Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Just "Squeaked" By

I don't do too many posts about our cat Squeak..wait, Jack would say: "She's YOUR cat"! Yes, I'm the one who found her on a rainy, cold November night begging for food at our church.  I'm not a huge cat fan, but I hated seeing her looking so bad and I thought, since we lived in the country, that a good "mouser" would be a good thing.  So I brought her home and took her to the vet to get checked out and also get fixed..you know, took her Saturday night privileges away.  The funny thing about that was the fact that after she was put to sleep and shaved...they discovered she had already been "fixed"...oops.  Oh well, she came home and turned out to be a good mouser and a good chipmunk destroyer.  She was never a very friendly cat. She liked to be petted only if it was her idea and then she would bite you after she'd had enough. The Grandkiddos learned to stay away and admire her from afar! Well, this Winter she has been doing a lot of this:
And this:
I also noticed that she had not been eating or drinking in the past few days.  She hasn't been sleeping in her usual spot either.  She's been hiding out under beds and desks in various parts of the house. All strange behavior.  This morning she was stumbling around and acting like she had had a stroke.  I felt that this was the end. I called the vet and made an appointment to get her checked out and I told them we would probably be having her put to sleep.  When I got home I found her in  the computer room sleeping.  I bundled her up and Jack and I took her to the vet.  They checked her out, did blood tests. She was acting better actually and the vet found out about her "not so nice" side. Sorry Doc about that nasty scratch! Anyway, after looking her and her tests over he said she was dehydrated, had an upper respiratory infection, but was otherwise in good health.  So she got an IV, some antibiotics, and a pain shot. (Not sure she needed that, now we have a cat that's sort of on the "high" side) We brought her home and although she's still not eating, she seems a bit better.  The Vet said give it about a week and we should see her back to her old self. Like this:
And this:
I guess she cashed in on one of her nine lives. We'll see how it goes this week. I'm thinking I'll see this face saying:" Yep YaYa, I got the last laugh!"
Yes, she just "squeaked" by!

Monday, January 27, 2014

House Hermit

I'm sure everyone is tired of us northerners whining about the freezing cold and snow. Actually, I'm tired of us northerners whining about it!  I notice that the south is getting hit too.  I won't say I smiled or smirked or even felt a bit redeemed..you know.."Well, now they understand how it is" feeling.  Seriously, I won't say it..out loud.  Frankly, this is just the way it is and it is Winter and if we don't like it, then move! (not south because we all know it's cold down there too..hehehe..oh, sorry)  I welcomed the weekend with open arms.  Last week was busy at work and I was beat by Friday night.  Saturday the weather was nasty.  You can't tell by this photo, but it was almost white out conditions off and on all day.
I was nervous about it because Jack had a seminar in Columbus all day and he left around 6:30am.  I was happy when he called to say he arrived but I knew it would be worse coming home.  And it was!  Thankfully all went well and his little Jeep got him there and back...thank goodness for 4 wheel drive!  I, on the other hand, never  left the house Saturday!  I did the usual stay at home things...like make breakfast for these 2 little monkeys!
Notice the candlelight? It looks lighter in the kitchen then it really was. Lexi wanted all the lights out so we could really enjoy the ambiance! The menu request was pancakes, waffles, bacon and smoothies....and they were pretty tasty!  Later in the morning the girls headed out to visit their other Grandma and I cleaned and read and looked outdoors to see if a swim in the pool would be nice....kidding!
It's just one big icecube! Brrrr...
Grabbing a chair and sitting on the deck was out too! Yes, those are my herbs still in the pots from Summer....please don't judge!  I did make the house smell really yummy with an apple crisp baking in the oven.
Jack appreciated it when he came home! 
I took this pic, not because the sky is blue..which is rare around here, but because it was this light out at 5:30pm! Yes folks, the days are getting brighter, later! I notice in the morning it's a teensy bit lighter too.  Hope springs eternal!  January only has a few days left....whew.  Today I'm home for a low census day and it makes my weekend a little longer.  I'm not complaining about that.  The temps will rise to 10de. but even with that heat wave, school was closed.  I may actually leave the house...perhaps take Eddy to the Creepy Woods....but he seems content to stay close to home and play with is toys.
Yes, YaYa, these are mine and I have them lined up the way I like 'em!  So back off!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Just That Kind Of Day

Did you ever have a day where you just knew it was going to be "one of those kind" of days?  I went to a motivational speaker last year who said we should always wake up in the morning and say out loud: "Today is going to be the BEST day ever!"  Well, I didn't say that and it wasn't.  Nothing super crazy happened and frankly I'm not sure why I was not in the best mood.  Perhaps because I was going to get to work a little early today and be ready to take my CPR test at 7am sharp. I thought I had it all planned out. I had my breakfast and lunch made the night before and I was ready! But I couldn't find my phone and with the weather being beastly....another reason to have a bad day I guess...I didn't want to drive anywhere without it.  Here's how it went down: Jack:  "I 'll call your number and we'll listen for the phone to ring"....He dials the number....Jack: "Can you hear that buzzing?"  Me: "No". Jack dials again. Jack: "Can you hear that buzzing?" Me: "NO!"...Jack dials again. Me: " I hear the buzzing!" He dials again and finally I find it..under my side of the bed.  I told Jack I had no clue how it got there.  Of course he helped me figure it out...I took it there...duh. Ok, so now I'm leaving for work late.  Now I'm also mad.  I'm also hating Winter.  It's dango cold out here! Super freeze is back with some snow thrown in just to make sure our hate is complete. I park the car and make the trek...the long trek...limping all the way with my bad knee.  I did take my test and passed it so I should be a happy camper. No, not me..I had multiple things happen that just made me grumpy. I'm on call tonight and of course I had plans to go to a class at the Church tonight to learn "chair yoga"..or "choga" as I lovingly called it!  That was before 2 emergency cases kept me at work until 7pm.  So I guess that's my excuses and I'm sticking with them!  I never did see this:
That's the sun over the Pines...taken a few days ago.  I don't even know if the sun came out at all today! It was dark when I left for work..dark when I came home.  But I did find one part of the day that made me laugh.  My silly co-workers having some crazy down time before heading for home.  So even though I had to stay and work, I shot this video because it gave me a giggle.  See if you agree.  I won't be sad if you don't..because..well..it's just that kind of day!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pink Scarf Reality

Many of you who follow my blog know I'm involved in the "Pink Scarf Project".  We collected hundreds of pink scarves to hand out to cancer patients going through chemo and radiation.  We had the privilege of doing this in our hospital in October of last year.  October is breast cancer awareness month.  The newspaper ran an article about it and featured the first patient who received one.  She was very gracious in granting an interview and really enjoyed the scarf and was so thankful to the people who took the time to make them.  Yesterday I found out that she passed away.  That's the reality of dealing with cancer.  Not every story has a happy ending.  I know our scarves won't eradicate the disease.  They don't bring miracles.  I wish they could. But my wish is those scarves will bring a moment of hope.  A moment that says somebody cares and knows that you are in the fight of your life and we're in your corner.  A moment that might bring a smile.  There are many times that we do beat the monster called cancer.  Many times there is a happy ending.  I'm wishing that for my good buddy Donna.  So far so good for her!  One day in our hospital lobby I happened to see an older gentleman walking out holding one of our scarves.  It looked like he was holding it for his wife.  It made me smile to see it and I hope it brought them some happiness.  I thought I knew about cancer...I've seen it in my work life.  I know what it looks like on the liver...on the breast...on the colon.  I've felt the tumors, I've help implant the ports that deliver the chemo.  However, until I saw the reality of it on the faces of people I love, I realized I didn't know "squat" about it. I didn't know what going through chemo was like..or how radiation makes you feel.  How expensive the drugs are to treat it and keep it at bay.  How the other members of the family have to deal with watching somebody they love go through it.  I've learned a lot about it these past few years.  That's what made me decide to help with the project. We still have lots of scarves that will be sent to other places for patients.  I won't know the final outcome of all who receive one.  I'll just hope and pray someday we won't need to hand them out...and the reality of the Pink Scarf is a cure.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blog Book

Every year about this time I eagerly await the arrival of my blog book.  Today it came! I always blog about my blog books.  Probably because it's January and there's not much to blog about anyway!  I take all my blog posts starting January 1st and ending with December 31st and put them into book form.  I used "Blog2Print.com" but the company "sharebook" puts them together.  There's different sites that will help you do this.  Usually it's pretty easy to navigate but for some reason I had a hard time getting the posts in the right order. I had to email the company 3 times to have them fix the problems.  I wasn't a happy camper.  I let them know.  I never heard back from them about my displeasure.  However, I did get the book so I guess I'm happy now...but I'm not sure I'll use this company  next year.  Anyway, here's the finished product.
I do a different color each year.  I usually get a soft cover but I went all out this time and got a hard cover. Snazzy!
You get chapters and everything!

A whole year of my life all neat and tidy and oh so interesting...Ok, neat and tidy anyway!  I was noticing that I had the exact same amount of posts in 2013 that I had in 2012.  I wonder if I posted about the same things each year....hmmm, I guess I'll have to check.  Yep, many posts were similar.  Oh well, it's good to see some things never change!  But my book made me smile and then I remembered something else that made me smile....this little guy:
Saturday Jack and I went to watch Cameron play basketball.  This is his first year and let me tell you, it is so hilarious to watch 5&6yr olds learning the game.  He was having a great time out there and made a ton of baskets! He may be little, but he's feisty and has a good eye for the hoop!  Here's his smile after the game.  Those glasses and that cowlick on the front of his hair always makes me want to squish him! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Walk In The Dark

Yep, a walk in the dark...not the park.  Around 5pm the snow started falling and temps were rising.  Around 10pm Jack said, "Hey, it's really coming down out there"..my solution? "Want to take a walk?"  So we bundled up, grabbed the dog and the camera..not necessarily in that order, and headed out.  It was light out because of the reflection of the white snow.  The snow was falling in big juicy flakes.
No wind and the temps were around 25de...perfect!
Hmm...what is that white ghost-like image? Paranormal? Jack would say: "That would be my first guess."  Of course he says it with sarcasm and shake of the head!
How do you like Eddy's creepy camera eyes? He was in heaven.  Being cooped up all week because of the super freeze, he was ready for a nice run. We even walked into the Creepy Woods..something I would never do by myself at night! But I had my protector:
Jack looks like he spots something weird or scary....
Nope, just me..OK, maybe just a bit weird and scary!
Nothing like a "selfie" to end the evening!  It felt great to get out and play and enjoy the snow.  Sometimes it's easy to complain about the weather instead of embracing it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Frozen..And I Don't Mean The Movie

A no pic post...an usual occurrence at the Pines!  Frankly, how to you photograph cold?  I can tell you it's super freezing here. Yesterday the wind chills made it about 30 below zero.  This morning it was 13 below...getting warmer? I'm looking forward to tomorrow's temps...it's actually going to be 20de! Flip flops here we come! (just kidding)  I give super hero awards to all police, fire, city workers, and anyone who has to work outdoors.  I give hero awards to our surgical department workers.  Those who made it to work on time..those who had to fight with the airlines to get home from a Christmas vacation...those who have a long drive to get to Ashland...and a special award to hubbies who drive and drop off their wives at the door so me they don't have to walk the 1/4mi from the parking lot to the hospital and freeze to death!  Jack closed down early yesterday and today after many cancellations because of the weather.  Our surgical patients, however, made it in.  With a  few exceptions.  Any cancellations we had were due to issues other than the weather.  Hopefully all will be better as the week goes on.  I had to post about these temps because I use this blog as a journal. It hasn't been this cold in 100 years.  I'm thinking I probably won't be here in another 100yrs so maybe who ever gets this blog book in the will is going to love reading about the "BIG FREEZE" of 2014.  The usual good-byes in this weather are as follows:  Stay safe, stay warm..I've heard it and read it many times since most of my blog buddies live where it's cold..or they live south and are having a very unusual cold spell.  Then there's Australia where they are having a crazy heat wave....Mother Nature, you are such a kidder!  Stay safe, stay warm everyone....

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Calm..After And Before

The country is being hit by some pretty frigid temps.  Blogs from out east are talking about the cold and snow.  Down south they are going to get colder than usual.  In Chicago my family is hunkering down, waiting out the worst.  (Except for my brother Phil who is probably laughing at us all as he sips a cool, fruity drink in Fort Myers, Florida!) Here in Ohio, we're taking it day by day.  A winter storm hit on Thursday but we only got about 6in. of the white stuff.  The sun was out yesterday and today and that always makes me smile. It was suppose to be warmer today..around 30, but the wind still made you wrap your scarf a bit tighter!
These are our "Whispering Pines" , and they do more than whisper...they block out the wind.  I took a walk around the property this afternoon and when I took this next pic I realized how much these pines keep the wind down.
I took this shot of our road and I was surprised at how windy it was right here. Meanwhile, back at the Pines...
It was calm enough to sit and have a little chat!
Unless you're Eddy and have to jump around and be happy to see Jack!..P.S...we didn't need Safelite glass repair..it's my son's truck for work!
See that tiny brown dot by the Creepy Woods? It's Eddy heading to his favorite spot.
See this brown running spot? It Eddy running back from his favorite spot in the woods when he realized I wasn't going to jump across the creek and follow! He was a bit disappointed but he's obedient and came when I called.
Sorry buddy...the sun is quickly setting in the West and you can't handle the cold forever! I strolled back and snapped a few pics.
My neighbor's barn...I have barn envy...I love that thing. I wonder if they would notice if it was suddenly moved a bit to the North..over the creek and through these trees...hmmmm. But I also envy the barn on the other side of us.
It's on the other side of our pine trees. It has the white fence I always tell people to look for when they are coming to visit for the first time.  I'm in a barn envy sandwich!
As the sun was setting the sky looked amazing.  Jack needed to go to his office for a minute and I tagged along.
The sky looked amazing on the way into town too.  I know we'll get some crazy weather in the next few days, but I'll just take my photos and remember that it will pass. We have the calm right now after our little winter storm from Thursday, and we have calm right now before our storm coming tomorrow.  If you're in the hard hit areas, stay safe and warm and take it easy. If you're in a warm place sipping a cool, fruity drink..well, I still love you!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014...Show Us What You've Got!

Ok, a new year with all it's possibilities.  All it's good, bad, and ugly.  I'm ready to begin again..are you?  Do you have your vision for this new year all splayed out on paper? Is it in your head what you want to accomplish? Do you even bother with all that?  Do you just let the year plan it's self and you follow along? Well, what ever you do, I sure hope it's a good year for you.  I was expecting to wake up today to snow, snow, snow...it was no, no, no, snow.  But it's coming...just in time for my commute in the morning.  What I do know is no matter what the weather, all our patients will make it in...they always do! We're suppose to get about 7-10in. and more during the rest of the week.  That's OK.  It's winter and that's how we roll around here. I'm trying my new attitude about things..like not complaining about the weather! So far so good. Of course I'm sitting in a warm room all comfy cozy.  We'll see how I do tomorrow. Today all the rest of my decorations made it back into storage. The house looks a bit bare..that's OK too.  I like the clean look of it! We had some traditional foods today and we also broke with our usual traditions.  Pork and sauerkraut have been the menu since I moved to Ohio back in 1877..wait, I mean 1977.  Today we went with steak, twice baked potatoes..
These poor ribeyes....the grill burst into flame and charred them on one side..I think I should have stuck with the pork! But they tasted good anyway...sorry it doesn't look that good in my pic!
Twice baked potatoes...they were good but they aren't very photogenic either. Oh well, I guess you had to be there!
Blackeyed peas did make the menu. We always have these and I kept that tradition. Notice the fancy china...
Okra and tomatoes...a nod to Jack's southern roots and my Greek ones..yep, Greeks like okra too! In another nod to my Greek roots, I made traditional Greek New Year's bread.  I baked a foil wrapped coin in it and whoever finds the coin in their piece has good luck for the year. I didn't find it..which explains a lot about the look of my meal today! Phillip did however.
I wish you all the luck for 2014 dear son! So this holiday time is over and it was a nice time with family and friends.  I hope we all can have a healthy, happy and productive 2014. Only good thoughts, good acts of service, and good luck for everyone.