a tiny bump in my belly to the great man he is surely becoming. I do remember long nights of worry and frustration. I do remember the rough pregnancy, the horrible labor and deliver, and the fear I felt when I was told he was admitted to NICU and I hadn’t even had the chance to hold him in my arms for more than a minute or two. I remember all that and am so very grateful for ALL of it.
If there’s anything truer than what I’m about to say, I don’t know what it could be: Little Dude is an amazing young man. He has been a blessing. Always. Just as his sister has been. I consider myself to be the luckiest mom on the face of this planet to have been gifted such extraordinary children.
While LD is no longer little, he will always be The Dude to me. He will always be the boy who jumped plastic crocodiles, spoke with an Australian accent for two years, convinced his uncle’s family that his name was Steve, who…well, you know. I could go on forever and a day about him. It’s just hard to NOT talk about him.
This is his last birthday at home for a while, I think. He’s already enlisted in the Marine Corps and will start with them right after he finishes with high school. In many ways, I’m excited and in many other ways I’m a scared mom. I’ll never stop worrying about my kids. But I know this: he’s always been a Marine in his heart and he was always going to be one. I’m truly thrilled that he’s pursuing his dreams and setting his own path in life.
So, happy birthday, my dear boy! Follow your dreams and always be true to yourself. I love you to infinity and beyond and then some. Times infinity. To the infinite power.