Monday, August 31, 2015

My kitchen counter, aka the vet's office

If fostering was a college major, I'd have a PhD by now.

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's that time of year again ...

Fair time!  Yaaaaaaaay!

The skies were threatening and the weather was cool, but living in Upstate sure prepares you for THAT, so I just wore jeans and a rain jacket instead of shorts and a tank top, and I was ready to go.

It was opening day, so the sand sculpture was just getting started:

The butter sculpture always draws a crowd:

Sea lions!  I usually feel bad for the animals at carnivals, but these sea lions were all rescued after being injured and could never be released back into the wild, and they seemed happy and playful, so it was fun to watch them.

Rockin' out to Everclear at Chevy Court:

The thing that surprised me most about Everclear, other than the fact that they're still around (ha), is that the lead singer, Art Alexakis, who is known to be pretty much a sour-ass douche, actually seemed to be enjoying himself yesterday.  Surprise!

See the gal in the blue shirt on the left, there?:

She was the sign-language interpreter, and while I have to question how many deaf people bother to go to concerts, she was having a good time, rocking along with the band.

Oh my god the QUILTS:

 Adirondack Mountain Cloggers:

That lady with the pink shoelaces HAD to be pushing ninety, and she wasn't all that steady on her feet, but she was out there cloggin' it up with the best of them, bless her heart.

This alpaca (llama?) thought I was kind of sketchy:

Oh, Fair, I love you so.  See you next year!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Pics from the river

 I didn't go kayaking this weekend because my house was a pigsty, the lawn was a field, and the fridge was bare.  I've been seriously remiss in my housekeeping these past weeks and it was time to put a dent in the disorder.  Plus, one of the foster kittens came down with a serious case of the shelter snots, necessitating a visit to the walkin vet on Saturday, and I didn't want to venture too far from home with her sick.  But I did manage to do a creek walk down to the river yesterday.

Baby crayfish!:

Crayfish vs. foot - can you spot him?:

This blue heron stayed just ahead of me all the way down the creek.  There was a green heron, too, but I didn't manage to get a pic of him.


These ducks were on the river - gray bodies and brown heads - I don't know what they are, so if someone would care to enlighten me, I'd be grateful:

A pretty sunflower on a summer day:

Friday, August 21, 2015

It's in the cards

Did I ever mention that I read tarot cards?  I learned how, back in school a million years ago, and now every once in a while I dust the cards off and do a few readings so I don't forget how.

Last weekend the rescue was having a sidewalk sale/bake sale/adoption event extravaganza, and I offered to do individual card readings as a fundraiser.

The first thing I do when reading cards is to explain that it's for entertainment only.  That I am not a psychic, and that it's all for fun.  That there is a certain skill level involved in learning what the cards mean and how they interact with each other, but that at least when *I* read the cards, there is no mysticism involved. 

People were asking questions about work situations and family stuff and relationships, and it was all well and good until an obviously upset woman sat down at my table.

Her husband had died, she said.  Two weeks ago.  She was fairly certain that he would have lived longer had his brother not pulled the plug against her wishes.  And now the brother was trying to screw her out of money.  And she accidentally killed her cat.  and and and

Holy. F*ck.

This woman was deeply grieving and terribly upset.  I consoled her the best I could, and explained that what she needed wasn't a reading.  She needed to be taking care of herself.  I urged her to get counseling, and to lean on those around her.  I ... felt pretty helpless, actually.

In the end, she wanted a reading.  That was a lot of fun.  Gah.  I read her cards, and told her what I thought might console her, and gave her a great big hug.  She seemed more composed by the time she left, but I'm still thinking about that woman and what she was going through.

I didn't do any more readings that day.  I couldn't.

And I think it might be a while before I pick up the cards again.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Kitten Update!

Let's see, when last I wrote about goings-on in the foster room, the Terrific Trio were residing there.

They're still here:

That's Apple Pie, Chloe, and Watson, from left.

"Go 'way, laydee!  We iz havin' a meetin'!":

Last Saturday, they needed to visit the rescue to get their vaccinations started.  While I was there, the woman who runs the rescue was telling me about another kitten who needed a foster home.

Turns out that a woman who runs a local gas station had called her.  One of her customers had stopped to get gas, and while he was filling up, he noticed something FALL OUT FROM UNDERNEATH HIS TRUCK.  When he looked to see what it was, it was a kitten.

The kitten had evidently crawled up into the engine compartment of his truck (more common in the wintertime around here) on one of his previous stops and gone for a ride.  Unfortunately, it had gotten injured by the moving parts of the engine, and when it fell out of the truck at the gas station, it was badly hurt. Which is when the rescue was called in.

When the woman who runs the rescue got to the gas station, she didn't think the kitten was going to make it.  It was too young and too badly injured.  But she rushed it to the vet, who said that while it had a broken leg and some severe lacerations, the injuries were not life-threatening and the cat could be saved.  The lacerations could be stitched up, and the broken leg could be pinned back together.

But how to pay for the surgery?

Well, before the woman who runs the gas station called the rescue, she called the local DCO (Dog Control Officer).  And while the DCO said he could not help with a cat, he is friends with the woman who runs the rescue, and when he found out that the cat was savable if the money could be raised for surgery, he started a GoFundMe.  Lo and behold, people stepped up, the surgery was done, and

meet Mikette.

It was originally thought that the kitten was a boy, because most orange cats are boys, and the guy whose truck it fell out of (who donated money for the surgery) asked that it be called Mike.  But once the kitten was at the vet, it was quickly discovered to be a little GIRL kitten, and thus ... Mikette.

After her surgery, Mikette went to a temporary foster home, where she was fussed over and loved.  But that foster home could not keep her, and when the woman who runs the rescue asked if I could fit her in with my foster brood, well ...

I call her Mikey.

Her little broken leg continues to heal and strengthen, and while she is awfully thin, she is improving, and the outlook is just fine.

Welcome to Foster Camp, Mikey!  I hope you enjoy your stay.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The plot thickens

So, I found out who it was who wrote me the anonymous nasty-gram about my cats.  It was the wife of this guy:

Yep, the same people who dump all their lawn crap IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARK are the ones complaining about my cats being on their property.

The irony, it is rich.

At least this morning, she had the nuts to talk to me face to face about it instead of sending me another nasty note, I'll give her that.  She rattled off a long list of things my cats had supposedly done (ripped up her plants, sprayed her siding, destroyed a solar light (!), knocked over her birdfeeders (um, okay), and I expressed mystification, seeing as how my cats have never done ONE DAMN THING to MY property.

But!  I kept calm.  I offered to pay for any damage that she was sure had been inflicted by one of MY cats, as opposed to the nine billion OTHER cats in the neighborhood, as long as she could show me a receipt for the cost, and I started the pot by giving her forty bucks. 

Forty bucks!  She got a lot nicer after that.

So then I facebook-stalked her (OH YES I DID) when I got to work, and there she is on facebook, complaining about all the GROUNDHOGS in her yard. 

So ... is it my cats?  Or is the GROUNDHOGS causing the problems that she's blaming on my cats?

Oh, I think I know which one it is ...

Dear neighbors:  I hate you.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Pop-pop update

Okay, first off, I managed to find some Glade Summer Swim on clearance at Target last night, and ... it smells nothing like Coppertone. NOTHING.  It smells like pineapple, which ... yuck.  The person who said it smelled like suntan lotion (it was James Lileks, btw.  FIE on you, Mr. Lileks) was WRONG.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how Sodapop was acting mysteriously.

Not long after starting him the steroids, he started spending less time in the cupboard.  First he stayed in the kitchen, then he started coming into the living room, then the bedroom.

Last weekend, he started going outside again.  First, just into the garage, then into the yard.  While I'm not thrilled with that step, because it was kind of a relief knowing where at least ONE of my cats was at all times, I kind of figured he'd start going out again eventually.

Now?  He's pretty much back to normal, well, as normal as Soda gets, anyway.  He's off the steroids and hasn't gone into the cupboard at all lately, and he's sleeping up on the bed again at night.

What happened?  I have no idea.  I don't know why he acted odd originally, I don't know if the meds had anything to do with his improvement, and I don't know why he's acting fine now.

But I'm glad he's doing better.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Incense Saga

(and for those of you who just read that title as "The Incest Saga", minds out of the gutter, people!)

I have some "jasmine" scented incense that I LOVE.  Except it doesn't smell like jasmine to me; it smells like suntan lotion.  Coppertone, to be exact.  Which, to me, is the smell of summer.  (Thanks to many foolish teen years spent slathering myself with the stuff and baking in the sun.)  And I love to light up that incense in the middle of winter, because then my house smells like summer.

Except ... I was almost out of the jasmine incense.  And the store where I bought it (holla holla Dolla Store) didn't carry it anymore.  I had tried other "jasmine" incenses, but they smelled nothing (NOTHING!) like suntan lotion. So I started googling "incense that smells like suntan lotion".

Yeah, no, nada.


I did find references to a PERFUME that smells like suntan lotion.  Bobbi Brown's Beach scent, to be exact.


Bobbi Brown's Beach scent is not CHEAP, yo.  And I AM.

Off to ebay, where I found a knockoff.  A company called Body Exotic (hahaha I love ebay) was selling a "beach type" body spray ("smells like coppertone beach beach beach beach" hahaha) for eight bucks a pop.  Sold!

Now.  The suspense.  Would the perfume ACTUALLY smell like suntan lotion?  And most importantly, NOT like coconut suntan lotion, but like Coppertone?

Every day I checked the mailbox.  Yesterday when I got home from work, the package was there.  THE FIRST THING I did when I got in the house was rip open that package.  The cats were pissed, because THEY usually get FED first, but suck it, cats - my perfume is HERE!

I opened the package.  I spritzed the spray.  I inhaled.


It smells almost EXACTLY like Coppertone.  Like the "jasmine" incense that I love so much.

I can now die a happy woman, no lie.  My house can smell like summer in the dead of winter.  I may or may not have spritzed some on myself this morning before I left for work, but I'm not tellin'.


EPILOGUE!  I have since learned that Glade made a "limited edition" air freshener this summer called "Summer Swim" that ALSO smells like Coppertone.  Sadly, I cannot find it in any local stores, and ebay inexplicably wants more for it than I am willing to pay (it's AIR FRESHENER!  Sheesh!), so if anybody has any experience with Glade Summer Swim, please ... let me know?

I think I'm addicted to the smell of Coppertone.  Send help.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Dudes. Duuuuuudes.

On Saturday, I headed up to the reservoir to get some more paddling in.  It was a beautiful day.  The water was nice and calm.

I paddled over to the little islands to see what was there:

The carp were active, which ... yuck.  I am not a fan.  They're so BIG, for one thing, and they have those great big mouths and those great big scales ... erg.  Oh, they're harmless and all, but they just look so ... prehistoric.  I paddled over to another mini island:

Mama ducks were out with their broods:

I was paddling along the shoreline when I rounded a point and saw:

Holy F*CK!,  I said under my breath.  I grabbed the camera and guided the kayak closer.

I grew up in the sixties, when bald eagles had been all but eradicated from New York State thanks to the use of DDT.  I remember when eagles were first re-introduced to the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge back in the seventies, and how exciting it was when they started to reproduce.  Eagles are kind of a big deal, around here.

That dude was just hanging out.  Watching the water, waiting for fish.  I hung out nearby for quite a while, and finally paddled on, to leave him to his peace and quiet.

Yeah, I won't be forgetting THAT anytime soon.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Recently Read

As usual, skip it if you wanna.

1.  Grandma Gatewood's Walk by Ben Montgomery - Biography of a woman who, in the 1950s, through-hiked the Apalachin Trail.  She was sixty-seven, and hiked in sneakers and without a tent.  This after surviving decades in an extremely abusive marriage.  Hardcore!  Excellent book.

2.  Hand to Mouth by Linda Tirado - First-person narrative about how difficult it is to survive on minimum wage.  Been there, done that.  Good book.

3.  Life For Me Ain't Been No Crystal Stair by Susan Sheehan - Non-fiction account of a young woman growing up in the foster care system in NYC in the eighties and nineties.  Sobering and interesting.

4.  The Hero of the Herd by Dr. John McCormack - One of a series of memoirs from a veterinarian who practiced in Alabama in the 1960s.  A quick, thoroughly enjoyable read. 

5.  While You're Here, Doc by Bradford Brown, DVM - Another memoir, from a veterinarian who practiced in Maine in the 1950s and 1960s.  Very good.

6.  The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman - Novel about a crippled immigrant girl in NYC in the early 1900s who founds an ice cream empire.  Interesting, and a good summer read, but the protagonist wasn't a very likable person, so that kind of made it an only so-so book.

7.  Gone South by Robert McCammon.  This author's book Boy's Life is one of my favorite books ever, so I thought I'd give another book of his a try.  He usually writes in the horror genre, which I'm not a huge fan of (except for Stephen King), but Gone South is about a murderer on the run, being chased by bounty hunters.  It's pretty good, and he packs a lot of characters into one book.  A page-turner. You'll either like the ending or boo-hiss it, one or the other. :)

8.  Trailer Trashed by Hollis Gillespie - Autobiographical essays from a humor columnist.  Good.

Currently I'm working through a couple of old Shirley Jackson books, so we'll see how that goes.  How about you?  Reading anything good?

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

In the obits

So, the family members were going through photos of the deceased, looking for an appropriate one for the obit, and they picked ... this one.

Well okay then!

Put some clothes on, grandma.  Sheesh.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Oh, I'll be getting myself in some trouble now!

I did some shopping on line last week.  On Saturday, this arrived at my door:

Yesterday, I was doing this:

I'd always been a little leery of kayaking, because the boats are somewhat heavy and hard to lug around for someone my size.  Add to that the whole having-to-cartop thing, and while I wanted to be able to get out on the water, I just wasn't sure it was doable. 

But I started doing some research, and I discovered inflatable kayaks!  Lightweight, easy and quick to inflate, and able to be carried in the back of a car!  Oh, I was all over that.

 Look!  There's a UFO in this picture!:

Not really.  I was trying to get a pic of a hawk.

I paddled right up to this duck family:

And I was flabbergasted when a bald eagle started circling above me and then splashed down into the water after a fish, not fifty feet in front of my boat.

(There's an eagle in that picture, honest; look for the white blob against the shoreline on the right.  I didn't have time to zoom in before he was off again.)

Kayaking, man.  What TOOK me so long?!