Friday, March 31, 2017

Recently Read

Yeah, I KNOW, posting's been light.  This whole "job search" thing is taking of more of my time than I though it would.  Go figure!

As always, skip it if you wanna.

1.  Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy - Giant novel about the people who stayed behind on the home front in World War II.  I only got about thirty pages in, because every. single. character. was an insufferable twit.  While I understand that the author was probably making the characters really, really vacuous in the beginning, so that she could show how they matured after experiencing the horrors of war, I just couldn't with these people and gave up.  Ech.

2.  Spellbound:  Growing up in God's Country by David McKain - Memoir of growing up in central PA in the 1940s and 1950s.  I read a TON of childhood memoirs, and most of them are along the lines of, "Sure, times were tough and we were poor but we loved each other and we had a lot of fun!"  This memoir was ... not that.  The author's father was unstable and the home life wasn't the greatest, and the author was not shy about discussing it.  Interesting.  We tend to sugarcoat the "good old days", and this book helped me remember that good old days were not good for everybody.

3.  The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis - Novel about a young woman living in the Barbizon Hotel for Women in NYC in the fifties, and another, modern-day woman researching her story.  I liked the part of the story set in the fifties, but I had zero sympathy for the modern-day character, and stopped reading about halfway through.

4.  Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones by Ann Head - Novel, written in the sixties, about a high school couple who "have to" get married.  Kind of quaint, and the way it ends is a copout, but still a good read.

5.  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor - Novel set in Mississippi during the Depression about a rural black family and the struggles they faced.  Technically for younger readers (it won the Newberry Medal), it was an interesting and involving book.

6.  Miss Jane by Brad Watson.  Novel about a girl with an unspecified gynecological birth defect growing up in the Depression.  This book got glowing reviews, but I found it kind of meh.

7.  A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter - Century-old novel about a young woman who catches moths to fund her schooling.  It was interesting in the beginning, but by about halfway through I just felt sorry for all those poor moths.  Did not finish.

8.  Intensive Care:  The Story of  Nurse by Echo Heron - Nonfiction about the author's years in nursing school and her career as a critical care nurse.  Interesting. I also enjoyed her book Tending Lives.

9.  My Old Neighborhood Remembered by Avery Corman - Author's recounting of growing up in the Bronx in the 40s and 50s.  A quick, interesting read.

And that's what I've been reading lately.  How about you?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Foster Room Update

I realize that I've been remiss in keeping you updated on the foster situation.  Things have been a little unsettled around here; what can I say?

After Alex's last kitten passed away, I took her back to the center so that she could be paired with a couple of orphan kittens someone had been bottle-feeding.  But in the time it took me to get her to the center and for the bottle-feeding person to pick her up and take her to the orphans, the orphan kittens' mom ... showed back up?  I guess?  That's the story that the rescue was told, anyway.

So.  The woman who had been bottle-feeding, and who now had both the kittens and their mama (?), was not able to continue caring for them (?), so it was decided that Alex, who was ALSO now at this woman's home, would go back to the center to be spayed and put up for adoption, and the now-not-orphaned kittens and their mama would come to me. 

Got it?  Me neither.  ANYway, this happened:

A mama and her two babies.  Their eyes opened a few days ago, so I'm thinking they're about two weeks old at this point.

There's a little cow kitty boy:

And a gray and white girl:

(At least, I THINK it's a boy and a girl.  I am decidedly NOT THE BEST when it comes to determining the gender of kittens.)


 Have you ever SEEN a kitten who looks more like his mama?:

Everybody's spending a lot of time in the (open) carrier right now - It's easier on Mama to keep the kittens confined to one spot, although they're already able to crawl over the rolled-up towel barrier across the front, so I predict chaos soon.  Mama comes out to eat and stretch her legs and get some petting from me - she seems to be quite shy, so I've been letting her decide that on her terms. 

Now I've just got to come up with some names.  I really like "Rio" for the mama, because she's so pretty, but that's subject to change.   AND I've got two kittens to name!  Suggestions welcome.

Monday, March 27, 2017

So far ...

I've received leads on possible job openings from
- my company's insurance agent
- the woman who runs the rescue for which I volunteer
- one of the volunteers at the rescue
- a friend of the woman with all the barn cats
- facebook friends

I'm not going to count the "bakery manager" job my one friend sent me, bc she only wants me to apply so she can get free pie. ha.

I've filled out a bunch of applications, and will continue to do so.   I know logically that I will be fine, I'm not going to starve to death, I'm not going to be put out on the street, but the moments of sheer panic keep bubbling up out of nowhere; hopefully those will diminish as I start to get called in for interviews.  Every time I start to have a panic attack, I just go on line and fill out another application, so at least the fear is productive.

In the meantime, guess what?!  The babies opened their eyes.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Losing Our Job

Yep, it happened to me.  As of the first of April, I'm officially downsized.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More painting with Bob Ross

(Please note Sodapop, who SNORED throughout this entire painting lesson.)

With Bob Ross, you get to a point, about halfway in, where you're all, "yeah, this looks like sh*t".  And then he KEEPS GOING, and tells you to do this and this and THIS, and pretty soon it's looking like an actual ... painting.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Finally, a little good news

Remember Tippy, the cat I fostered for a weekend who was refusing to eat?

Well, Tippy went to the vet's and stayed there for ... quite awhile, as the vet worked to find out what was going on.  They were syringe feeding her, which she started to fight after a few days, so then they were tube feeding her.  Then one of the vet techs got her to start licking small amounts of canned food from a spoon.  Because she had been caged for so long at that point, the vet decided let her out among the other cats who live at the vet's office, so she could get out of the cage and explore her environment.

And ... she blossomed.  Being out among the other cats and the office staff seemed to improve Tippy's spirits quite a bit, and she started eating a bit more, although she still needed encouragement and supplemental feedings.  A diagnosis of hepatic lipidosis was made, which is also called "fatty liver disease". The vet still is unsure of why Tippy stopped eating in the first place, although we're pretty sure that losing her home may have had something to do with it. And thank goodness the rescue decided to have a vet check her, because the mortality rate from untreated hepatic lipidosis is extremely high.  

The vet decided to take Tippy home with her for a few days, to give her some R&R from the vet's office.  And Tippy did great!  She was eating, the diarrhea had stopped, she made friends with the vet's cats, and started to come out of her shell some more. She started to play with toys, and let people fuss over her. 

The vet couldn't bear to uproot Tippy's life yet again by returning her to the rescue, and so a decision was made.  The vet is going to keep Tippy!  Tippy now has a permanent home with a loving family who will never, ever let her go.

*sniff*  Gotta love a happy ending.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

More Sad News

Little Blizzard passed away last night.

Alex the Girl is fine, if perplexed, and will be staying with me for at least a few days until she goes back to the adoption center.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sad News

Alex the Girl had her kittens yesterday, but only one survived - the rest of the litter was stillborn.

But little baby Blizzard made it through the night and is holding his own, and Alex is fine and taking care of her baby, so hopefully some happiness will come out of the sad.  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Slow down, you move too fast

Alex the Girl has raised chillin' to an art form.

Nope, no babies yet!  I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

More adventures in trap n' transport

I was able to wrangle some clinic spots for this morning, so last night it was time for more fun! with! barn cats!

Trapping is a blast!  (Okay, not really, but we're helping to control the local cat population, so, win!)

Not shown:  The cow poop I got ALL OVER the seat of my jeans, via kneeling on my poop-y hiking boots.  I ended up doing a load of laundry last night.  While I find eau de barn quite pleasant, turns out that cow sh*t on your clothes doesn't smell QUITE as good.  And I will once again be soaking my hikers to get the poop out of the treads.  Ick.

Would you care for a newspaper with your dinner, kitty?:

This morning, it was back out to the barn.  We ended up trapping a few cats who had already been done (thank God for ear notches), but we still managed to take three cats, out of the maximum four that were allowed this trip.

One of those making the trip was a girl cat named George, which I thought was pretty funny until I remembered that I have an EXTREMELY pregnant foster cat in my house right now named Alex.  (Standard disclaimer:  I did not name these cats.)

The cats will be altered at the clinic today and then go back to the barn tonight to recover.  Next clinic date is March 24.  On we go!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Wheel

WARNING:  Spoiler alert!  DO NOT continue reading if you haven't watched all episodes of "The Wheel" yet.

Okay.  We good?  Here we go.

So!  The Wheel is a reality series on the Discovery Channel where they strand six people in six different South American ecozones, moving them around every time the moon changes phase or some other thing that I never did figure out.  So the contestants each start in one zone, then after a period of time ranging from a few days to sixteen days, they're switched to another zone, until each contestant has been in all six zones (unless they tap out).  Last one remaining at the end of 60 days wins.

My first survival show love will always be "Alone", obviously, but this show was interesting, too.  I really liked Lindsay, the "fitness model", bc as much as I wanted to smirk at a "fitness model", she really had her shit together.  She made it to the final three before tapping.

Which left the final two - Luke, who irritated the SNOT out of me by singing hymns and thanking God for all the fish he caught (yo, dude, YOU'RE the one with the fish net.  I'm pretty sure God's busy doing other stuff right now), and Adam, who I called "Bible-lite" bc he, too, was really into God, but at least wasn't as heavy-handed about it.

The season finale was Friday, and ...

... they both "won".  Both Luke and Adam lasted all sixty days, which is amazing.  And the Grand Prize was

... nothing?  They just got to ... go home?  With bragging rights, I guess?

WHAT. THE. HELL.  These dudes just about starved themselves to death in some godforsaken climates ("Mountain Zone", anyone?), and they didn't even get any MONEY for it?

Booo.  Hisssssssssss.  That just don't seem right.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

More Painting with Bob Ross

Don't let the bright sun fool ya - it's cold as SH*T outside.  That's why I decided to paint this morning.

la la la ... happy little trees:

Wait WHUT?  "Squirrel" was most definitely NOT on the supplies list:

Bob Ross always scares you by telling you to do something AWFUL like covering half your canvas with black:

But then it all comes out okay in the end. Well, as okay as it can turn out when you're painting at the level of a third-grader, at least:

Now I've just gotta find out where to get a squirrel.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

The Big Bad Wolf

I have continued to get my allergy injections every week.  I was on prednisone for a while to help control the coughing, and it worked, but a few weeks after going off the prednisone I started coughing again.

So the allergist suggested Symbicort.

Waaaaaait a minute, I thought - Isn't that COPD medication?  That stuff that uses the big bad wolf in its commercials?  I don't have COPD!  I can breathe JUST FINE, thankyouverymuch!

The allergist says that the Symbicort is effective for allergy-related coughing, and has less side effects than the steroids.  She gave me a sample inhaler and sent me on my way.

I just started taking it, so I don't know yet how well it'll work, but I'll tell ya one thing - that stuff is expensive!  A one-month supply will cost over three hundred bucks!

Granted, my insurance will cover most of that cost, but our company's insurance plan is currently up for renewal and the copays may be increasing.  And thank GOD I'm not covered through the ACA; I'd be shaking in my shoes right now.

But still.  I'm finding that cost just a taaaad hard to justify, especially since prednisone is so (comparitively) cheap.  And especially since I'm still coughing.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017