Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Orange Curse . . .

I dunno how it happened . . . one minute I was at Sam's exchanging a pair of bluejeans for Steve (my hubby has done a fantastic job of losing about 70# and 10" off his waist, hence the MUCH smaller jeans needed) . .  . and the next thing you know there I was . . . unloading a BARREL of cheese balls onto the kitchen counter.

I mean, I got the fruit, low fat (i.e. plastic) crackers, skim milk, boneless/skinless chicken breasts . . . and cheese balls . . .I think I had a little blackout or something . . . can't have possibly been that I picked them up ON PURPOSE. 

The orange curse has made it's way from the barrel, and onto my fingers . . . another blackout . . . I couldn't possibly have (CURSES!) eaten them on purpose . . . damn stuff just doesn't wash off easily either.

I guess the good news is that I did consciously resist the tray of baklava.

And well, since I'm too embarrassed to take a picture of the cheese ball barrel (and my orange cursey little fingers wouldn't be good for the camera), here's a picture of Carey instead . . . he's about the same color . . . and consistency i.e. trouble.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sometimes, there's a sign . . .

 . . . .Like "BEWARE, THERE WILL BE CHILDREN PRESENT", for instance.

I have literally been looking forward to today for WEEKS!  The 'Gem and Mineral' show is in town this weekend, so as a confirmed bead-a-holic, I bounced promptly out of bed when my alarm went off this morning (NOT my strong suit), did my AM chores with the kitties, and bustled out to visit the show.  I figured getting there right as it opened would be the least crowed time, right?  Errr, WRONG, as it turns out . . .

Now for a little background . . . I freely admit, I'm a grumpy old biddy.  I love my son, who's 29, but will admit to not 'liking' him much many times during his adolescence, even while I still loved him.  I really have minimal affinity for other people's kids.  (I firmly believe the disintegration of American society can be traced to when we quit thinking it was OK to beat a little respect and good sense into our kids, lol.)  So, anyway, kids - not my favorite thing, especially en masse.

I pulled into the parking lot at the Community Center at the dot of 9am, credit card in hand.  WooHoo . . . bead shopping here I come!

I trundled across the parking lot to the entrance . . . only to be brought up short by the sight of 3, yes, THREE school buses pulling into the porte-cochere and disgorging what appeared to be HUNDREDS of middle schoolers.  I'll give you three guesses what I said . . . here's a hint . . . it started with an "f" and ended with "me running".

While those masochists known as 'teachers', (there're some people who are candidates for sainthood, in my book!) were getting their little charges organized, I slipped to the front of the line, navigating through all the milling squatty-bodies.

"I'm here for the show" to the attendant at the gate.  "Well, you'll have to pay to get in if you're not with the kids", she says.  Oh you have NO idea  what I'd pay to be here without the kids;  however, since they're not going to send them all back to school, I paid only the $4 admission fee and scurried into the exhibit hall, making a beeline for my favorite vendor, Magpie Gemstones.
( - the BEST weborder bead merchant, bar none!)

I introduced myself to Kateri, the young lady in charge of the booth, and started in on bead heaven.  I got in about 8.5 minutes of uninterrupted bead bliss, before the horde arrived.  Kateri was immediately swamped with questions, comments (and since she is a very attractive young lady, LOTS of 'hey look at this' from smitten young middle schoolers).

I finished perusing the pretties at the Turquoise Magpie booth, and paid for my stuff . . . (I counted 11 interruptions from Kateri's adoring public while I checked out, lol.)

I made my way around the exhibit hall, gingerly avoiding the little rats, oops sorry,  kids thronging the space.  I found one other booth that was mainly beads, which are apparently less attractive to school kids than loose 'rocks' are, and found some nice pearls.  By this time the noise level was rising exponentially.  I made one more circuit of the hall, unable to get close to the vendors, for the passels of kids stacked everywhere.

The heck with it, I can always try again tomorrow, I guess.

The good news is that I spent far less than I planned, and still came home with some really pretty beads.    Maybe that was the 'sign' . . . that I needed to save my bead budget for next weekend's retreat in College Station . . . which I have on good authority will be adult only, thank God!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Boobs and Blood . . .

I was an ER/Flight/ICU/L&D nurse for YEARS . . . I think we can safely say the sight of blood doesn't bother me overmuch, right?  (If you've been in L&D or had a baby, you should be able to relate to this on SOME level anyway, lol!)  While working the MICU/SICU I cleaned/suctioned/wiped up stuff you can't imagine, include blood spurting out of a blown graft,  dripping from the ceiling, and rolling off the end of the bed.  In the ER, I used to work my traumas and then wade right though the puddles on the floor to my lunch break.   I pumped bags and bags and bags (and more bags) of the stuff into people.  As a flight nurse, I placed chest tubes, central lines, ET tubes and just about every other kind of 'tube' you can imagine (and most you don't want to, lol), cut throats for crichs,  and more than once used a water hose to sluice out the helicopter after a particularly messy flight . . . nary a worry.

BUT . . . one little smear on top of one of my kitties heads and I'm toast . . . Sunny (my 6 month old lilac point girl) jumped up onto my desk a little while ago, with a tiny smear of blood on her head.  One frantic trip down the hall to the kitchen sink, and a head scrubbing, I discovered it wasn't HER blood.  So, OMG is someone else hurt?!?!?!?

I just spent 30 minutes finding every cat in the house to find out where the blood came from.  (Max was NOT best pleased to be drug out from under the bed so I could examine him in minute detail . . .)  I checked everyone . . . not a nick, prick, drip, or spot to be found . . . what the heck.  Oh, well, just glad everyone's OK.  Wonder where the hell that blood came from . . .???

I sat back down at the computer to finish my IM chat with my friend Susan, before we were so rudely interrupted by my little panic, only to look down . . .

. . . and remember that Maggie left quite the 'tracks' across my chest when she was startled by a tower of beads falling over on the desk earlier today, and scratched the crap outta my right boob . . . and the scabs appear a mite smeared.  OK, so I know where the blood came from . . . not to worry, it was just ME bleeding, so no cause for alarm!  Apparently, we had a little transfer going to Sunny's head when we were cuddling earlier.  Sigh, I'm a twit.   Apparently I'm only immune to the sight of HUMAN blood . . . kitty blood trips my panic switch, lol.

Below, Sunny - sans blood . . .  me, out of frame, with my reason intact . . .

 Photo by Helmi Flick.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Hotel from Hell . . .

I love going to cat shows.  I love staying in nice hotels.  I'm OK with staying in hotels that are merely clean and functional, as opposed to 'nice', if it means I can afford to go to cat shows.  But, I do have SOME standards . . .

Last weekend I was SO excited to be going the the Austin Cat Fanciers show in Austin, since I hadn't been to a show since the SC Regional back in August.  So Friday afternoon, I loaded up my furkids and headed to Austin, about 2 hours north of me.  My best friend Charlotte and I were planning to share a room to cut costs for both of us.  Fine with me, since it would give us time to visit, which happens all too rarely, now that we live a couple of hours apart.  We planned to meet at the show hotel, the La Quinta Inn Oltorf, and go from there to do some of our second most favorite activity, bead shopping. 

Char was a little late leaving from San Antonio, so I beat her to the hotel, arriving about 1:45pm.  I went ahead and checked us in.  "Do you want to leave your charges on the card you used to reserve the room?" the desk clerk asked.  "No, please switch it to this card", and I handed her my PayPal card, since my kitten money is also my 'go to shows' money.  OK, check in all taken care of, I left a key card up front for Char, and headed to the room to unload. 

I opened the door.  Hmmmm, smells a bit musty in here.  And it's quite warm, too.  OK, let's get that A/C turned on and maybe that'll take care of both problems.  I push the kid's stroller into the room, and head over to the A/C unit, glancing up as I do so.  Um, yeah . . that molding looking stain on the ceiling might account for the musty smell.  I switch the A/C on . . . it blows room temp air.  Well, crap.  OK, well, it's supposed to be in the 50's in Austin tonight, we'll be OK.  Frankly, I just didn't want to pack all my crap back out and switch rooms.  It'll do.  I head out on my bead shopping quest, figuring I can hit 'Bead It' by myself, and then Char and I will head to the other shops in north Austin when she gets here.

An hour later, I pull back into the parking lot, just as Charlotte arrives.  We pick up her key, and cart in her kids and stuff from the car, and then plop down to cool off, before heading out again.  Char, who's gone to sit in the recliner over in the corner, glances down towards the window and says "Is that a MINI-PAD on the floor?!?!?!?!"  and yes, surely enough it was.  Clean, with the strip still on the sticky part, but a mini-pad, nonetheless. 

"Hi, this is Leslie Hurley in 161, we found a mini-pad on the floor.  Yes, apparently the room was not thoroughly cleaned.  Can someone please come remove it?"

Twenty minutes later, the minipad is still on the floor, and I have come to a slow rolling boil.  So I got my broom out of the closet and rode down to the front desk, toilet paper sheathed mini-pad in had.  I deposited it front and center on the desk.  The guy who was waiting to check in said, "So how do you like the hotel?"

"Well, I guess if I were in need of someone else's feminine hygiene products I'd like it well enough.  Or if I wanted a musty smelling, moldy ceiling, non-A/C working room, I'd think it was just swell."  He looked a little green.  Suddenly, the desk clerk (you know, the one who was supposed to send someone down to remove said mini-pad 30 minutes ago) can't get off the phone and over to take care of me fast enough. 

"We're SO sorry, Mrs. Hurley.  We'll be happy to move you to another room."  I just bet they would - anything to shut me up . . . have I mentioned I'm fairly articulate and quite verbose, when pissed off?  I'm thinking the clerk had made this observation  first hand by the time I finished my rant. 

So we packed up all our stuff, kitty crap, and cats and moved down the hall.  Hallelujah!  The A/C works.  We cranked it down and headed out for an evening of bead revelry.  (Only those with the beading bug will understand how riveting this is, lol!)

After much bead fun and acquiring far more than I needed, and a fabulous dinner at Houston's (the steaks are to DIE for!) we arrived back at the hotel, tired but happy.  Even the minor embarrassment of my credit card not clearing at the last stop didn't dim my good mood.  (I would have SWORN I moved more money into that account . . . oh, well.)

By 10:30 I was pooped and ready for bed.  I climbed in and rolled over to put my glasses in the drawer of the nightstand.  Huh . . .

"Hey Char, did you leave this trash . . .?"  about that time I spotted the condom, along with the trash in the drawer.  No, pretty sure Char didn't leave that there.  Fortunately, it was an un-used condom, but the principle is the same - they hadn't bothered to check the drawers when they 'cleaned' (and I use the term loosely) the room.

I bounced (at least as much as a fat woman with a bad back can) out of bed, pulled my clothes back on over my jammies, and marched down to the front desk, with a fire in my eye and a cussing on my tongue.  Poor little desk clerk (who I'm sure thought of me as the 'mini-pad witch woman') paled at my approach.  I ranted for a while.  He slunk to the back room for gloves and headed down to the room to retrieve the offending item.

Well, I was wide awake then.  So I decided to check my bank balance to see what happened with that card that didn't clear earlier.  Fuck me running, they not only charged the new card I presented at check in, they didn't remove the charge from the card I'd used to hold the room.  So I'm paying for my shitty room twice.  Guess where I went . . . yes, clothes back on, and back to the front desk.  

New clerk on duty by this time.  "You'll have to speak to the manager in the morning."  Oh, I think you can safely count on that, bucko.

So the next morning, I go to have my snit with the manager, and they are kind enough to tell me they'll comp all but $60 of the $195.50 they have charged to each card.  Yep, that's right, a total of $391 for a two-night stay in this hotel hell.  I do some deep breathing.  OK, if they can refund me, all well and good. 

Today is Thursday, so I figured enough time has elapsed for them to have completed the credit.  And lo and behold, yes they have . . . for HALF the amount they said they would.  You can bet your sweet bippy, I'll be calling on that as soon as I get home from the shelter. 

Take it from me:  DO NOT STAY AT THIS PLACE - It is the PITS!

Now, if someone had told me this story, I'd tell them they were full of crap.  NO WAY all that happened . . . except it did.  What a crap hotel.  NEVER again.  I plan to blog, FaceBook, Twitter and tell every living breathing person I can find to never stay at the La Quinta Inn Oltorf in Austin, TX.   I can't WAIT to get my little 'satisfaction' survey from them . . . the email may catch on fire on it's way to LQ headquarters . . .

Off to put my broom back in the closet now, lol!

In Defense of Poor Fiscal Decision Making

Ask any of my friends . . . I'm TERRIBLE with managing money.  Suck at it, in fact.  So, I worry that one of these days, as my 'older age' creeps up on me, these poor decisions will come back to haunt me.  Or, not . . .

Last week, I was doing one of my volunteer days out at the shelter (Dorothy O'Connor Pet Adoption Center ), where my duties are to play receptionist, answer the phone, and generally direct traffic at the front door, when this young woman came in carrying a beautiful little seal lynx point kitten in  a carrier.  

"Can you take her?  She has diarrhea and her butt stays raw and I don't want my 8 month old getting something from her?" 

Sally, our director, was out, so I punted to Sarah, the assistant director, instead.  Both of us suggested a trip to the vet to determine the underlying problem.  Nope, they'd taken her once, that hadn't fixed it, and they were getting rid of her. 

"See how sweet she is?"  The girl proceeded to take her out of the carrier and snuggle her, and little "Pearl" made bisquits and purred the whole time.  No way could I have given her up, but, hey, that's why I'm a crazy cat lady, I guess.

Sarah and I again suggested treating her.  Uh-Uh.  She's outta there. 

Sarah couldn't accept her for intake, since we were basically full, with a fresh load of kitties just rescued from Animal Control.  What a heartbreaker.  Off the girl went to turn her over to Animal Control.  I know they do their best, with what they have to work with, but an ill kitten in that environment isn't going to last long, and they don't have the resources to treat the sick ones.  It broke my heart.

As soon as she left, I went into Sarah's office, "I'll give you $50 towards her treatment, if we can get her."  Sarah wanted to keep her as badly as I did, I think, but she couldn't make the decision to take in a cat that obviously needed treatment, without Sally's approval.  That would pretty well clean out my account, but what the hell, payday was only 8 days away, right?

So we settled in to wait for Sally.

I putzed around on the computer for a while, and logged in to check my PayPal balance for the heck of it.
WOW, where'd that money come from????    One of the nice folks who purchased one of my kittens decided to prepay their balance, even though the kitten won't go home until January.  Hallelujah!  I ran in to see Sarah.  "Tell Sally I can give $100 if we can go get that little cat from AC."  Maybe that'll sweeten the pot enough. 

In the meantime, Alicia mentioned that she thought she had a friend who might be able to foster the kitten. (She obviously couldn't go into the main cat population with a health issue.)

So we waited.  Sally arrived back from lunch.  We swooped in on her, like a bunch of six year olds, wanting to bring a puppy home from our travels.  "Can we go get her, pleeeaaaassseeeeeee?????" 

Sally wavered, caught between the 'smart' fiscal decision for the shelter, and our pleading.  Then she caved to our sad little puppy dog eyes, and begging looks.  "OK, I'll go get her; we'll figure it out."  Sally Kuecker was officially my very most favorite person in the world last Thursday.  What a big heart!

So, with my account $100 lighter, I went home to explain to Steve why we'd be a little poorer than what we planned.  My hubby, who has a big heart, too, just said "Well, it's only money". 

So, I came to work today, and found that little "Pearl" is now "Shadow" since she's been following her foster mom around like one.  She's doing great after treatment, and her foster mom has fallen so in love with her, she's going to adopt her. 

That's what I call a happy ending.   You can't buy that, no matter how much money you have.  Worth it every minute of every day of every year. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oh My God . . . that kitten has BALLS . . .

Have you ever been really, really, REALLY afraid you were going to eff something up? So you compulsively check it?  And then lo and behold, even though you check, you still manage to screw yourself to the Nth degree.

Ever happen to you?  Happened to me.  Sigh.

So . . . yesterday morning I got up bright and freaking early (SO not my favorite time of day) and headed out to Houston (2.5 hours away) to ship little Hero to his new family in Washington, D.C.  I put his favorite blankie that smells like home in the carrier with him and headed out.  I wasn't nervous at all about whether I'd picked up the right kitten, because I CHECKED to make sure he had the right equipment before we left.  Hero and Honey (his sister) are just as alike as two little peas in a pod, so I wanted to make SURE.  (Last month, when I shipped Tank to Florida, I actually pulled over on the side of the road about 30 miles from home, to make absolutely freaking sure I had the right kitten, lol).

Apparently, I should have done that again yesterday morning . . .

So, all went well, and I got to the Continental QuickPak office at IAH in Houston, and shipped little 'Hero' off with out a problem.  We piddled around Houston for the day, and got home around 6pm.   I immediately called Hero's new family to make sure he'd arrived safely.  He had, and they loved him already.  Score!

So I fixed dinner and sat down on the floor to play with the babies for a while.  I was tossing a little ball across the floor, when the remaining seal point kitten 'Honey' dashed across the room to get it.  With 'her' tail in the air . . . and OMG, that kitten has BALLS!!!!   Fuck me . . . I'd sent the girl to Washington, and Hero was still here.    I guess I must have not immediately grabbed Hero, and instead got Honey.

Thank God, the folks in Washington are such nice people.  Boy, that was a phone call I didn't want to make!  But they were terrific, and will be shipping Honey back here on Friday, and I'll be taking Hero to Houston that same day to send to them.  I just hate that Honey has to be shipped again . . . and it amounts to about a $700 mistake on my part, so that's a big 'Ouch', since I have to pay to ship him to D.C., and Honey back here or to Florida.  Sigh . . . What a 'stupid-head' thing to do . . .

I think I'll now be HOLDING the boy-bits until I get them in the carrier from now on.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

On past lives and old friends

I'm 48 years old.  For the past 2 years, I've been a stay at home kitty mom, and for the 4 years before that, I worked as an insurance adminstrator, running my husband's business.  However, from the time I got my first job in L&D at age 19,  until we moved back home in 2003, I worked full-time as a nurse, moving from obstetrics to critical care and then to the emergency room and flight nursing, with a seven year stint in nursing management thrown in for good measure.  In total 22 years as a nurse.  I met a lot of great people.

In a lot of ways, it seems like a different life.  Not better or worse, at least not in totality . . . I mean I certainly don't miss the brutal hours and physical work, but I have to admit to occasionally missing the blood, guts and adrenaline.  But, on days like today, what I find I miss is the people I came to know, and shared such an affinity with, in the trenches of healthcare. 

People like J. Alan Baker.  I first met Alan when he was working as a paramedic for Victoria EMS (way back in the day, when it was a seperate entity from the Fire Department) and I was a wet-behind-the-ears ICU nurse.  His sense of humor was torqued a little left of center, just like mine, and we got along great.  He did a stint as an ER tech, and I got to know him better, and always enjoyed his humor and compassion.  He went on to marry a fellow ER nurse, Debbie Binford-Baker, and for the better part of the last 20 years, they had a great love affair.  Alan became a college faculty member, teaching for years in the EMS program at VC.  He touched even more lives there, and everyone who had him as an instructor was a better medic because of him.   Including me.

We went our seperate ways and fell out of touch . . . I moved to San Antonio to work with AirLife.  Alan and Debbie relocated back to New Mexico, where she was originally from, and he went to work for PHI (Petroleum Helicopters, Inc) as a flight medic, and eventually their training coordinator.  I have no doubt he touched and saved many lives there, too.  The last time I saw Alan was about 3-4 years ago, a casual run-in at the mall.  I wish I had seen him since.

Alan died unexpectedly Wednesday morning.  He was only 52.  And the world is surely a poorer place for his passing.

So while I used to sign my name Leslie Bennetsen-Hurley, RN BSN CCRN CFRN CEN, EMT-P, and now I'm just plain 'Leslie', I think today, I'd like to sign as 'your friend' . . . because the people you come to know, even when you lose touch, still hold a place in your heart.

May all God's angels carry you gently Home, Alan.  You will be missed.
Your Friend,

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Great iPad Chase

My wonderful hubby has been absolutely salivating over the Apple iPad, since before it was even officially announced, and as the launch date came and went, he just got more and more obsessed with it.  (Even I admit it looks like a pretty cool gadget.)  So since his birthday is coming up later this month, he's been all about getting one. 

Now, for a little background - Steve gets paid once a month, and since he's a commission sales guy, there's considerable variation in what exactly he does get paid.  Some months are good, some are pretty lean . . . but what they ALL have in common, is that by the 3rd week of the month (which coincidentally, is where his birthday falls) we're pretty much universally broke.  So when payday rolled around last Thursday, he was chomping at the bit to get his birthday present a little early.

We live in south Texas, about equi-distant from Houston, San Antonio and Austin.  There happen to be 5 Apple stores in Houston, 2 in San Antonio, and 2 in Austin.  How do I know this?  Well, because he's been calling them all compulsively.  And NONE had the iPad available.  So he was pumped when he called last Thursday evening (at 7:40pm) and was told that one of the stores in Austin had 'several' of them, and 'yeah, man, if you're here when we open tomorrow, you're golden', he was pretty excited.   

(A little more background:  My husband hates ordering things . . . his philosophy is that if they've got his money, he wants his product . . . NOW.  And secondly, it is apparently Apple's policy that they will absolutely not, never, ever, under pain of death, hold anything for anybody, anyhow or any why you cut it.)

So we got up with the chickens last Friday AM, and headed out to Austin, a little over 2 hours from here.  Steve was Mr. Happy Man the whole way there.  'Jaunty' is the word that comes to mind to describe him.  We arrived at the Apple store at Barton Creek Mall at exactly 10am, and were just about the 1st folks in the store.  So it was a little surprising when he asked for the iPad, and they laughed at him.  "No, man, we're sold out of those."  Really, REALLY??!!??!!??!!   And you couldn't share this over the phone before we drove over 2 freaking hours?  That's a customer friendly policy, alright. 

So he begged and pleaded, and no luck.  Then one friendlier guy offered that they might be getting a shipment in later that day, between 11am-1pm, and if we could hang around until 1pm, when it should be there, he could be on a reserve list for one.  Well, OK.  So he gives them his email and phone number, and is told he'll be on a list for an iPad at both Austin locations. 

OK, it's Austin.  I love Austin.  I can happily kill a few hours here.   I thought . . . except I didn't take into account that my formerly happy-go-lucky hubby was going to morph into his alter ego 'Grumpy Man'. 

He was pretty good though the 1st stop at a Michael's so I could peruse their beads.  By the time we headed to the 2nd stop at Bead It Austin, the good humor was wearing mightly thin around the edges.  For instance, traffic in Austin, TX is probably about the worst in the state . . . it's not the biggest city in Texas by a long shot, but it's probably the one with the poorest infrastructure in place for handling the amount of traffic it has.  Put that together with the fact the state's largest university and it's accompanying gazillion students are on the road there, and the general 'fuck it' attitude of many Austin drivers (reference the gazillion students) and it's not the best place to be driving when you're mildly homicidal anyways. 

I didn't kiss the ground when I got out of the truck at Bead It, but I did briefly consider it.  I passed only because I'm fat and arthritic, not because I didn't think it was a worthwhile endeavor.

So while I was happily pooring over all those wonderful beads (and avoiding dealing with Grumpy Man, who was obsessively checking his email for a notification that his very own personal iPad had arrived on his iPhone) Steve just stewed in his own juices.   I came out of the store, to find his cousin had just texted him with attached picture of him (cousin Paul) with his very own new iPad . . . the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, even if it did eventually turn out to be a joke, with him just yanking Steve's chain.

By the time I'd completed my purchases, he'd worked up a pretty good pity party.   It was about 12:15 by that time, and he was just SURE they weren't going to have an iPad for him.   So we headed south to the world's largest Disc Golf store (no shit, even though it's tiny, it really is the largest specialty disc golf store) which is on Slaughter Lane, on the far south side of Austin.  Which is the way we'd be heading to go home anyway. 

Steve had promised me a nice lunch in Austin, but Grumpy Man was driving, so I was starting to look at Sonic and Mickey D's like they were serving manna by this time.  I just sighed and decided I'd force him to stop for something on the way home. 

So we got to Disc Nation, and I stayed in the truck, while Steve/Grumpy Man went in.  By this time, I was ready to go to Silicon Valley and build him an iPad myself.  Feeling that wasn't really a time effective solution, I pulled out my iPhone and started calling around.  It only took me 15 minutes to get through to a human at the Barton Creek Apple store, who told me that no, they hadn't gotten any iPads in today.  Dammit.   He gave me the number to the Apple store at The Domain, a very ritzy development in north Austin.  I called them.  Lucky me, I was only the 7th caller in line (and had my place announced to me every 60 seconds from then on).  About this time, Grumpy Man came back to the truck, sans purchase at the Disc Golf store, a sure sign he was in a truly pissy mood.  By this time it was after 1pm, and there was still no notification that the shipments had arrived or that he was going to get an iPad.  Picture a toddler on Christmas day, who comes downstairs to find Santa has forgotten to stop at his house.  I'll just summarize as 'not a happy camper' and leave it at that.  So we headed home . . . or tried to, as the traffic required a U-turn to get headed in the right direction, and he made one, cussing the whole way.

Stil on hold 25 minutes later (no shit, I really did time them) an actual human from the Apple store at The Domain did get on the phone, and tell me well, yes, they did have iPads in stock.  HALLELUJAH!!!  And no, she could neither hold one for me, nor could she tell me how many.  Even after I explained the whole 2.5 hour drive, mislead by other store, hubby's birthday, yada yada yada.  She seem supremely unimpressed that Grumpy Man was now in charge.

So we try to head back north to The Domain . . . I say try, because by this time we were headed south on I-35 (Satan's own little stretch of Hell on earth) back towards home.  We finally get to an open exit (I-35 has been under construction my entire life) and get headed back north in the right direction.  We blew along at 75mph for oh, about 90 seconds, before coming to a screeching halt in typical Austin/I-35 traffic.   As we inched along, Steve was practically vibrating over the steering wheel.  I tried calling the Apple store again.  This time I was only the 2nd caller in line . . . waaahhoooo!  I got a very nice young man on the line, and gave him the whole spiel again.  No dice, they will NOT hold anything.  Not even if I give you my credit card number and you just go ahead run it now?  Now about for my first born?  I considered offering sexual favors, but just figured I'd be turned down anyways.  Nope, no how, no way, except getting there in person. 

"Well, we're stuck in traffic on I-35".  He actually laughed . . . I'm guessing that wasn't the first time he'd heard that one.  But he did give me great directions for the quickest way to get there, and even where to park the closest, etc.

We finally get through the worst of the traffic, just by virtue of getting off I-35 and onto US 183.  Fifteen minutes later, we're pulling into the parking lot at The Domain. 

Now at this point, you would think we'd be home free.  Not so much.  The Domain is still under construction in some areas.  Think poor signage and lots of detours/blocked routes.  We can't even find the right parking garage.  Eventually we did, and then half the routes through it at blocked off, so we can't park where he told us to.  We eventually found a parking place and hot footed it towards the area I thought we should be going.  OH, GLORY!  I spy an Apple logo!!!

We get in the store.  It was packed wall to wall.  I thought Steve was going to come unglued.  We finally get to a sales associate, who directs us over to talk to the ONE employee in the store who seems to be capable of getting an iPad for us, and who coincidentally has about 12 people in front of us in a line to speak with him.  They're sold out of the cheaper one.  I absolutely didn't care.  If they'd told me it was a million dollars, and I'd had a million dollars to spend I would have bought it.  With a smile even.  Fortunately, it was a mere $699.  What the hell . . . we'll eat macaroni and ramen for the rest of the month. 

Thirty minutes later, we were the pround owners of an iPad.  By this time it was 2:30.  Grumpy Man was gone, and my sweetie was back.  I made him take me to Pappadeaux's for a late lunch.  The email telling him he had an iPad on reserve arrived around 4pm, just after we started home. 

Timing is everything.  And it is a really, REALLY cool gadget.

Friday, April 30, 2010

M.E.E.T.I.N.G.S.: Also known as Making Everyone Eschew The Important & Necessary Good Stuff . . .

30 April 2010

I'm writing this as I wait for my hubby to get home from . . . wait for it . . . a meeting.  Meetings are the absolute antithesis of and anathema to productivity.  How do I know this . . . well, aside from the seven years I spent in Nursing Management (three as a Night Supervisor, and four as an ER Nurse Manager), I also have common sense. 

As a manager, I HATED meetings . . . I couldn't get anything done that mattered (i.e. schedules, payroll, chart review, and god-forbid, patient contact) for all the time I spent in meetings.  I attended QA meetings, Policy & Procedure meetings, Critical Care Committe meetings, ED Section meetings, Nursing Management Team meetings, Hazmat Response Team meetings, Educator Team meetings, and more, most of them so trivial I can't even remember them anymore.  I even held monthly staff meetings.  During my time as a Nurse Manager, I managed 55-60 FTE's and an annual department budget of around $15-18 million.  Really, meetings are the what kept me from managing them better, lol.

That's where common sense comes in . . .  I learned to define productivity as basically the end product divided by the resources and man-hours required to attain that product . .  . In my case it was good Emergency Department care . . . for my husband, it's selling insurance.

My husband is a commission sales guy.  Albeit, he's a district manager for his company, but in the end, he makes his living from commission on what he and his team sell. 

And this is where common sense leaves the building.  The company he works for (a Fortune 200 insurance company, by the way) requires his presence at more meetings than you can shake a stick at. 

Meetings . . . also known as "Making Everyone Eschew The Important & Necessary Good Stuff" . . . and at my house, that important and necessary good stuff is also called 'earning a living'.  The yahoos that run his company are so totally divorced from reality that they've forgotten that little gem.  He's so busy running all over Texas to meetings, he can't get out in the field to work. 

They'll  probably hold a meeting to talk about it . . .

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Buick Duality

First, just let me start by saying that, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, if you drive a Buick, and this offends you . . . I don't give a fuck.

Steve and I have noticed for years, that it seems everyone who drives a Buick is either a.) old, b.) retired, c.) brain-dead, or d.) all of the above.   Certainly, for whatever reason, they all drive a lot slower than I want to.  We have even made a game of spotting Buicks and taking the under and over on 70 for the driver's age.

I don't know if Buick just did a superlative job of marketing when the 60-70+ demographic was forming their impression of automakers, or there is some kind of geriatric crack (Viagra, Valium, Nitroglycerine . . .???) sewn into the seat cushions, but BOY!  are there ever a bunch of old farts driving Buicks.

So, I was on my way to meet my friends Jennifer & Kim for lunch today, and as is usual for me, was running late, and was in a hurry.  I pulled up at the stop light in front of Walmart behind a really stylish looking car.  I was astounded to note this was a BUICK!  From the car company for geezers . . . what were they thinking!  This car had pizazz, it had stylish lines and fashionable attitude.  It had cool written all over it.  It looked tough.  It looked FAST!!!  I was intrigued . . . perhaps our well-tested theory was about to fall by the way side! 

So eventually the light turned green, and I was on my way to my luncheon date . . . I thought.  Turns out, Ms. Buick driver definitely had the 'over' on the age game.  My first clue should have been that I could barely see the top of her little blue-haired head over the seat back. 

It's noon and traffic is heavy, but three lights later, I finally managed to hustle my way around her, by moving into the left hand turn lane, as I headed to the vet's office to meet Kim & Jennifer.  And then she cut me off, darting across the solid white line into my lane.  I slam on the brakes and discuss her ancestry in sordid detail in mostly four letter words.  She slowly toodles on through the light, turns left, and takes my exact path down the road towards my vet. 


So, Buick has apparently designed a hot new car . . . that still appeals to Seniors.   I'm lobbying for a new accessory that will be mandatory if the driver is over 60 (which should cover about 90% of them, I'm thinking) . . . a LARGE cover for the gas pedal, so it can be easily found . . .

Apparently, doesn't really matter how it looks, it's still driven like a Buick.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Evie Miracle

20 April 2010

This post is a little different from most for me, but I felt moved to write it, so here goes:

Several weeks ago, I had a semi-philosophical discussion with a friend regarding regional mind-sets (I live in the South, she's a 'Yankee'), religion, and how we view the concept of miracles in general, and it's been in the back of my mind ever since.

Today, I had a middling crappy day.  It was my day to volunteer answering phones out at the shelter, and every idiot in town seemed to call, wanting to bring in kittens/cats/dogs for whom they abdicated all responsibility, which frustrates me no living end.  But that's another story . . . the point is I got home about 5:30 with an attitude,  and in a semi-crummy mood.  I had a headache (the getting up every couple of hours the last few weeks, first for feeding kittens, and now for checking on Eclaire, who's due any day,  has taken it's toll), and was feeling tired and generally grumpy.  So I got undressed and lay across the bed to pet Evie.

And that's when it occurred to me . . . what reason did I have to feel crummy, with my own little miracle curled up next to me, purring up a storm? 

Some of you may remember one Saturday last March, when I was at the Vinton, LA show, that I got a call from my husband that five of our cats had gotten out through a door that was ajar . . . and my special baby Evie was one of them.  I made the 4+ hour drive home in just over 3 hours, frantic to find my baby girl.  I got home to find my hubby and wonderful friends Charlotte & Jaimye, and even my brother-in-law Mike, and neice Diedre had searched and found all of the cats but Evie.  I was beside myself.  Evie is my 'princess kitty', had just been bred, and I couldn't imagine her fending for herself out in the big bad world.

We looked ceaselessly for the next several days, driving around for miles searching, putting up posters, knocking doors, and even contracting with a company that calls people in your area to alert them to a missing pet.  No results.  I was absolutely heartbroken, and by Wednesday, feeling like I had to face the horrible realization that I would not get my baby girl back.   I prayed SO hard for her to come home to me.  Mostly, I just wanted her to be safe, even if it was with someone else.

That Wednesday night, Steve and I decided to make another circuit of our neighborhood, using his night vision goggles, to see if we could see her out and about.  Our theory was that she'd be scared, having never been outside, and the quiet of evening/night was when she was most likely to be active.  This was the 5th night we'd done so, and in my heart, I really believed it was futile.   We'd driven around for a half hour or so, and it was nearly 11pm.  Knowing Steve had to be up really early the next morning for work, I was just about to turn in the driveway, when Steve said "Well, since we're out, don't you want to go on around the other side of the neighborhood?".  

Feeling foolish, and hopeless, I agreed.  What the hell.  What could it hurt.  So I backed back out of the drive and headed towards the other side of our subdivision.  Right at the STOP sign, back around and left onto the next street over.  And suddenly, there she was, standing behind a black truck at the end of someone's drive, just one street over from our house.  Steve jumped out and grabbed her.  I had my baby girl back.  I cried so happily.  I've seldom been as grateful for anything as I was then. 

And what were the odds, really?  That we'd turn down that particular street, at that exact time?  That she'd choose that same time to be out and about?  That there wouldn't be a scratch or mark on her? 

We went to our vet the next day, and she was perfect.  Better, even, as he scanned her belly and found three little fetal heartbeats.

So, here she is, my miracle princess kitty.  She went on to have a healthy litter of kittens, and is now spayed and living happily, knowing she's my special girl. 

So this is my point - I think miracles are around us every day - we just have to open our eyes and see them.  I think that sometimes we get so wrapped up in the minutia of life, that we miss the little miracles, and don't appreciate the gifts He gives us every day.    I see God in every little kitten paw, reaching up to hold the bottle as I supplement them, and in the flowers, and in the beauty of life.  I have my ongoing miracle, that my husband loves me, inspite of myself.

So, I think we just need to open our eyes and recognize all these common little things for what they are:  Everyday miracles.

I don't think it really matters what you call Him - Surely God is great enough to be many things to many people, by many different names.  He's there, and He shows us everyday.  We just have to be willing to see . . .

Monday, April 5, 2010

Itty Bitty Baby Poops and Marital Discord

5 April 2010

Well, my husband is an extremely understanding guy, and fortunately he likes cats and loves me, but I managed to push the envelope (and his buttons) this afternoon, all unawares of course, lol.

Steve actually took a holiday from work today, since he's been on the road for most of the last month.  So, when I got ready to leave to take Livvie to the vet for her recheck (she has a bad case of metritis), his Prius was parked behind my Explorer, so I took it to the vet. 

Now, I need to back up a minute and explain that Livvie has 2.5 week old kittens that I'm hand feeding, since she's been ill.  So right before packing her up to go to the vet, I was down on the floor in the kitten room, nippling them all. 

Incidentally, Cha's babies will be five weeks old on Thursday, and so have graduated from their crate to the run of the kitten room.  For the un-initiated, kittens generally potty train from about 4-7 weeks old, and this age is what I refer to as the 'pig-pen' stage.  They're awful cute, but messy.  Well, this particular litter has been just WONDERFUL, from the time they were not quite four weeks old, pottying in the litter box.  I've been SO impressed with them . . . a little prematurely, as it turns out. 

So, I fed the little babies, and then packed their mom Livvie into Steve's car, and headed to the Vet's office.  One uterine (her's, not mine, lol) flushing and big dose of antibiotics later, I open the door to put her into the Prius, and notice this small brown stain on the driver's side seat.  "Huh, Steve'll need to be careful about eating in here", I think to myself.  "Looks like he got some chocolate on the seat."

I arrive home, and start to unload Livvie.  Gee, I didn't notice there was a smear attached to the stain.  Oh, well, sun's out now, guess I didn't see it as clearly earlier when it was cloudy.  (NOTE:  Self-delusion is a wonderful thing . . . seeing as how I live a whole 10 minutes from my vet, the weather couldn't have changed THAT much . . .)

I put Livvie back in with her kids, and come back into the living room.  Steve wants to go look at plants to replace those in our front flower beds that we lost to the hard freeze we had this winter.  I grab my purse and we head back out the door.  Steve opens the driver's side of his car.  "What the hell is on my seat?" 

"Oh, honey, I meant to mention that to you; you'll need to be more careful about eating chocolate in the car."

I grab a Kleenex out of my pocket and bend over to take a swipe at the stain. 

Steve:  "I didn't eat any chocolate in the car.   Holy shit, is that a poop log on your ass?"

And sadly, no it wasn't chocolate, and yes, it was a very small 5-week old kitten size poop log on my ass.  Guess they aren't as well potty trained as I thought.

I'm now banned from the driving the Prius without a prior ass check.  After I change my shorts, guess I'll be calling Stanley Steamer . . . again.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

First thing Monday

4 April 2010

First thing Monday, I'm buying a fucking magnet.  Why, you ask, would this become a priority at 12:30am on Easter morning?  Well, let me give you a little background . . .

Firstly, Steve is out on a 'ghost hunt' with his group of fellow enthusiasts.  And don't ask why on this one - I don't have the first clue.  So, not sleeping well, when he's not home, I'm still up in the office building jewelry.  (Yes, I got the earrings from hell done, lol.)

Secondly, my desk and all my acres of jewelry making crap, where I'm sitting working on said jewelry are in the office.  Also in the office is a closet, where we've removed the shelves and made it kitty potty central.  There are three litter boxes in there.  My desk is about four feet from that closet, and right in the middle of the litter scatter path.  This becomes salient information in just a bit.

Thirdly, Angie (my little 6 month old blue tortie point) never just happens by casually anywhere.  Angie ARRIVES.  Picture Seilfield reruns with Kramer sliding in the door, hair standing on end, shirt askew and arms akimbo . . . if Kramer were a cat, he'd make an entrance like Angie.  A hundred miles an hour with her hair on fire, that's my Angie. 

Ergo, the need for the f'n magnet.  Reference the above jewelry making.  The bracelet I was working on (magnesite and turquoise) requires crimp beads to attach to the clasp.  I keep a little plastic container of about 400-500 crimp beads handy.  Note: It has a screw top that closes tightly, to keep all these little 2mm wonders securely corraled. 

As I've said for years, timing is everything.  Unfortunately, MY timing has never been particularly good.   Hence the removal of that nice secure screw top from the container of about a gazillion crimp beads at the exact moment Angie decided to come visit, i.e. barrel through on skids, wiping out across the desk and into my hand, holding the now open container of crimp beads.  Have I mentioned these suckers are slightly bigger than a grain of friggin' sand?  Well, they are.  Especially to tired eyes.  They went EVERYWHERE.  Under the keyboard, in the Kleenex box, in the open bags of beads, rolling merrily every damn place, including off onto the floor, of course. 

About half of them landed on Angel (our oldest kitty, and the polar opposite of Angie, the wild child) . . . she's so complacent, I just brushed 'em off her onto some paper.  I'm not even sure she really woke up.  I guess I got them all.  If we ever carry her though an airport metal detector, she may ping - who knows? 

The other half-a-billion of them landed on the carpet.  So I put my fat ass down there to pick them up . . . a project in and of itself.  I found maybe 10 - and picked up about 5,000 grains of kitty litter, which are coincidentally the exact same size and appearance, when you can't see worth a shit to begin with. 

They're metal.  First thing Monday morning, I'm buying a fucking magnet.

Monday, March 29, 2010

This old saying my Daddy has . . .

So, my Daddy (now 78, and STILL a good ol' Texas country boy), has had for years a wealth of sayings my friends from places other than Texas consider rather . . . well, let's just say"Colorful"  . . . and leave it at that for now. 

I can remember him saying, as we were growing up, when someone would leave the bathroom with a rather noxious odor, "Smells like something done crawled up inside you, died and is rottenin'!".    Yes, you get the idea, colorful, and well . . . evocative.  Somehow, until this morning, I just thought that saying was funny, somewhat disgusting, and just another Texas truism, but didn't really relate to it on a personal level . . . even having spent almost 25 years in nursing. 

Well, I came in this morning and sat down at the computer to catch up.  And thought to myself "What IS that smell?".  Diana, my kitty sitter, is usually religious about scooping the litter boxes when I'm gone, but I thought maybe she missed the three boxes in the office.  I took a gander at them . . . hmmm, LOOK like they were scooped last night, but maybe the litter has reached that point where no amout of scooping is going to fix things.  OK, I'll change out boxes.  So I did, and the . . . ur . . . ummm . . . 'aroma' was better for about 10 minutes.  Aahhhh!  SO much better!

Ten minutes later, and the 'death miasma' is back.  What the hell?!?!?   It's pleasant outside, so I have the windows open.  Maybe it's actually coming in from the back yard?  Something crawled over the fence and died in our back yard.   THAT must be it.

I put on my shoes and dutifully walk the back yard, scoping it out for the rotten animal carcus I was SURE was going to be there.  Nope, nothing but the sun shining, birds chirping, and CLEAN air.  OK . . . maybe it's just in my nasal passages, and I'm imagining it.  I go back to the desk, and start sorting and pricing the shipment of beads that arrived over the weekend. 


I turn over the overstuffed chair and ottoman in the office - nope, no dead bodies there.  Maybe Steve's rat died?  Nope, Hershey is cheerfully crunching Cheerios in her cage on his computer hutch.  I go count kitty heads again (I was pretty sure I'd seen them all when I got home last night, but thought I should double check . . . I mean, this is a DEATH smell).  All accounted for. 

I sit back down at the desk again.  And notice the circular 'buttprint' of nastiness now adorning my page of inventory.   What the hell?  Angel jumps up on the desk.  It was like a wall of dead water buffalo shit fell over on my head and crushed itself up my nose.  (I've never actually smelled dead water buffalo shit, nor seen a wall built of it, but this is what I imagine it would smell like - the rancid bottom of a pond where no new water has appeared since the dinosaurs walked the earth, along with the usual eau de stink of large mammel crap.) 


I grab Angel (who, by the way, is an extraordinarily furry Birman) and look at her more closely.  Her whole backside is a mass of matted poop . . . apparently one little turd stuck at some point, and the rest have been clinging on to that one for dear life. 

OMG - Off to the sprayer we go.  Twenty minutes later, the cat is REALLY pissed off at me, I'm soaked, and my nose is finally happy.

Well, lessons learned.  It may have taken me almost 48 years to figure out what Daddy meant, but by God, I got it now.  Apparently, he met Angel in a previous life . . .

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Froggie - The Incredible Disappearing Kitty

15 March 2010
Well, just another day at the office . . . sort of . . . I guess . . . if you work at an insane asylum for crazy cat ladies . . .

Livvie (who's due on Thursday) has been lonely for the past ten days, since Cha had her kittens, and has been crated with them, so Livvie's been alone in the kitten room, atho' Cha is just across the room in her crate . . . of course, as with most new mommies, Cha has eyes only for her three little ones, so poor Liv was alone to all intents and purposes. So - I went ahead and put Froggie (who's due in mid-April) in the kitten room to keep Livvie company, since she's an extremely social girl, and was very unhappy being sequestered alone. Froggie's a little bitchy, but she's OK and Livvie likes everyone, so I figured they'd be happy enough together.

Well, today was my day to answer phones out at the shelter this week, so I went ahead and crated Livvie before I left this morning. She wasn't real happy about it, but better safe than sorry. Froggie's not due for a month, so I figured . . . what kind of trouble can she really get into? That'll teach me to think.

So, I did my day at the shelter, and got home and went to check on my girls. All three of Cha's little sweeties were lined up at the milkbar. No one took any notice of me.

Froggie gave me an ankle rub, and then trotted back to her perch on the window sill, intent on giving hell to the mockingbirds in the back yard.

Livvie, still as round as a tick, let me know she wasn't happy about being crated - of course, I know that'll change as soon as her babies arrive, but for now, she's intent on voicing her displeasure. So I popped the top on more cat food (I'm convinced they love me for my opposable thumbs) and went on to take care of other stuff.

Nine o'clock comes, and I'm so sleepy I can't see straight, so time to put everyone to bed for the night . . . tomorrow night will start the sleeping with Livvie/hourly checks on her, but planned on a good night's snoozing tonight. That'll teach me to plan . . .

All three of Cha's littles have miraculously reached the creeper stage in the three hours since I got home. Cha is having a conniption fit, since they've crept under the bed in her crate. Bed out of crate, rug in. Cha is happy again, babies are motivating around rug, all good.

Livvie, still round and unhappy, scarfs down her two cans of food, and looks at me like she's waiting for me to explain this awful insult I've done her by crating her already. I know, I know, sweetie, but you'll forgive me when your babies are here safe and sound!

Froggie . . . Froggie . . . where the hell is Froggie? This is a small room, only so many places she can hide, right? Wrong. No Froggie to be found. Well, maybe she got by me at the door when I came in - happens all the time, altho' the traffic is usually moving the other way, with all the other cats wanting to get IN to eat the yummy baby food.

OK, time to search the house. Thirty minutes later, I've torn my very small house apart, checked the screens on all the windows, popped the top on two cans of food, including a can of AD (what one vet labeled "Almost Dead" food to me years ago, presumably because it smells so foul to humans that you want to die when you smell it), and shaken three different types of cat teases until my brain is rattling. The rest of the herd is looking at me like a.) they want more AD and/or b.) I've lost what had been left of my tiny little mind.  In the meantime, Froggie is still MIA.

Back to the drawing board. I go back inthe kitten room. "Froggie . . . Froggie . . . here kitty-kitty-kitty." Livvie yells at me, still PO'd about the crating, Cha just looks bewildered that her kids are suddenly standing in her food bowl, and the three babies just mewl a little. I manuever my fat duff onto the floor and look under the end table and TV stand again. I open the drawer in the TV stand to make sure she can't have squeezed her fluffy little butt into the drawer from the back side . . . nope, no Froggie. Or is there? "Froggie?" "Mwrrr" "Where's mama's little Froggie-frog?" "Mwrrrrrrrrrr!"

Hhmmmmm. Seems to be coming from . . . behind me? The only thing behind me is the couch . . . the one that is FAR too flush to the wall for fat little Froggie to be behind. So . . . well, crap . . . there's apparently a fat furry little frog IN our couch. (At some point, I should explain that the couch has a nice little slit up the inside of the back, hidden behind cushions, left over from where Jaimye had to rescue a particularly adventurous kitten a couple of years ago, when she was baby-sitting, so Steve & I could go to the 2008 TICA Annual in Dallas . . . neatly stuffed with a pillow and tucked behind a throw, so no one can get in it. Or so I thought . . .)

At this point let me also note that Steve is out of town on business this week, so I'm the only one here . . . yep, just me and my bad back, myself and I. Shit. Well, here goes nothin'. (Remember the "hey, watch this" rule here, lol.)

I wrestle the couch away from the wall, tipping it forward. (Never mind that ominous 'thunk' that I figure is part of the frame giving way . . .) Yep, there's a Frog on the floor UNDER the couch. As I'm awkwardly holding the now cattywompus couch, she just sits there. "Well, come on out of there, goofy girl" . . . "Here kitty-kitty" . . . "Froggie, move your fat, fluffy ass" . . . SIGH . . . I give up . . . I prop the couch up and climb MY fat ass over the end table to pick her up. All this, and all I get is an indignant 'Mew' on her way to the food bowl.

It's now 10:30 and I'm wide awake. Hell's bells.  (Which is what I'll be hearing in a few hours when the alarm goes off.)  Foiled again.

Stay tuned for details on cat proofing the couch . . . that should be interesting . . .

Monday, March 15, 2010

At the kitchen sink in my bra . . . yes, the window's open . . .

12 March 2010
So how, you ask, did I come to be standing at the kitchen sink in my bra at 11:00am on a Friday morning . . . prime time for the mailman to be coming 'round . . .

It goes something like this: After yesterday's little fiasco with the steak-juicy boob, I was looking forward to a quiet day. I'm supposed to meet a friend for lunch today, so I got up and dressed in a shiny white T-shirt, all the better to show off the pretty blue-green necklace and earrings I made yesterday. (I even put on lip gloss - those who know me well will know what a landmark event that is for me, lol!)

Brodie came into the office and asked to go out to potty, so out I went . . . right through the boy's room . . . and found the walls, floor, and back of Claire painted with a lovely shade of medium brown kitty poo . . . apparently Matey wanted to boff the poop right out of her. Sigh . . .
OK, dogs out - check.
Matey back in his run - check.
Very pissed-off Claire running through house covered in poop - not so much a 'check' as an 'oh, shit' . . .
Grab PO'd kitty by scruff and over to kitchen sink . . . this is definitely a job for the sprayer.

Crap - I'm dressed to leave for lunch. OK, more of that thinking on my feet nonsense . . . wrestle shirt off over head while still holding PO'd cat. Uh, check?

I wash the rear end of the now frankly-out-for-my-blood cat and wrap her in a towel. If looks could kill . . . well, I'd look more like that steak from yesterday, I think.

OK, now I've got to decontaminate the sink. Clorox to the rescue. I scrub out the sink. Of course the phone rings at this point. Where's the damn kitchen towel? Son-of-a . . . Angel has apparently kidnapped another towel. I wipe my hands on my jeans so I can answer the phone, forgetting that I've had my hands in bleach. Well, crap - I'm sure these jeans will now be sporting a white handprint on my rather wide posterior. I answer the phone. Telemarketer. At this point I want to kill.

OK, gotta go meet my friend for lunch. Keys in hand, I'm ready to head for the door. Am I forgetting anything? Oh, yeah - my shirt . . .

Crissa calls to say she needs to meet at noon instead of 11:30. Thank God. I can inspect myself for poop and catch my breath.

How long do you think I can drag lunch out? After all, the boy's room still needs to be de-pooped when I get home. Maybe something from Frederick's of Hollywood for my afternoon cleaning attire? Thank God, it's a quiet neighborhood . . .

"Hey, watch this!"

11 March 2010

OK, so lessons learned: In almost 25 years of health care, mostly as an ER/Flight nurse and paramedic, I came to firmly believe that anything starting with the words "Hey, watch this!" had at least 50-50 odds of turning out poorly for the speaker. Somehow, I managed to forget that little pearl of wisdom this afternoon . . .

So, having had a couple of appointments this morning, and knowing the freezer was looking a little bare, I decided to stop at Sam's on the way home and stock up on meat. I explained to the nice young man at the check-out that my back had been out, and he very kindly packed it all into a nice sturdy cardboard box and had someone load it into my truck for me.

Three minutes later, I arrived home. I open the car door, look at the box, and think to myself , "It's only 10# of hamburger, 10# of chicken breasts, a couple of packages of steaks, and three 1.5# packages of sandwich meat . . . really, how heavy can it be?" (Remember here that I used to routinely tote stretchers, people and miscellaneous heavy crap around all the time . . . of course the operative phrase here is 'used to' . . .)

OK, I CAN do this . . . it's already hotter than hell here and I want to get inside out of the sun . . . I don't wanna do three trips in and out. So, "Hey, watch this!"

I got the box out of the truck. Three steps towards the door, my back said "listen, you dummy, this is a bad plan'. OK, I can think on my feet - I boost the box up to my shoulder . . . that's a little better.

I wrest the front door open, and get inside. Yay, almost there.

Halfway across the living room, I'm wondering why my right boob is suddenly cold and wet. Oh, yeah, remember those steaks? They're leaking. Crap. OK, box down on kitchen island. Every cat in the house is suddenly in the kitchen with me. Shit . . . OK, super fast unload into the frig. Of course the steaks are on the bottom of the box, under all the other crap, steadily having the juices squeezed out of them. Boy, if they're half as juicy to eat as all the stuff that leaked out of them, they're going to be rightously good. Yum . . . maybe I'll fix some of those for dinner tonight.

OK, my back hurts, so just gonna go change clothes, sponge off the steak juice, and chill. By the way, at this point I wondered why all the little carnivores were becoming less interested in the kitchen island, where the steak had bled all over the counter, and are deserting me like rats on a sinking ship. Oh, NOW I know . . .

Yes, it's because my right boob wasn't the only steak-juicy spot in the house . . . apparently I left a trail all the way from the front door to the kitchen. All the cats are now sniffing rabidly at the spots crossing the living room carpet. Well, hell!!!

So, before I sit my aching ass down, I need to scrub the bloody juice out of the carpet. It was like watching furry white sharks circle a slowly moving battleship . . . or is that old battleaxe? I shove the little brats out of the way, and inch my way across the carpet with cool water and a wash cloth. MOST of it came out . . . what's that number for Stanley Steamer again?

Next time I think "Hey, watch this!" someone just go ahead and shoot me right then. I'm just going to find the Tylenol now.

Sigh . . . we'll be having that sandwich meat for dinner tonight.

The Crazy Cat Lady begins to blog . . .

Hi, I'm Leslie, an officially crazy cat lady, living in south Texas with my wonderful hubby, and a whole lot of furkids. (I also have one human son - Thomas, currently serving in the U.S. Army at Ft. Benning - keep him in your prayers, please!)

I breed and show beautiful, sweet Birman cats. Besides running amouk among the furballs (and cleaning up the hairballs) I make beaded jewelry, and spend far too much time goofing at the computer. You can visit our asylum at and see my jewelry at

This is our crazy life . . . join us for lots of phat cat tom phoolery . . .