Saturday, January 26, 2008

Shelfari And Koko Update

I have started to keep track of the books I am reading and have read on Shelfari. My sister invited me to join first, and then another blogger. Eventually I think that I will only list my favorite books. I think it will be interesting to see what other people are reading and have read. I have just started to list my books and look forward to checking out reviews on other books I am interested in reading. Maybe it will all be a waste of time. Who knows?

I had to return Mr. Koko to the vet after he was home for one day. He is still there. $$$$$ I am hoping that the biopsy results will arrive tomorrow. Allison, Charles and I visited him yesterday and today. He is still hooked up to the IV and they have him on a heating pad and hot water bottle. Yesterday, he was still very lethargic, but he has been eating and today he was quite a bit more his usual irascible self. It's a good sign.

In the meantime, I have been doing a bit of research online about feline pancreatitis which seems to fit his symptoms. As long as his results don't show cancer I think he may get through this and be around for a few more years. The house has seemed very quiet and empty without him talking to me and purring in my ear at night.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mr. Koko Is On Valium

Poor Koko. It's tough enough being a 17 year old cat. Today though, I had to take him to the vet again. He was uncomfortable walking last night and had been complaining loudly as only a Siamese cat can. A mass showed up in his X-ray that was unusual--not like a normal tumor. The vet thought at one point that he may have swallowed something. So this afternoon Mr. Koko was in surgery.

I talked to the vet around 4:30 pm and he was still unsure about the mass after he had removed it. It is being sent for a biopsy along with liver and pancreas samples. The vet said that the liver and pancreas did not look good. So time will tell what is going on with my old cat. In the meantime, he is on Valium and an IV and will be monitored until he is ready to come home. There is something quite humorous about a Siamese cat--especially Koko--on Valium. I guess you would have to know him to get the humor. He can be quite irascible. Perhaps if you have ever read the comic strip "Get Fuzzy" you might understand a bit.

On another note... just to let you know that my life continues to throw me left curves... In the midst of the Koko issues, my dryer decided to quit working. Thanks to my good neighbors (yes, the same ones that put me up when my electric was out) I will have dry underwear to wear tomorrow. Sigh. Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's A New Year

Well, the new year has come, and I have had a lot going on in the past couple of months so I have a lot of things that I could write about in this post. I'll highlight a few and try to get up to date.

My mom's official move-in date to the retirement complex was November 19th. It is certainly a relief to have her closer to me, but it also poses a few new problems. I have been taking her out to dinner when I can... several times a week when she first moved. I took quite a few days off without pay to get the things done that were necessary to get her settled. This involved furniture shopping, clothes shopping, appointments for new doctors, and the continuance of getting rid of things that she no longer wants, needs, or has room for in her new place. I have tried to get her used to me taking her grocery shopping on Wednesday night and out to dinner on Sunday night with another trip to the store. I actually want to continue to get her out to dinner at least twice a week.

My first challenge was to convince her that she was not going to pay for my meal every time we go out for dinner. My next challenge was to get her to realize that I cannot continually take time off from work every time she wants me to do something for her. A third challenge has been grocery shopping. I will take her one day and get a call the next day that there is something else that she needs immediately. Another challenge has been to get her to be sociable with the people around her. She has been hesitant to go out of her way to make friends. It is happening gradually, however. These have all been minor and seem to be working themselves out over time.

Driving was a bigger issue. I drove her over the same routes numerous time to see if she could learn a basic route to and from the grocery store center where there are also other shops that she would utilize. No go. Her short term memory loss made it too difficult for her, and she decided on her own to give up her car to one of the grandchildren. That puts me in the hot seat a bit more(especially when she was sick with a virus for a couple of weeks), but it is okay.

All in all the move has been good. "L" and I will continue to keep her happy with get-togethers and trips out and about, and she will hopefully make some new good friends.

I recently got the news that I will be going through another audit at work this year... probably around April. This will be the second one with an outside auditor... the last one was about three years ago. The Diocese now likes to have them done every three years. It should go well, and is only an annoyance as it takes up several days of my time.

My 17 year old Siamese cat, Koko, was sick over the holidays. At one point I thought that he was at the end of his life, but he has snapped back. He had weighed about nine pounds and had lost two of those pounds! A trip to the vet to get him hydrated and put on appetite stimulants and antibiotics did the trick. In a few weeks his weight increased by a pound. I continue to monitor his eating to make sure he is getting what he needs. This can be a challenge since the other cat, Scud, who weighs 22 pounds keeps trying to chase Koko away and steal his food. Scud needs Overeaters Anonymous for cats. He was a stray and thinks every meal is his last.

The kids were all home for Christmas, but only for a few days. The boys left early on the 27th. I was disappointed, but at least they were all home for my birthday on December 26th. It was a fun Christmas though, and we certainly had plenty to eat and a good time!

December 26th was a big day for me for another reason... It was the days we closed on the house... I bought himself out of the house so I (along with the mortgage bank) am now the proud owner of my abode!!! In the process I also paid off my car and my remaining credit card debt. It really feels good!

I have continued fixing up the place. I won't go into my disaster with paint choices... I am learning to tolerate colors other than what I chose and will repaint at a later date. The biggest issue I have now is to decide what is most important to do next. I have a limited amount of money set aside and a number of projects that add up to more that I can afford. Sooo, I am taking my time to make decisions.

In the process of all of this fixing-up, I decided it was time to re-hang the livingroom curtains... They had been sent to the cleaners a little over a year ago, and I had the sheers hanging on hangars in my closet waiting to be rehung. I had the old valance in the living room taken down as well as the curtain rods so that I could get the living room painted. The valance went into the trash and I decided not to hang the old curtains... I would just hang the sheers. The walls were painted and the curtain rod rehung... when I went to hang the sheers, I was in for a surprise. They looked like my curtains. The color was right. The width was right. Maybe the backing on the pleated top looked a bit more worn... but I had sent them to the cleaners. I just can't figure out how theygrew 9 inches in length! I tend to think that when someone got their curtains back from the cleaners a little over a year ago they were quite upset at how much they had shrunk. I will be hemming my adopted curtains.

I had great plans to get things dome over the New Year's holidays. The Christmas tree would get undecorated and taken down, Christmas decorations would get put away, I would do some movie watching, do some reading, and catch up on my blogging. I had to work on the 31st since it was the end of the calendar year and there were a few things I needed to get done. After work I went directly to my mom's apartment to pick her up and take her out to dinner. It was a scrumptous dinner and when we were done, I dropped her off back at her apartment. It was going to be a good night.

When I got home, I gathered my things out of the car, got the mail from the mailbox, and unlocked the front door. I turned the switch to turn on the light in the livingroom and nothing happened. Darn! I thought the cats had pulled out the plug again. So, I stumbled into the kitchen and turned the light on in there... oops no light! It dawned on me that the electricity was off. Rats! It is not uncommon for the electric to go off on occasion, but it usually comes right back on. I stepped back outside to see what other houses were dark and discovered that everyone else on the street had electricity. Hmmm.

I called himself to see if he had neglected to pay the electric bill (he had been slow paying or still had to pay some others) or if he had paid it late. He stutterd around for a minute, but the bottom line was that he had had the electric turned off. I called the electric company to find out that he had arranged on December 26th to have the electric turned off on the 31st and had neglected to tell me. He still maintains that he only tried to have the account transferred. Any way, since it was New Year's Eve the electric company could do nothing more for me than collect a $400.00 deposit which I had to pay in order to even schedule the service to be turned back on on January 2nd.

It just so happens that over the holiday we were expecting a cold front to come through and it was going to get into the thirties. I know that you "nawtheners" are laughing right now, but by Florida standards, that's more than just a bit nippy! Besides that, I had an underweight and sick Siamese cat to worry about, no heat, a refrigerator-freezer full of food, no light, and no hot water. I was not a happy camper. I called daughter Allison on my cell phone and she called her dad. Himself then came by with a couple of electric cords and plugged the refrigerator into an outlet of a helpful next door neighbor so that the food would not go bad. I did have to get rid of some things that had already melted in the freezer since the electric had been off most of the day. I spent the night with my Italian friends/neighbors, and the next day was able to take a hot shower and get cleaned up. Before the colder weather came through I built a fire in the fire place. Koko was warm, I was warm and I spent that night at home. The electric came back on about 4:00 pm on January 2nd. It was not the happiest New Years in my life, but I am grateful to have such wonderful neighbors!

Now we come to this past week...

I hesitated to post this picture, but I know a priest in Ireland who will be interested in seeing it. He reads this blog on occasion. What you are looking at is a picture on my former pastor's back. He, Fr. Aiden whom I have written about in the past, was out for his morning walk when an SUV truck did a u-turn and hit him. He survived without any broken bones, but has a huge hemotoma behind his kidney and generally looks like... he was hit by a truck! He spent this past week in the hospital and was moved to a rehab center on Friday. He is very sore, to say the least. Please keep him in your prayers.

So that is more or less the highlights of the last couple of months. Life is never dull.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Checkin In...

I survived the holidays and will post something soon... just wanted to let you know I am still alive.