Friday, February 27, 2009

Where Did All The Birdies Go?

Crouching tiger position. (Click picture for larger view)

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." ~ John Lubbock

Maggie: Oh! Look! Something's out there! What is that chirping noise? I need to find out! I need to blend in with my surroundings and check this out!"

Balancing cat position.

"I have slowly climbed this hill and now I balance, as still as a statue. Look at all the birdies, finches and mourning doves. I am sooooo good... they don't even seem to notice me. But, my feet are getting tired.... my body is too big.... too long... don't look down, don't look down! I am going to have to get closer soon!"

My pirouette move. I am a ballerina!

"I can't get past this lamp...hmm... I'll try this direction. Yes, this should get me closer to the window, but.... I am just so big and my tail is swishing. Oh! No! I can't move like a mouse... more like an elephant! How do those Siamese do this so well?"

"Where did they go?" Posted by Picasa

"Well, here I am, nose against the window and what is this? That person that I do not like, pointing that black box at me again! I want the birdies, where did the birdies go? Uh-oh, I feel a song coming on......
Where did all the birdies go... Long time passing
Where did all the birdies go... Long time ago..Meoooowwwwww!"

"Perhaps I will see them on board Friday's Ark or perhaps at the Carnival of the Cats hosted by Artsy Catsy. But with all the other cats there, the outlook for birdie sightings might be slim."

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Winter: Snow? Don't Count On It!

Stark winter trees... but no snow! Posted by Picasa

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter.
Something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show."
~ Andrew Wyeth

Winter rarely has snow here, but routinely the lows set up off shore and winds blow in from the northeast. These howl through the trees in the preserve behind the house and the trees sway, their bare limbs clacking against each other as stray pine cones pelt the rooftop. Two of the tallest pine trees were dead and this winter, during one of these wind events, the tops broke off the trunks, about 20 to 25 feet off the ground and both fell, at the same time. While neither large trunk fell across the fence, we did have many broken limbs and pine cones throughout the back yard. Large twisted limbs from viable pines were also taken down by their fall and landed, still in the preserve but close to the sidewalk. Now, the woodpeckers of all types are having a wonderful time with the remnants.

Soon, these trees will burst forth with pale, green leafy buds..... time moves too fast!

This picture is for Carmi's weekly thematic posts.... this week... winter. Sorry but we just haven't had enough snow to photograph this year!

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Omelette Anyone?

Uh! Oh! Looks like I missed this one at the store! Posted by Picasa

"If you've broken the eggs, you should make the omelette." ~
Anthony Eden (English Statesman and Prime Minister (1955-1957), 1897-1977)

Does anyone remember a time... long, long, long ago, when eggs came in paper cartons and you didn't have to ALWAYS check for cracked and broken shells before buying? And do you remember when the feed fed to chickens didn't have antibiotics in it and the eggs produced by those chickens didn't run the risk of transmitting Salmonella so they could be eaten raw in luscious recipes such as French Silk Pie? I do. Now we have to check each dozen... and it looks like I didn't do the best job here! So, anyone for some scrambled eggs or an omelette?

Carmi's weekly theme over at Written, Inc. this week is "busted".

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Southern Diva

"Wow! Now this is a staircase!" (Click to enlarge)

"There is nothing that gives more assurance than a mask." ~ Colette

Miss Scarlett wanted to update you on her soft self. She has fully regained her pre-surgery weight... and then some. We always said she looked like a bowling ball and now she is there again. But the vet says she is healthy. No more stones on her special diet and an added bonus for the other cats as well. They ALL eat the Science Diet C/D and this will help prevent them from forming stones too.

"I love the feel of these hardwood floors!"

While her shape is back, her attitude never left. She's still endowed with that special sound effects gift; able to produce all the growls, screeches, hissing and snarls of a community cat fight... all by her butterball self. This still gives the other cats a great deal of enjoyment.. better than watching a bunch of goldfish in a bowl! Our new dog, Daisy, on the other hand is scared to death of these antics. After Scarlett's display, Daisy won't even turn her head to look at her. Much, much too scary!

"But this dark rug is nice too... a great place to relax!"

Scarlett is slowly learning to relax in the new house and comes in from the safety of the kitty playroom (garage) almost every day now. She sits in the big recliners in the den or on the arm of the same when Mom is in the chair. Here she purrs and squeaks (never has been able to do a Siamese "meow") and rubs her head on Mom's arm. Scarlett does love those head rubs.

"Are you still here? Go now! Scram! It's my nap time! Posted by Picasa

Even though she is now almost 14, she can still run faster than Nyssa....... oops! Was I supposed to say that?

Scarlett is visiting Friday's Ark this week... she hasn't been for some time now. She also wants to see the other kitties at the Carnival of the Cats, hosted this week by When Cats Attack. See you there!

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Tickled Pink

Raindrops on Roses.... (Click to enlarge) Posted by Picasa

"Slow buds the pink dawn like a rose
From out night's gray and cloudy sheath;
Softly and still it grows and grows,
Petal by petal, leaf by leaf."
~ Susan Coolidge

We don't have the long Christmas card winters with snow covered evergreens, brightly dressed snowmen or the diamond reflections of sun off the freshly fallen snow. In reality, we only have one or two shots a year at a REAL snow, and even then only four or five inches at most. The end of December and the month of January are two most likely snow months. This year we had a cold spell and a REAL threat of a snow event; 80% chance of three to five inches. In fact, it seemed to be such a sure thing that schools were called off ahead of time.... and then...... NOTHING! NO SNOW! Nothing but cold and wind!

This is how it goes around here.... cold, windy, gray with temperatures in the 30's one day and then.... 75 degrees and sunny the next... followed by another day of temps in the 30's and 40's. We are teased and tormented by both.... not cold enough for snow and not warm enough for a long enough period of time to work outside. Today was like that... 62 degrees but breezy. I did get the roses cut back and the root balls of the fall mums replanted from the pots into the front flower bed. Now the temperature has fallen into the 40's and the winds have turned back around to the north... and tomorrow, a high in the 40's AGAIN!

I miss the warm pink blush of the rose.... soon, very soon!

Submitted to Thursday Challenge for topic "pink".

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Mouse-eyed View

At least in one way, things are looking up! (click to enlarge) Posted by Picasa

"Going around under an umbrella interferes with one's looking up at the sky." ~ Jerzy Kosinski

Behind the house is a preserve that is home to a wide variety of birds, squirrels, the occasional snake and in summer... mosquitoes. I've seen neighborhood teen boys stomping through the brush and the smaller boys... well, you don't actually see them, just see the rustling of the tall brush and hear the loud sound effects of a wild hunting party. With the standing water and swampy areas, I can't imagine their moms are too pleased with the condition of their clothes and shoes when they get home. The trees stretch high, a mixture of oak, pine and other varieties, some are already dead, broken tops fallen with recent high winds... small saplings already taking their place.

One day I stood at the edge of this preserve and pointed my camera up. I felt like a small mouse in a very, very large universe. No umbrellas here!

Carmi over at Written, Inc has his weekly theme posted... UP!

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Uncommonly Miraculous

Bringing in the sunshine... pictures with my macro.
(Click pictures to enlarge)
"The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think I mentioned that my mom had her fourth joint replacement surgery in November. Yes, it finally happened on the 17th. I truly believe this will be the last major surgery she will ever be able to have done. The complicated aspects of her medical state have reached the inevitable stage where everything is a fine balancing act... surgery or any superimposed illness upsets this balance. The surgery itself went well but the post-op period was more difficult than ever. She had to remain in the hospital until the Friday after Thanksgiving and problems with kidney function, gastrointestinal tract function and a more generalized edema came up. I really had faith that these would work themselves out and they did... just more slowly than would have been the case with someone younger.

Pink variegated geranium... after the rain.

She only spent two weeks in the rehab nursing facility and I wasn't ready for her to be home. We had to rent a hospital bed that would adjust lower so she could easily get in. Fortunately, their master suite in the new house is more than ample for this. Slowly the swelling went down and her in home therapy began. I do think Mom enjoyed this stage of therapy the most. She arranged to have the same therapist as she has had previously and really enjoyed her visits... although she is not as enthusiastic about the actual exercises. The in home therapy lasted a full four weeks.

Baby pink chrysanthemums ... soft and simple.

Near the end of January, she began her outpatient therapy... three times a week. She works on a step machine and with other exercises and it is good for her to get out of the house. On January 30th she went to therapy as usual and was using her cane instead of the walker. Instead of waiting for my Dad to come up to the 2nd floor entrance she decided to meet him down in the building lobby. Right outside the door of the therapy room, she lost her balance and fell forward on the carpeted floor. She hit her knees and her head. The therapists wouldn't let her move and called the ambulance to take her to the hospital. The emergency room doctors thoroughly x-rayed her knees and hips and while there is extensive bruising and a hematoma on the right knee... there were no broken bones and all the implants look to be secure. She also had a CT scan of the head and that was fine as well. But now she is still sore and her knees hurt worse than her hips and we are staying with the walker for a bit longer.

When my dad called from the ER I couldn't hear him well and just got little bits.... "ER".... "hospital"... "ambulance"...... Finally he used a hospital phone to give me the whole story. We have been doing the icing treatments on both knees and the bruising is slowly going away. She is continuing with outpatient therapy.

This past week we have had to deal with the viral gastroenteritis... (stomach flu). Dad had it start on Saturday night... no nausea, just the diarrhea... and against my advice he took Imodium ... his symptoms lasted for almost five days. Wednesday evening, Mom suddenly became nauseated and had the vomiting and diarrhea all night. Thursday she couldn't eat much but dry crackers and a bit of broth in the evening.... but she was able to keep her medicine down.

Friday, she had an appointment with her family physician and physical therapy. She took her medicine in the morning as usual but had a lower fasting blood sugar than usual. She ate and went to therapy but there her blood sugar really began to drop so they gave her orange juice, grape juice... things that would normally send it skyrocketing... only managed to get it up to 72. From 3:00 pm until 8:00 pm, I gave her crackers with jelly, cinnamon toast, tea with sugar, regular Jello... anything with sugar in it that would also not upset a stomach with recent viral gastroenteritis.... all to no avail. Her blood sugar dropped into the 30's and wouldn't go above 40... so I called the doctor on call and told him we were bringing her to the ER and please call ahead. On the way, she seemed more oriented and her blood sugar did go up a little but not much. They gave her more crackers and juice and started a glucose drip in the ER but her blood sugar again dropped into the 40's... so she was admitted. She required glucagon injection during the night but by Saturday evening her glucose was getting higher.

Mom was released yesterday. She can eat most of her normal diet now and it seems the excess diabetic medication is out of her system. In fact, today we are having trouble keeping the glucose down... I am waiting to hear that we can restart one of her diabetic medications even as I type this. I am hoping that this bump in the road will make her become more consistent in her blood sugar testing.....

Glowing fall heat... orange flame chrysanthemums. Posted by Picasa

So, here we are... another day... another drama........
How boring life would be without the drama... right???
The flowers? Here to brighten the day!

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