Category Archives: People I love

Spot is Doing Great!

Standard

My best boy and Super-Bengal Spot was diagnosed with kidney failure last year.
I freaked out entirely. As usual for me, I wrote about it (here), talked about it (with iDJ and Socks and probably anyone else that didn’t roll their eyes when I said “I’m upset because my cat has been diagnosed with a fatal disease.”), and I worried about it a lot. So much so that I lost my marbles and the day after the vet visit, I backed the Mini into the wall outside our house, hard.

20140524-205832-75512049.jpg
I was so mortified by this extreme idiocy at the time that I couldn’t write about it. I have never, ever done something so stupid in, or to, a car.

The car is fixed now, of course, but it set us back financially quite a bit. Which meant our return visit to the vet – meant to be done before Christmas – didn’t happen until today.

I dithered over taking him in. The last time he bit the crap out of the vet, and was so stressed on the drive it hardly seemed worth doing it again. Then I thought hard and realised that if I kept falling short on taking care of my best boy, and he got worse because of it, I’d never ever forgive myself. So we harnessed him up and made the 30 minute drive to the vet this morning.

He doesn’t go into a crate. He just isn’t that kind of cat. He loves a car trip: but only if we stay under 40mph. That speed is not an option when going to the vet! I have to say that today the hollering wasn’t too bad, and he never tried to get under iDJ’s feet (he was driving), so all in all it wasn’t too stressful this time. Our vet has a pet shop next door so I took him over there for a wander around while we waited our turn. The two filthy working border collies and the young Jack Russel in the queue ahead of us were giving Spot some very, very hungry looks…

It came our turn, and Spot was relaxed and calm, not a shiver or a scared meow. He had his arsehole examined, and his belly listened to, and his mouth and teeth checked – his guts were a bit gassy but everything else is excellent. What clinched it for our vet was the weighing. Spot has gained an entire US pound since we last visited! He’s just under 9lbs now (4.05 kilos), which is an amazing improvement and is a wonderful indicator that the disease is under control. Doc didn’t even feel the need to take a blood sample.

Spot has been on Science Diet C/D dry food nearly his entire life because when he was a very young cat, barely past kittenhood, he got bladder stones. They have never recurred due to the C/D, and I am happy to pay for it. The vet is impressed that Spottie never got fat on this food, as it is apparently quite common for cats to pack on the weight with Science Diet C/D. Considering that perfectly healthy Lokii also eats the C/D and also isn’t fat (okay he has little jiggly underbelly flaps, but he does have a waist and you can feel his ribs), I wonder if it is the way we feed it to them, which has been free-choice since birth. They have never known what real hunger feels like, so they never over-eat.

Last time we were in, the doc wanted us to give Spot wet food as a supplement, to help hydrate his kidneys. Doc really wanted us to stay with the C/d formula, and both boys loved it. For months, it was a super-special treat for them. Then we ran out for three days… and when we got more Spot refused to eat it. Dammit! Lokii got to eat it all, the flabby-bellied chow-hound! We’ve been so worried since.

So, since no one was waiting after us, the doc walked next door with us and spent a good amount to time talking over food for not just Spot, but poor Neko who has also been under the weather lately. Now, our vets always take their time, but it seemed a little different when he knew no one else was waiting – more relaxed – but it could be just me because I know how it feels to have impatient people glaring at you. Not that I heard much of the conversation as Spot was intent on walking us to the back of the shop where I had to stand there and watch him rub all over a pallet. Sigh.

We took him to the big garden centre on the way home. He likes it there! he got some love from a Polish lady who works in the small-animal department, and was carted around by myself outside to look at plants.

20140524-224429-81869834.jpg

So: it is so wonderful to have good news, and while I know the kidney disease will be what takes Spottie-Pants away from me eventually, I know it won’t be any time soon.

May-rry Christmas!

Standard

Yeppers, it isn’t Christmas in July. It’s Christmas in May!

On Tuesday, we received a notice through our letterbox that we had a parcel for pick up. I wasn’t expecting anything, and it was addressed to both myself and iDJ – what could it be? Who was it from?

Well, dammit, it was too late to go and find out by the time iDJ got home at 6, so we had to wait and wonder a day longer.

The next day, the universe conspired to give us a small disaster and we were both home from work by noon. He drove up to an post and oooh! it was from my sister, now living near Anchorage, Alaska. We are a well-traveled small family – she more than I! In any case, they had only recently settled into their new digs in Alaska when the holidays rolled around. Dealing with all the paperwork and phone-call crap that comes with moving, their adorable three-year-old, unpacking, and having (of course!) our mutual genetic tendency toward being late as hell for anything that is supposed to be on time, sis got a parcel off to us at the end of March. As she said in her card*, “if I wait any longer, it will be next year!”

*I sent an email off to the creator of the card because the photo is too funny and I’d like to post it, but will not without permission and appropriate links. I’m too impatient to get this post up to wait for a response, however!

Do I care one bit about late? Hell no! A surprise is even better, actually – and since it came during aforementioned small disaster, it was even more welcome!

Hubby got two shirts – one I really want to steal that has our brother-in-law’s work logo on it. So wonderful to have a bit of his work uniform and feeling a bit closer to him. Also, it’s long sleeved jersey material – ooo, so perfect for work this time of year! **Rubbing hands in a crafty gleeful shifty-eyed way.**

But what I got? Way more awesome. Oh yeah.

Please bow down to the awesomeness that is: Hairy Leg Slippers.

20140509-213416.jpg
Now, my actual legs aren’t quite as hairy as the slippers, but the fur upon them isn’t lovely soft and blonde – oh no. I’m quite the brunette. Why doesn’t grey hair grow on my shins? It would save a lot of effort. You know, on those very, very few times I bother to run a dull razor over my legs…

When is the last time I changed those blades…

Anyhoo! They are totally awesome, because of this:

20140509-215811.jpg

Incredibly my sister had saved this photo and held on to it for years. She had an idea, a pattern, and the ability to crochet, and now my new slippers have my toenails! I can’t tell you how awesome that is – I can have my rainbow toenails even in the winter now!

By the way: I just re-read the post that the toenail pic came from (the shot is tiny, I know – I was new at blogging) and it is actually quite funny and explains an awful lot about my world view. Only two fellow bloggers even saw it at the time, being as it was my early days. Please have a gander – I think it is pretty good! Rainbow Toes, Fake Flowers, and the Fabulous Cow Coat

My sister is one of the very few people in my life who could conceive such an incredibly creative idea, and know exactly who would love it to bits.

I love you, sis – and thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Laundry Wars

Standard

I have ONE CHAIR in our bedroom on which I put my clothes that are a little dirty, but not dirty enough to wash just yet. This includes my daily work clothes, which are really fuckin’ dirty after just two days but screw it, they can last a whole five days. I only have two pair of work pants that fit, and about three shirts I’m willing to destroy.

My darling dear has the ENTIRE spare room as his wardrobe; half-dirty clothes strewn all over the bed to be puked and shedded upon by the cats, his shoe collection lined up on the floor, under the bed, in the bottom of the wardrobe, and also piled on the dresser in their fancy original boxes. There is a perilous stack of shirts and trousers I’ve folded and piled up because I will wash it, and fold it, but I’ll be dammed if I’m putting it away in the nightmare he calls a wardrobe.

Did I mention the crap he tosses over the bannister ‘to air out’?

So. I get a little more than irritated when I go to get dressed in the morning and he’s tossed HIS SHIT on top of my ONE CHAIR in our bedroom.

I swear to fuck, next time he does it, I’m throwing the offending garment in the goddamn trash.

Rant over.

Easter Radio Special!

Standard

Not for the religious: or at least, not for the religious who can’t stand hearing a good bit of what is probably blasphemy. Show starts in 30 minutes, and of course I’ll put up the link to the podcast afterwards, when it is all said and done and all the wine has been drunk!

Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/soulshenanigans

Radio station link: http://www.radio23.org/

s o u l s h e n a n i g a n s
“playing funkpunksoul’n’such” on freeform radio
this 17th April 2014 PST: 12-2pm EST: 3-5pm GMT: 8-10pm
This week: EP 267 :: a secular Maundy Thursday supper to cater for all of y’all Easter needs!

For anyone new – the DJ is my darling dear hubby, known here as iDJ. He’s been doing this show for over five years now, and knows his stuff!

He also does a new poster every week, and since the show is on Thursday, this year his theme has been throwbacks. Gotta love this one, on his confirmation day (he gave the name back a few years ago).

20140417-193444.jpg

Podcast/playlist: http://soulshenanigans.podomatic.com/entry/2014-04-17T15_37_58-07_00 . Can either stream it, or download it.

How Many of Your 9 Lives Are Left?

Standard

My darling dear had a terribly close call while driving to the shops recently. An auld wan pulled out right in front of him, on a wet road, when he had a young wan about a meter and a half off his bumper. (For the non-Irish: wan means woman, basically just ‘one’ but rarely used for men.) Cars coming the other way, too. He made the quick decision to pass the old dear right snappy, nearly clipping her wing mirror in the action, and facing down the oncoming traffic. He made it, and left the young woman tailgating his arse to deal with the slow car instead.

Braking hard would have made a sandwich of our Mini, and steering while under ABS braking isn’t ideal. So he went for it, as I would have too, because while the Mini is 11 years old and just went over 125,000 miles on Friday, she is quick when you need her to be. I trust in that car daily when faced with slow arseholes behind slower tractors going around hard curves on narrow ass roads.

There is a dammed good reason Minis are used as rally cars!

As usual, I’ve gone off into a story instead of getting to my point. Which is entirely based on the Facebook update he did after arriving home: “Many thanks to the lady who pulled out in front of me (doing 65mph) today. If I braked, Ms tailgater behind would’ve been on my lap so boot to the floor into oncoming traffic & bye. Missed her wing mirrors by inches & lost one of my cat lives.”

Cat lives… we say that cats have nine lives, of course. I know hubby has had some bad times and if he thinks this is a number down, I believe him. I know of one other time he came close. So unless I want to get him all grumpy thinking about other times, I’ll say he still has seven. In reality, it’s probably six, but I don’t want to put him in a bad mood by asking. Maybe five. Who knows. Four? Sure there was at least one close call when he was very small.

I already did one post about a time I could have died, so I won’t go into the others. That post was gory enough!

How many cat lives out of nine do you have left? Tell me a story or write a post and link back if you find it’s a really good story!

Ooh, Socks Did it Again!

Standard

One of the main themes I had when I first started this blog back in October 2012 was to follow my best friend’s journey into becoming a parent. I posted almost-weekly for nearly the entire pregnancy, as it was as much a learning experience for her as it was for me. It was great fun to have our weekly phone call (still being done) and get the update on where baby Button (now quite the little character) was in her gestational progress.

I introduce Socks here, and further explain our fantastic friendship here. If you would like to read the whole saga – it is pretty funny at times! – the link to every Socks post is here. Might be a few random posts about “actual” socks in there too, sorry!

Okay background is covered! New news! Socks and Bear have been making another new family member for the last 42 weeks. 42? Did I say 42 when a human gestational period is 40 weeks? Yes, yes I did. She went over time, and over over time… and FINALLY the docs said, ‘durr, yes, we have room at the inn.’

Believe me, Socks was not happy, not happy at all to have things delayed so long! She was scheduled to go in, being pretty much ready to go for over a week (just not having contractions yet) and it seems that everyone else decided to jump the queue ahead of her! She was due the 13th March. I had been joking since she told me she was pregnant that her child would be a Paddy’s Day baby, but thinking the whole time she’d be sooner. When she started to show signs of being ready, I was hoping for 6th March, as it coincides with the birthday of a loved one of mine (pretty apt as Socks’ daughter has exactly the same birthday as my only niece).

But no. The 6th passed, the 13th went by, the 17th was green (for me) but not a green light for them. Since then, it’s just been a drawn out waiting game.

The boy didn’t want to come out! Oh, didn’t I say? It’s a boy this time! He already seems to love his momma, as 42 weeks is a loooong time to hang around.

But! No more. Socks now has a son! Born yesterday at 7:52 pm, weighing in at 8lbs 4oz (3.74 kilos) and over 20 inches long (52cm)! Not an ouch to be had on Mom’s part, either – three pushes and hello, son!

Congratulations to Socks and Bear and Button on the new member of their warm family. He’s a lucky guy to be a part of it!

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words?

Standard

I’m super low on energy as I have some sort of upper respiratory infection.

Also, coming down off the Paddy’s Day festivity excitement is slightly depressing.

Also, I always get a little weirder than normal in the spring. Even as a child, spring has messed with my head. All that potential life and energy and just plain potential, stored up and waiting to burst into…. well, I never quite managed to burst into anything particularly special so maybe that’s why I get a bit bummed out.

Anyhoo – I got a wee ceramic watering can and some narcissus bulbs for Christmas. I planted them and left them on my kitchen windowsill to grow.

And they did, of course. And they also looked like Spottie’s favourite snack – a long stringy thing. After he had a good munch, I moved them to the fireplace mantle, which is out of reach and too crammed with stuff for Spot to consider jumping up.

20140321-204600.jpg
I thought I was just taking a picture of my flowers. But what I saw was a little snapshot of me and who I am, displayed above my fireplace. Shall we have a tour?

Left to right: The plate is one made by my dad and his wife. She is a potter, amongst many other talents, and for several years they made Celtic pottery and toured the USA selling their wares at Irish festivals. Absolutely stunning work, and I’m very happy and proud to display their craft where it can be seen immediately. I’d love to share a link, but sadly they have retired from pottery-making.

The skulls – in old Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes, no less – are ones I found myself. Top is a fox, bottom is a groundhog. I have a cat and an opossum, too – they just aren’t in the photo.

Well, the flowers of course. The wee watering can actually works as one, so it is pretty efficient at getting rid of excess water, despite having no drainage holes at the bottom (ye know, where they normally are). If you have time to stand around holding it at an angle to drip while keeping the long leaves from breaking. Meh. Will move the narcissus elsewhere I think.

The wonderful Celtic-carved skull! Man I love that thing. I bought it at the Cleveland Irish festival one year when dad came to sell their wares. I just fell in love with it. I believe I got it from Gaelsong – be warned, they are more than happy to send you catalogs full of drool-worthy items. I don’t see much stuff of their quality even over here. Maybe they just have an awesome photographer…

The wee white thing is a Philips IMAGEO LED candle light – we have them in red and blue and just love them. That’s the US/Canada link, but of course they sell them in Ireland and the UK (not sure about Australia/New Zealand). Cheap to run, charge quickly and cheaply, can be used on the charge base while lit, and give nice flickery light for hours and hours with no fire danger. I’d give them a 10 out of 10.

There is also the tiniest bit of a postcard that Socks sent me from her vacation to Maine in the fall of last year. ‘got lobstah?’ Hahahaha! I’d love to go to Maine.

Last – because it is not the least, not by any means – is the Ouija board.

I wrote so very much about that board that I think I will have to take a better photo of just the board and do a separate post. It’s incredibly important to me and deserves an explanation.

What treasures do you keep in a place of honour?

Paddy’s Day Music Special!

Standard

Hi! I have plenty of notice to give this time – nearly a whole day in advance. Go me! Actually, it’s ‘Go iDJ’…
He’s been doing the Soul Shenanigans internet radio show for five years. Unpaid, by the way – it is all for the love of music – and he really does have a fabulous St Patrick’s Day show every year. It only needed a couple of tweaks and a new poster and bam! he had it all done tonight by 10pm (instead of around 3am, the man doesn’t seem to need sleep). So here I am, able to blog about it and share the love the day before instead of the day of.

Here’s the poster; he’s been scanning old photos out of his personal archive. This one dates to Paddy’s Day 1989. I think it is just perfect.

20140312-231525.jpg

As always: his Facebook is here, and the link to the live show is here.

Past broadcasts are on Podomatic – but they don’t stay up forever. Very much a limited time offer!

And since he’s a terrible self-promoter, here’s the donate link, too! (donations go to keep the station on the air, not to SoulShenanigans)

Damn that Talented Hubby o’ Mine…

Standard

…and his spiffy ‘real camera.’ Imma just going to put these here.

20140311-200219.jpg
Dammit.

20140311-200305.jpg
Really, iDJ? You’re just showing off now.

20140311-200331.jpg
That jerk. How dare he spend his lunch hour taking really awesome flower pictures just for me (and you)!

De La Soul-Shenanigans!

Standard

iDJ (my hubby) just loves his hip-hop, and one of his favourite bands is De La Soul. So this week, today, in just about an hour, he will be playing live on radio23.org Channel A, all of the original tunes that De La Soul took samples from.

This could be really interesting, and I’m sure there are bound to be surprises! If your a DLS fan or just curious, tune in to SoulShenanigans on the link above, or visit him on Facebook.

I’ll be posting the link to the podcast once the show is over, and maybe include the set list if anyone is interested?

This weeks poster:

20140220-191625.jpg

The podcast is now available! Give it a listen here.