And it’s January again

I see that I forgot to add the rest of the Advil calendar.  My bad.  Maybe next year.  Gah.  Here is proof that I am not the only doting grandma in the family – this is my sister 🙂 And her lovely grandbaby Lili






From Ebert’s Newsletter –

Scottish artist Robert Montgomery goes about at night illegally plastering over advertisements with posters covered in his poetry. His very pleasing verse is presented in white typography on a black background, screaming out ideas about beauty, consumerism and hypocrisy, among other things. The elegant words, and their sparse presentation, have been appearing on hoardings for the last ten years.


Rick’s mass was terrible.  Watching my son carry his father’s ashes down the aisle was very, very hard.  He said that finally made it real for him.   Sad day.

Weekly Wrap up

Today was all about chickens.  I went to a Community Supported Agriculture farm (CSA) and spent two hours learning about backyard chicken husbandry.  It was quite fun and entertaining.  The teacher was from Grass Valley which is a wonderful hippie/back to the earth sort of cool town where he builds backyard chicken coops.  He brought one to show us, it was quite nice.

A law was recently passed allowing Sacramento peeps to keep three chickens in their backyards, so there’s a lot of interest.  The eggs we like are between 4 and 5 dollars a dozen these days and that’s a LOT of money.  The organic free range eggs taste so much better than the force-fed cramped-cage eggs that I can’t make myself buy the latter anymore.  I’m sure the nutritional value varies a lot, too.  It makes me want my own chickens.

I haven’t quite got Bob talked into it, I think he’s afraid I’ll make him do all the work (which is a very real fear because his doing it all is a real possibility).   Regardless,  I really like fresh organic eggs.  I don’t like the idea of caged chickens. I was in one of those factory barns once in Porterville.  Bad.

There are two chicken rescues (I’m not making that up) that get their chickens from the chicken factories and are within driving distance of here.   I’ll probably go that route and pick up a few Buff Orpingtons  if they have them.  If not, I will probably get chicks.  I saw a lot of chickens today, and the Orpingtons seemed to have the best personality. Lots of different kinds.  I used to know about them, a little, but have forgotten virtually all of it.

Since we have to put up a fence around the pool (Katie will be walking soon) and maybe we can figure out where to put a little chicken coop and have that fence be part of their run.  Matt the chicken coop guy showed numerous variations on that theme.  Lots of places we could use, but predators will be an issue and we have to keep that in mind as we design the chicken space.  We have raccoons and skunks and hawks around here, all of which love to dine on chicken, not to mention our three bird-centric dogs.  I could probably teach Goob and Sissy to leave them alone but Lewi would be a lost cause.  He is not a very good learner about things he’s emotionally involved with.  Serious small-dog syndrome.


I also saw two very fresh lambs today at the farm where I took the class.  A couple of hours old. Their  ewe mama was more or less ignoring them, so they bleated piteously on and off the whole time I was there watching them.   They were sort of gross. Not really as cute as one might think.  Also saw many chickens and a humongous potbellied pig which I did not get a picture of.  He had scary boar tusks but I was informed that he was the farm mascot and very even-tempered.



In other news, the man I was married to for 17 years and the father of my only child died this week after a short illness.  It was a blow to my son, and even to me, more than I thought it would be.  I saw him a few hours before he died, he was mostly unrecognizable, lots of tubes and extremely bloated.  It was bad, but I thought, “That old fucker will pull through this, no worries.”   And then my son called me, sobbing at 2:30 a.m. and gave me the news of his father’s death.  Very sad — they were quite close.   He died intestate which was lame as he’d already had one hearth attack.   Word to the wise:  if you have diverticulitis, do what the doctor says.  And if you feel really bad from it, make them admit you and KEEP YOU in the hospital.   I think the survivors (not including me) are looking at filing a malpractice suit. Also, people, MAKE A WILL.  Husbeast and I are working on that right now, as well as possibly increasing our life insurance.  We would hate to leave each other in the state my ex left his current wife. 😦

When I was at the hospital I finally met the current wife, and I liked her.  I feel bad for her, she obviously loved him.  Fuck.

In other, other news, I was in class all week learning about HTML5 and CSS3 and jQuery.  It was very hard and at least two of those days I had trouble concentrating, mostly due to lack of sleep from what had been going on with the ex and son.   I suppose at my age the people around me are going to start dropping like flies.  Nevertheless the class was interesting, albeit over my head.  I’m not a developer, and it was a developer course, but I liked it and now I will be able to speak a little more intelligently to MY developer, and also I know what’s around the corner for web development in general.

—- Cat butt update

Shawn in Sevilla wrote about her fat cat and his nasty arse… we have that going on here, too.  Scuff is the fattest thing on 4 feet and can no longer reach her bum for cleaning purposes.  We’ve started doing it for her because she was really, really GROSS.  I had to clip the fur around it.  She was fine until I clipped her little vag a tiny bit.  Ow.  But she didn’t go away, and I kept cleaning and clipping and Bob scratched her head and she purred through the whole thing.  She is now all ecstatic about it each time, spreading her toes and purring and just generally getting a big charge out of it.  Heavy sigh.  Bob laughs and makes dirty jokes.  He always gets the clean end.  I’ve been doing this twice a day, and putting antibiotic on the little clip spot, just because it’s nasty back there and we don’t want any infection.  Seems to be ok.  No more vet bills for awhile if we can help it.   But seriously, cleaning a cat’s arse is just not what I want to be doing with my time.  Diets all around are in order, I think.


PS, I’m not really doing a weekly wrap-up, at least not weekly.  Maybe just weakly.


Had to go into work today; worked with a nice young man from a consulting company.  Smart.  Clean.  Stinky sinus infection breath.  [Why do so many men have sinus infections?]   He has virtual server labs set up at his house for the three major types of virtual services – VMWare, HyperVisor, and .. something else.  That’s a dedicated geek.   I forgot to look for a ring, don’t know if he has a wife or not.  Server lab in-home makes me wonder.

My more or less DIL appears to be getting religion if FB is a reliable indicator.  That’s too bad.  I think it’s one of her numerous cries for help.  Don’t know what to do about it, though.  Quit worrying, is probably the best answer here. Sigh.

I miss Bob.  He’s been gone for a few days.  The one at home is always the lonesome one; the one on the road is having too many adventures for loneliness to set in.  Usually that’s me on a work junket.  I’ve hardly ever been home sans Bob since we got married lo these x number of years ago.  I loved it the first couple of days.  Now, not so much.

Did you guys see this? Now you KNOW I’m feeling lonesome and weird.

*The stuff I was having a quandary about I erased because it was stupid, so now the title makes no sense.

In other news ….

I am exceedingly tired of looking at Tim Minchin.  So here’s a post to push him down the page.

I came across a really great tweet today and I’ll share but it occurred to me that the people who read this blog (that I know about, anyway) already know this.
To wit:    @SocialMedia411: We go to LinkedIn to look for reasons to hire someone, then go to Facebook to look for reasons not to.”

I thought that was very succinct.    Keep those filters working, folks!

Bob is gone this week, took his middle son to Seattle, mainly so he (Bob) could go on a road trip.   Can’t say as I blame him.   It feels like it’s been ages since we’ve been anywhere.  I’d love to get out of town, but last year I promised Cheetah I wouldn’t leave her with anyone else until she dies.  I told you all this, right?    She’s looking mighty healthy at the moment, which is 95% good news and 5% Oh-My-God-I-Have-Cabin-Fever.

Cheetah’s annoying half sister, Ray Lynn aka RayMo aka Mo, was born in 1995 and is a year older.  Two weeks ago the new vet said Ray Lynn (Rae Lynn? RaeLin? sigh) was in exceptionally good shape for a cat of that age and didn’t actually believe me about how old she was until she saw the  age marks in the iris when she looked closely.  So there are some good genetic factors there that are keeping us off the road, and probably will for more years than I care to think about.  Perhaps I will reconsider our stay-at-home agreement, but for the moment, one of us will always be here.  Too bad Andrew has a family of his own to take care of.  I miss that handy resource. 🙂  I always trust him with our animals and he’s not afraid to give Cheetah her shots every day.

Hah.  I just took a break and fed the dogs whipped cream out of a can.  Sissy is perfectly willing to just open up and have me squirt it into her mouth sans contact with the nozzle, but Goob was another matter. It was the tail end of the can, so we practiced.  He still wants to lick it and put his mouth all over it, so he doesn’t get to participate much in the whipped cream experience.  He didn’t get any better at it by the time the can was empty.   He’s always such a dork compared to Sissy.  I wish I could take a picture while I’m doing this, but it is just too delicate a process, if you know what I mean.  Plus, you know, PETA.

While Bob is gone I am experiencing deep, deep joy in letting my messy banner fly.  I always keep it in check (which requires HEAVY and CONSTANT policing on my part) when he’s around, but with him out of the picture I am dropping things and letting them lay. Lie.  Whatever.   I’m delirious with it.   I am, by nature, a completely messy person and apparently always will be.   I thought I’d get over it if I held it under tight control for a long time but noooooooooo, it’s always hard and I always love letting loose.  If I lived by myself one would need a shovel to get in my front door.  Probably.  Actually, when I DID live by myself last time I was fairly clean.  But it was out of fear that the landlord would come over because he felt sorry for my cat and was compelled to let her in and out while I was at work.   Little did I know that his son who had lived there previously was one of those people who would let garbage bags pile up inside the house.  So I looked like an angel by comparison.  Probably even on my worst day I’m an angel in comparison to that.  But in the dark recesses of my mind I see my crazy [depressed, addicted, addled] oldest sister’s crap pile of a house before she was incarcerated into long term care.  With the garbage bags and the dog poop and the dirty dishes and overflowing ash trays.  And I am motivated to stay on the side of godliness.

In other, other sad news, we attended a funeral in Idaho this week.  My 54 year old cousin Karma shot herself.  It was a terrible funeral — so, so sad and we all cried our guts out.  She was the first person in my generation to die in the family on that side.  I spent weeks every summer with Karma and her two brothers growing up.   I hadn’t seen her in ages, and didn’t even know she was in such rough shape.  That’s sad, too, the way we have all fallen out of touch, and I attribute some of my grief to that.   I spent two full days after the funeral with my other two sisters, walking, and talking, and drinking beer and watching old movies.  It was healing for me and I’m glad we had the time together.

Ug, I am tired of being sad.  I will leave you (and me) with a happy dog picture.  Her name is Ruby and she is a random dog in Sacramento via Facebook. Better looking than Tim Minchin, for sure.


Cats, babies, etc

Mr. Long, the aforementioned abscess sufferer:

The wound

Not being too bothered by it:

And now, more baby pics

This yellow blanket was from my Grandma, and I used it with Andrew until the backside shredded.  So.  One picture with Katie and I will try and throw it away. 🙂  She’s on her daddy’s lap.

In one of the hideous gamer t-shirts I bought her.  Level 1 Human indeed …  She is so cute it chokes me sometimes.  If I ever explode, that will be why.

And her momma bought her some new little boots, with which she seems quite taken:



We had to take Mr. Long to the vet this morning.  He had a baseball sized lump attached to the side of his face.  He didn’t care if I touched it, which was odd, and he was starving and ate a lot.  But it was an abscess.  So he has been operated on successfully, is coming along just fine and we have to go pick him up in a couple of hours.

I SO want him to be an indoor cat, but the old lady cats we have HATE him to come in the house.  They attack him, and pester him, and stalk him.   And he’s more of a lover, not a fighter, so he ends up being exceedingly henpecked.  Poor thing.  Now he’s going to have to live in a room by himself for a week while he’s collared and has the drain in.  This has been a very expensive animal month.

Lewi had to go to the vet and then straight to the Dog Ophthalmologist.  Really.  Who even knew there was such a thing.  He’s doing much better now.  Me, not so much.  I have to put four sets of things in his eye twice a day, with 10 minutes in between each drop. That feels like pretty much all I do every day now, is put drops and goop in Lewi’s eyes.  And clean them out.  At least he’s very good about it.  I give him tiny treats each time so he’s always thinking about that instead of the drops.

Sissy says, “Put a drop in my eye, too, so I can have a treat!”


Lewi says, “Ready!”

And here are a few gramma and baby pics.






Cute little thang, ain’t she?  I just stare at her a lot.  Completely enamored.

I got to do face time with her lovely little cousin? 2nd cousin?  My niece’s baby Gwyneth.  She was also quite delightful as is her beautiful mother.   It was fun.

I feel good today, abscessy-cats notwithstanding.

Quotes of the day

If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.

Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.

–Leo Tolstoy


Also – My grandbaby, BigFoot: