Monday, January 23, 2017

Hi Peeps!

Yeah, it's been awhile. Lazy and not much to say. Too wrapped up in little things to find something to write here.

Nothing to write today, either, just allaying the minds of some of you who would wonder. Had a doc appointment this morning, got zapped good with the liquid nitrogen gun. Maybe 15 spots removed.

Also been cleaning house, because the building is having its annual inspection, where the management comes into the apartment and makes sure things are clean, safe, all rules being abided by, healthy, blah, blah. Remove everything from under the sinks so they can check for leaks. Turn the bedding at top and bottom of bed down to expose mattress so they can check for bedbugs. Kind of a pain, particularly the latter. Haven't done it yet -- if they get here before tomorrow, I can do it for them.

Lots of sunshine today in forecast for the next couple of weeks. Brisk, but in the 50s. Feels wonderful. Nobody cares if it rains anymore, as long as there's no more ice and snow. Saw a bunch of daffodils coming up today when I went for a walk after lunch. The river is beautiful -- full, flowing, more blue than muddy.  Everything is lovely out there today.

See? Nothing interesting. Won't bore you any longer, but I'm alive and well.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


We haven't seen temps over freezing for a week or more, other than an occasional hour here and there. With temps hovering in the 20s, it's been brutal for us who are not used to such things, and it's kept me inside far too much.

But this morning, the need to escape the house and the body's need for movement drove me out there anyway. Big 25F! I was well-dressed for it, a rare occasion to use a balaclava I've had for decades. It does the job. Theoretically, it's supposed to warm up for a few days but really, as long as there is no more snow or ice I can live with cold.

Restlessness and frustration are another thing, though. Eased by meditation, but anxiety builds daily and depression -- real depression -- is trying very hard to follow right along with it. That's the one I fight. Don't want to go back to that dark abyss again.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Really, little brat?

So, this happened while I was in the shower this morning. Heard a clatter, peeked out the shower curtain, and there she was. Not much I could do about it so I finished my shower. She was still prowling the scene of the crime, mostly eating bits of food from the floor.  What you can't see is the water all over the floor. Sweet little feline.

I'd love to know how she did it, though. That frame that landed upside down is around 5 feet from the place it usually sits, against the far wall. She's done a smaller version of this before. My guess in watching her once is that she's trying to reach one little tidbit of food under the plates, even though her food dish is full. Paws are very busy.

Yes, other things happen in my life aside from the cat, but the cat is the only thing that is actually positive, that makes me smile and lightens the anxiety a bit, so it's the most important thing. As someone who lives on Social Security and uses Medicare (albeit very little), life is something of a roller coaster right now, not knowing how long either will be in place. Not knowing how I will live when (not if) things change with the new politicians coming into office. And then there are the limitations of Medicare, which even now make it almost useless for me, even with a supplement. My only claim from last year was denied because the provider used the wrong code, and won't change it. I have no trust that this won't happen again in the future, though it's never happened before. Ever. And there's more, but you get the gist. The cat is the only thing that brings joy.

It's hard to be alone, old and poor.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Boss cat and snow woes

I  have created a monster. A very sweet monster, to be sure, but a monster nevertheless. Can you say, spoiled?

In other words she has, in her inimitable cat way, trained me very well. I am her servant, here to follow her every whim and demand.

As you can see, she has recently taken to sleeping on my meditation cushion. I don't mind this, since I only use it for an hour a day. Sometimes she wants to use it at the same time, but she finds room to cuddle up next to me somewhere and I like having her there.

So what's the problem, you ask? That little wand toy with the fuzzy orange ball is a big part of the problem. She is totally addicted to it, wants to play with it during all waking hours, and knows quite clearly that she can't make it move around without me.

She will follow me, whine and talk to me, lead me towards it until I relent and move that little orange ball around the house until she's ready to rest again.

I've never seen a cat be this demanding over anything other than its food dish, so this is new to me.

She's also in love with this new toy, the curvy scratching 'post'. I spent a whole dollar to bid for it at a raffle here last Saturday. Best buck I've ever spent.

At first, she turned her nose up at it, but then I made the orange ball go all over it, under it, around it and she followed. First time she landed on it she noticed the rough texture and stopped playing to sharpen her claws. She's sniffed it, rubbed against it all around to make it 'hers'.

Now, it's her second largest addiction. She rests on it, is a prolific claw-sharpener, and will play all around it by herself with the little mouse toys I hide under the arch. This takes a little pressure off me to play all the time.

She will crawl through it, right side up or upside down. And as you can see, she really wants to make that orange ball move but can't, because it's too heavy for her to bat around like she does with small toys.

Sometimes, she'll grab hold of it and tow the whole thing, wand and all, around the house. Never know where I'll find it.

Gotta love her, though. She is equally demanding when she wants to cuddle. For serious sleeping, it's either her bed under my bed or lately, the meditation cushion.

But there are times -- lots of them -- where she wants company and she'll come jump up wherever I am, settle down on my lap or chest or whatever is handy and go to sleep, sometimes fully expecting that I'll put my arm as a 'shelf' so she can sleep on what might otherwise be a rather vertical surface.

She's been known to even jump up my leg and dig in. Thank goodness for thick sweats, though that's something I discourage with her.

So, a very sweet little monster.  She fully (at least 90%, I have some dignity left) rules this house, but also knows that I'm her person and is really affectionate. And for the most part, she doesn't object when I feel the need to pick her up and cuddle for a moment.

We have still been caught up in snow and ice. A new layer of snow on top of ice came down on Saturday. Weather eventually warmed a bit and by yesterday morning the temp was well above freezing and had been all night, the road in front of the house looked fine. Snow/ice piled in the center and sides, but traffic lanes clear. So, I opted to head to the grocery early in the day just to get out.

Bad idea! Barely got out of our parking lot, and the side street that takes me to the main street was mostly ice.  Off I went anyway, soon found that there were plenty of large patches of ice on the road, and of course the freeway overpass bridge I had to cross was iced up. I was committed at this point, few ways to turn back, so off I went onto the freeway onramp. More ice. Ice on the freeway, though less of it and thankfully, traffic was lower than normal. Back on surface streets near the shopping center, that heavily traveled road was super icy. Turned into the parking lot, more ice, everywhere. The driving lanes were somewhat slushy and driveable, but the parking spaces were badly icy. I found one where I could leave my front wheels on bare pavement, to be sure I could get out. Ice next to the car was really slippery and after I'd gotten in and out of the store I actually slipped on it. Thankfully, I had my hand on the car door handle and managed (rather inelegantly) to keep from falling.

The biggest challenge, it turned out, was getting back into the parking lot at home. I opted to take a chance and go in the back way rather than retracing my steps. Mostly ice, thick, with a slight uphill rise that I wasn't sure the car was going to manage. But it did, and it managed the long length of the parking lot and ice to reach my parking space. Whew! This is the first time I've ever had that car on ice/snow, since I typically avoid such things like the plague, and I was pleased with the way it reacted. Never felt unsafe, although very uncomfortable.

Rain and above-freezing temps all day yesterday and all night have hopefully helped. I need to go out again, but will wait until afternoon and give everything a better chance to thaw.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

More snow!

We've had some serious snowfall in the last hour or so, as well as earlier today. Huge, fat flakes and lots of them. Naturally, by the time I decided to try taking a photo out my window, it had slowed down and none of them actually show here. Bummer! But it's nice to know that my camera will take a photo through window glass without focusing on the glass (or dust or smears on the glass).

I'd love to go for a walk out there, but underneath all that soft snow is a nasty layer of ice, so I'm not even thinking of going out. Not worth it. Sometime tonight it's all supposed to turn to just rain, with warmer temps. But that means little, really.  What matters is what actually happens, not what somebody thinks is going to happen. True in life as well as weather. For the moment, at just after noon, the temp has gone down, rather than up. That doesn't bode well.

People are a little tired of being trapped at home -- me included. I got out to the doc yesterday, but that's all I did. Fortunately, the roads were clear enough that I felt comfortable driving.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Snow Day!

As often happens, the weather forecast was a bit off. Snow, but less than an inch. We're probably up to at least 3 inches in this neighborhood, and it has stopped, for the moment. Of course, I had to go and see. Went out at 8am and my camera battery died after one photo. I still walked my loop and marveled at how beautiful the river scenery was. After lunch, battery charged and antsy, I walked another river loop to see some of the ponds and different scenery. It was too dicey to cross the busy street to get to the ponds I like best. Not much traffic, but enough to make it pretty icy. The snow was powdery and easily walkable with my good hiking boots. Photo trip!

It was snowing for most of this trip, though the temp had risen slightly above freezing. The street in front is being plowed a bit and maybe sanded a bit later, but is still pretty dicey and won't get better after an overnight freeze.  I brushed the snow off my car windows when I returned to our parking lot. So much easier when it's powder than once it turns to ice!

Cold and snow

Photo by Brian Davies
This was yesterday a little north of Eugene. Beautiful, clear and sunny day, but cold. As of 4:30 this morning, everything outside my window is white. Not supposed to last long, not supposed to pass one inch. I hope they are right about the latter, although I don't need to go out again until Friday.

Otherwise -- quiet around here. Not much to talk about. Stay warm, everybody.