Who’s tired of quarantining?

Actually, not me! Quarantining has become my new normal and I’m ok with it. In fact, I like it. I no longer have to deal with people! I’m happy in my house – much happier, and less stressed and no longer constantly annoyed and frustrated by work issues. I no longer feel like I’m dealing with recalcitrant children. I can breathe, I can appreciate the fruits of my very hard labour and truth be told, I like it! Naturally it would be nice to have a pay cheque, but I’ll get there.

So what am I up to? I’m working on becoming the next JK Rowling! Ha! Well, I have no illusions of grandeur about the competitive art of writing children’s books, but it has been a great release and helped me escape the world of reality and immerse myself in a fictional town in Antarctica!

When I was a little girl, my dad used to tell me bedtime stories. He was great at making them up on a whim and kept me enthralled with the adventures of Percy the Purple Penguin. So, as a tribute to him, I decided to write them down and develop them into a book for kids. I’m no author, I have no training in writing (except for attending school because it was the law!), but I was a kid once with a very vivid imagination that blossomed into an adult-like vivid imagination. My mum once yelled at me saying “there are no bloody snow faeries in crocuses, so stop messing with the buds” but I still check them – just in case…

Percy’s story has been completed and I’m in the process now of tightening it up and re-reading it, and re-reading it again and again and again. I’m enjoying channeling Percy to see what he will be up to in the next chapter of his life. I’m sure that every person who’s attempted to write a story hopes for publication, but not everyone is that fortunate. I’m going to give it a shot. If it goes nowhere, at least I tried and at the end of the day, I have a cool little story written down.

I’ve been furiously reading a bunch of children’s books to try and gauge where my story would fit in and to see what age group the story would appeal to. My local library, Machacek Library, has been immensely helpful and recommended several books per school grade. I’m not trying to teach anything in my story, it’s not PC-related, it is just pure escapism. I don’t have kids and am not around kids, so I don’t feel I’m qualified to be the “heavy” and dictate anything to anyone. It’s just a story, pure and simple. It has British undertones, because my dad was British and that’s how he told me the stories and that’s how it is written. You will find that the letter “u” is used a lot!

It’s been 4 weeks today since I lost my job and despite the anger and disappointment towards those who helped make that happen, it’s given me a sense of freedom and the chance to do something I’ve always secretly wanted to do. In the meantime, I’m going to read more children’s books because, let’s face it, they’re so much more fun to read than a lot of adult books!

Sylvester and the Vet

It’s funny, but not really funny (but actually hilarious) when you see a cat recovering from the side effects of having been under anesthesia.

I took Sylvester, our 10-year-old tuxedo cat, to his vet at the St. Louis Cat Clinic to have his teeth cleaned. I had clear instructions not to let him eat anything after 10pm the previous night and that I could drop him off between 8am and 8.30am the next morning.

We nonchalantly went about our business in the morning ignoring his pitiful wails and arrogant mischief-making leading up to his normal breakfast time. That time came and went and that caused the other 2 cats to become antsy about no food. Suffice it to say I was waiting outside the vets office at 8.02am with a very “hangry” Sylvester.

A little later that morning I got a call from the vet to tell me about the procedure and to tell me that he was close enough to his annual visit and would I like them to take care of the annual shots, exam, blood work and urinalysis too. ANYTHING to not have to catch him again and get him in the carrier, so YES, do it all! She then said “well, he’s a little angry right now so I’m going to wait until he’s a bit sleepy before I look in his mouth because I don’t want to get bitten!”

Anyone who knows Sylvester knows that he is the friendliest, most social, charming, playful cat there is, so when the vet tells you “he’s angry” it’s a bit of an embarrassing surprise. I told her he’s not really angry, he’s hungry! She said she had 2 dental’s that day and he will be the 2nd one and she’ll call me when he’s starting to wake up and when she has all the blood results.

So, I went about my day. Aggie and Bear distanced themselves from each other, as usual and had a nice long nap.

Around 3pm I got the call from the vet saying that Sylvester was just starting to wake up and was very drowsy but doing very well. He didn’t have any teeth troubles, so just a cleaning, polishing and scaling was done. All his blood work came back purrfectly, as did the urinalysis results. His weight is also purrfect! Yay, we’ve been working on that for a couple of years. There was one little thing that happened under anesthetic and that was that he developed a heart murmur. It only occurred when they gave him the IV fluids and as soon as they stopped the fluids, the murmur disappeared. She wants to see him in a couple of months to check on his weight and listen to his heart again. I could collect him at 5pm.

At 5pm I was outside the vet’s office waiting for the little darling. They have very strict rules about dropping off and collecting animals, so we conducted all business over the phone and then they brought him out to me. He was furious! Lock, stock and two smoking barrels furious!

I got him home and opened the carrier door and a very drunk black cat shot out of it, flopping around and bouncing off walls. First thing he did was make a bullseye to the food bowls. There was nothing in them, but he fell all over the bowls knocking them all over the place, so I decided to feed him a small amount of food to tide him over! Ha! Vet suggested that I give him about a third of a can of wet food in case he vomits from the anesthetic, so I gave him the food. He could barely stand upright to eat it and fell all over the place with his head in the bowl but inhaled the food and looked for more. I waited a while and gave him some more. Same thing. He lumbered from one room to the next licking and eating everything. He ended up eating 2 full cans of food and was still hungry. He constantly jumped up onto the counter to see what food Aggie had but we put her food away. He had zero sense of balance and threw himself off the counter landing with a splat each time on the floor. I just couldn’t calm him down for a second. This went on for about 4-5 hours! Next time I’ll board him overnight at the vet.

In the meantime, Aggie was horrified with me for bringing Sylvester back. She hissed, growled, yelled, wailed and was a nightmare. Bear only added to her woes. Neither Bear not Aggie ate any dinner. Aggie was making a point of her fury and Bear was a little scared of her so wouldn’t go into the kitchen. I think Sylvester freaked them both out too with his behaviour, as this was totally out of character for him.

Bedtime finally arrived and usually we’re surrounded by cats on the bed, but none of them joined us. I suspect that Sylvester injured his back hip or leg from all the clumsy jumping he did because he now has a bit of a limp. I will be watching that and if it doesn’t improve, back he goes!

This morning is “the morning after” and it was still a bit bumpy as Aggie was still refusing to eat and Bear appeared for a quick snack, so Sylvester ate his and Bear’s food. Sylvester is still limping but not as much as last night. I was able to keep him quiet today and there hasn’t been any jumping. The anesthesia has worn off and his eye size has returned to normal. He is a bit off balance from the limping though.

Aggie settled down around lunch time. I finally had my purry little girl back and she let me stroke her again. She jumped up on the back of the couch and went to sleep. Bear has been sleeping in the closet all day which is mostly normal for him. Sylvester has joined me in the spare room to supervise my activities.

That was quite a 24 hours! We’ve had all 3 cats dealing with anesthesia at some stage and none of them had a reaction anything like Sylvester. I followed him around like a crazy person last night and yet he still managed to do too much jumping. Hopefully 24 hours of having a quiet day of napping will fix him right up. I’m just glad that Aggie stopped yelling at me.

A new way of life!

It’s been an interesting last 14 days since getting terminated from my job. The Board at my old job handled the termination abysmally and exceptionally unprofessionally. No one can possibly ever take them seriously and I certainly will never be donating any money to them!

But, on to nicer things:

My life is constantly comprising of gardening, cleaning the house, playing with the cats, and writing. It’s been a good thought-emitter and rather cathartic for me. I’m naturally a home body and very house-proud, and to be honest, the last 3 ½ months of being “stuck at home” did not for one minute feel like I was “STUCK” at home. No, I didn’t go out. I did what I was told and stayed the heck away from germy people (and still do).

I’ve had a few chats with my neighbours over the fence. Unlike Tim from “Home Improvement” we can see each other’s faces and have enjoyed many a chat during the hot afternoons.

I’ve had a few Zoom meetings and even a few Zoom happy hours which have been nice. Greg is back at work under strict rules, that he created for himself and his clients in order to stay safe. He is taking it very seriously and I’m very proud of him for staying on top of things.

My garden has done pretty well this year, no doubt due to fact that I was here 24/7. I’ve babied it a bit and although it’s a lot of hard work that has to be done early in the morning due to the heat and humidity, I’m happy with how it’s turning out. I’m currently in the “hurry up and wait” stage where I just have to wait for the veggies to ripen and grow. It’s frustrating because I “need” those tomatoes and potatoes to hurry up. I don’t want to have to BUY veggies when I have a perfectly good crop halfway ready to eat. Weeding is an on-going hassle, and by “on-going hassle” I mean a total pain in the patootie! Everything hurts after weeding day! Being home all the time also means that I’m able to water the plants whenever they need it and not necessarily on a schedule they don’t need.

Hands up all those who’ve tried to cut their hair! (insert hand high in the air!) I gave it a shot and now I permanently wear a ponytail! I did however complete a successful colouring, but I have been doing that myself for years, so it doesn’t really count. I’ve always admired the creativity of hair stylists, but now my admiration is soaring. My hair will probably just develop an attitude of its own and take on the form of a rabid alien beast. Oh wait… looks in the mirror… never mind!

I took care of a few projects around the house which I’m very pleased with. I painted the laundry room. I’ve been wanting to do that for years but never had the time or inclination to do it. Also, it meant moving the washing machine and dryer out of the way, which is a thorn in Greg’s side. But, we moved them, and I painted and painted and painted. The walls are outside cement walls in the basement. First, we scrubbed the walls and then vacuumed the walls. We had to wear masks when doing that and the air was choked with dust and we were filthy (and wheezing). I vacuumed into the floor joists in the ceiling too and sucked up a few dead critters! The walls soaked up EVERY splotch of paint I threw on it – and I literally did “throw” paint at it at times. The wall was so porous and sort of holey that I did more dabbing than painting. I sealed it with the undercoat and then painted on top. It didn’t cost us anything because I have a lot of leftover paint. It took several days to complete but by the time we put everything back in place it was looking 100% better and I’m very pleased with it. No more disgustingly filthy cement walls. Now they are slightly off-white-ish and clean.

Oh, I also hand washed my car. It doesn’t sound like a big deal and something I should be doing regularly anyway, but I don’t. I’m not super bonded with my car. I feel it’s too big for me and things are in the wrong place for my liking. I’m 5’3” and the car is built for a man, or at least a 5’9” person. I was quite pedantic about cleaning it and ended up scraping tree sap off it and cleaning in between parts that you can’t see but I know are there. It took me an hour to vacuum it out too. I polished the inside and sprayed nice smelly stuff inside. I never keep any trash or, well, anything in my car so it was a relatively easy clean. I must admit that it did shine nicely for the 2 days before the rains came! Now I’m back to not being bothered about it again.

I also accomplished a lot of other smaller tasks and threw away a bunch of stuff I still have no idea why I was keeping. I still have more sorting out to do, but for now I’m busying myself with some writing.

I’ve done quite a bit of reading lately too. Due to being rather absent-minded and distracted I’ve been focusing on cozy mysteries that are quick reads. They work well when insomnia strikes. We have also been binge-watching some shows on Netflix/Prime/Apple TV. We are into shows that have video description for the blind and Netflix does a pretty good job of that. Right now we’re are 1 ½ seasons away from completing Breaking Bad. I’ve also been watching Grantchester. We found out that the new season of Umbrella Academy gets released on July 31st so we’re bookmarking that. Hopefully we’ll be finished with Breaking Bad by then if we work hard at it.

Usually this time of year we head up north for a few days to Greg’s mom, but we don’t want to risk taking any viruses with us nor coming back with any, so we will stay home and eat here!

I think there’s some truth in the saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Things sure have changed, but those changes become familiar and they become the new “same”. COVID-19 has changed us a lot. Missouri is dealing with an increase in new cases every day and it looks like there will be a new rule enforcing mask wearing. Why would you not wear a mask anyway? I think it’s kind of sexy and people have been so creative with the material and patterns that they use for home-made masks. Please do me a favour and just wear the darn mask when you’re out. Why would you risk getting sick? I lost too many people I cared about last year to put anyone through that because of carelessness or ignorance.

Oh hark! I believe I’m hearing the theme song to Magnum PI. That’s my cue.
Peace y’all!