About Me

Life is learning. Life is change. Life is good. Life doesn't have to cost a lot. I want to make my life greener, healthier, and thriftier. And I want to enjoy doing it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Interesting Times

As in "May you live in ...".

And has it ever been an "interesting" few weeks!

First there was the broken elbow.  Ever try to shower with one arm taped into a trash bag, or put a decent bra on one-handed?  'Nuff said.  Even tying my hair back in its usual ponytail was a real challenge.

My very dear friend S arrived from the midwestern USA on April 8th.  Almost the 9th, actually, since her plane landed at 11:35 p.m. and by the time she was through Customs and we got back in D's car it was after midnight.  So far so good; we got back here and sat around drinking coffee and chatting until after 2:30 a.m., then D went home and S and I crashed.

The morning of the 9th, my elderly FatBratCat started throwing up blood.  Raced off to the vet, who wanted to keep her overnight to do bloodwork, x-rays, etc.  Went back on the 10th, and was told that she had suffered catastrophic kidney failure, and that at her age the prognosis was pretty grim.  So I did the right thing ... the only possible thing ... Why is it that so often, the kindest and most loving thing to do is also the hardest?  She did have seventeen good spoiled-rotten years.  And we did know that, like GabbyTabby, it was only a matter of time.  But losing two much-loved kitties in less than a year really hurts.  I get up in the morning feeling like I've forgotten something ... it feels strange not having a cat in the house for the first time in over thirty years.

Honestly, it would have been much easier to deal with if S hadn't kept pushing.  "You're not even crying!  When I had to put my cat down I bawled for days!  But then, I really loved my cat."  Finally I had to tell her, "Look  -  I don't cry in front of anyone, not even Big Guy  -  never have, never will.  It has less than nothing to do with how much I loved FatBrat or how much I miss her.  The subject is not open for discussion."  Rude to a guest?  Possibly  -  although not nearly as rude as what I wanted to say.  Especially after S then asked if I was going to let the cat's death spoil her vacation!  Well, no, I wasn't, but it was ... difficult.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Between the 10th and the 14th of April,  we took S up to Lynn Canyon to hike up and down the river and across the suspension bridge, we took her up to Squamish for lunch and then to Shannon Falls, and D took her up the Fraser Canyon and into the Rockies as far as Revelstoke.  I didn't go with them that day, as I had to see the orthopedic specialist about my elbow.

The doctor very obligingly inspected the new x-rays and removed the cast!  Smiles all around  -  no surgery needed, I just need to be a little careful with it for a few weeks.

The following day we drove down to Washington State  -  D and S dropped me off at J's new place in Everett, then headed into Seattle for a baseball game (D is a staunch Mariners fan).  I just hope they enjoyed the game as much as I enjoyed my evening with J!

From the 15th through to when we dropped S at the airport the morning of the 21st,  we didn't go so far afield, as D had to go back to work and Big Guy had my car every day.  We took public transit a couple of times  -  into Vancouver to have lunch with my girls, and to Metrotown to do some shopping  -  and walked around the shopping areas here a couple of afternoons.  But with no car and the weather turning cold and wet again, we spent a lot of time in the house gabbing, watching movies, and playing cards.  I taught S a variant of rummy the girls and I play a lot, and she picked it up quite quickly in spite of its intricacies.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

In other areas since my last post  -  having a house guest really cramped my style in some areas, and it was very hard to bite my tongue:

Power must be super-cheap where S lives ... she never turned a light off, never powered down the laptop I'd set up in the guest room for her (even when we were leaving for the airport!), kept wanting the heat bumped up about eight degrees above where we keep it, took half-hour showers daily but never used a towel more than once, and ran the washer and dryer every night for whatever she'd worn that day.  Come on, a "full" load for one pair of leggings and a t-shirt?  Please!

Food waste  -  let's not even go there.  Never before in my life have I seen anyone eat half a slice of pizza, throw the other half away, then grab two more slices and do the same with them.  Or take the biggest pork chop and the biggest baked potato, then throw away a third of the chop and half the potato.

Frugality  -  went right out the window.  S wouldn't eat red meat but loves seafood (expensive), didn't bother getting enough Canadian cash to cover more than the souvenirs she'd promised her friends, wouldn't drink coffee but can't survive without a two-litre bottle of Coke a day,  took it for granted that D or I would pay for all her meals out, all her transit fares ...

She's still a very dear friend but it's so true that you never really know someone until you live with them! 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Garden planning proceeds well, though rather differently than I'd envisioned last winter.  Big Guy decided to try starting tomato plants from seeds rather than buying bedding plants, and they're coming along very nicely.  He planted 24 seeds, of which 20 have sprouted.  Once the weather cooperates, we'll bung the best eight or ten into the outdoor tomato planter, and I'll plant chives and parsley in between.  The rest of the herbs will be in pots hung on the chain-link side fence, and if I can I'll be putting cages made of old window screening around those to keep the squirrels and birds from eating the plants.

My fruit trees are all blossoming, so I'm hoping the rain will hold off until everything's pollinated.  Apples, plums, pears, cherries, black currants ... if all goes well I see a busy canning/freezing/drying season ahead.  Not to mention the rhubarb, which I'll be eating the first stalks of this week, and the mint and spearmint to be dried for tea.  And if I can talk Big Guy into it, I'd love to put in some raspberry canes.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

What comes next?  Re-scheduling all the Options workshops I missed (between whooping cough and the broken elbow), picking up the intensive job search again, and seeing if I can't get my home-based business up and running again.  Oh, and starting a new batch of crafts for next winter's craft fairs.  And finishing four (yes, four!) sweaters that had to be put on "hold" until my new workroom was ready and I could use both hands again.  And the mending keeps piling up ...

Wish me luck!


  1. Good luck with your plants!
    I'm so sorry about your second cat. My parents recently had a dog pass away and you're right--it's so strange not to have a pet around when you're used to it.
    As for your friend, good grief!

  2. Thanks, Ness! Big Guy keeps nattering at me about our "next" cat, but I'm just not quite ready yet ... soon, though. The house feels naked without cats.