Friday, December 31, 2010

Simple living really is not always all that simple

At least in the big picture aspect.  Doing something more simply, making, baking, taking care of a creature that will be used for food, gardening and preserving.  All noble and, given the state of the world, most likely to be useful and necessary skills at some point.

Consider the garden.  If you are able-bodied, preparing and nurturing a food garden, harvesting and preserving of stuff, well, all of that is much easier than when you are less able-bodied.  When walking is difficult, bending a caution and kneeling or squatting impossible, gardening can be the most miserable and unproductive thing you do all day.  Putting in raised beds, finding and purchasing tools and equipment is blazingly expensive.  Locating such assists second-hand is impossible. Well, maybe not impossible, but I am more likely to have the money faerie drop a whole blankety-blank-load of cash on me than I am to find an ergonomic hoe that I can afford.  However, I did find a portable bench that is weatherproof, but I am not getting it until I solve the issues here regarding permissions to put in a garden space, an entirely separate issue.

Preserving your harvest, or foods that you have located in a locavore kind of way, is wonderful, but only if you are successful at it.  One failed batch can completely wipe out any potential savings offered by the successful batches.  Raising food animals is even more fraught with issues.

So, you go along, making economies where possible, giving up some favorite things, making do and getting by.  Small things matter, like making soap, cooking from scratch and baking.  Even the failures here can often be reclaimed in some way or composted. 

Hand and home crafts are probably the best.  Making things for self and others, especially when I am re-purposing materials, is satisfying at a nearly cellular level. 

Developing these skills, learning them, experimenting with what aligns with my abilities, practicing and producing, has come to be more important to me now than when I dabbled in all of this as a young, energetic and hopeful wife.

The list of things that can be done to rely less on what other people produce for me to buy is endless.  It is complicated by the responsibilities that have taken on and over in my modern life.  Every single day brings choices that I never would have imagined facing.

Holding dear, or ideal, the days when all of these tasks and activities were commonplace is a pointless exercise.  More intellectually interesting than useful.  I was reading a bit from a book sent to me by a dear friend (one of those intimate on-line relationships).  It described how women created fabric, from raising and tending the sheep, to shearing and preparing the wool for spinning and weaving.  The final step was called, maybe still is, waulking.  It was a difficult and long process and the women had ritualized it, creating a ceremonial enrobing for what they needed to do.  There were songs and chants during the waulking, and the end found them standing the roll of woven tweed on end, turning it in relation to the movement of the sun and asking blessings for whomever wore the garments made from it.

There is no place in my modern life where that is possible.  The old days or olden times seem idyllic to me sometimes.  No traffic, no bills to pay, no deadlines defined by someone else, all of it.  But, to live in those times meant being subject to the seasons, the weather, pests and predators, not all of them non-human.  It meant long days of back-breaking work and hoping that what you did, made, provided, would be enough to make it through to the next harvest, the next hunting trip, the next acquiring and creating of what was needed.

The best for which I can hope are small gatherings of my family and friends where we shower love and support on one another.  Well, we do that to the best of our abilities and inclinations, we are, after all, only humans.  Or the rituals of baby showers and wedding showers and funerals. 

Beginnings and, not death, but the passage from the now to a new beginning.  That endless cycle of what it means to be human.  And, all of the in-between that makes a life.  Just doing the best I can, when I can and how I can, and releasing my attachment and responsibility for the things that I cannot.

None of it, not one moment, is all that simple.  Not scheduling and timing the baking and cooking and preserving.  Not the soap making or sewing or mending.  Not all of the trying to protect the few garden foods that I have.  Not even when I am sitting in the yard, knitting, watching the sky, luxuriating in the breezes from the little pond and enjoying the birds, bunnies and other small creatures that wander by, although those crystalline moments are probably the closest.

Maybe it is all about the process, the sacrificing time for the pleasure of doing and providing for myself.  Just trying to get it right, or close, or comfortable, or something.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

The sweetest things

I just walked past my bedroom and through the open door I saw Charlie sleeping on my bed.  I am guessing that Lili is in there somewhere, too.  I rarely allow the cats in my bedroom because their dander and saliva and hair (which is a carrier for both) gets all over the place in short order.

But, they are such sweet babies, that I let them in, pretty much whenever they like.  I think that my door has been continuously open to them for the past several weeks.  It is nice for them, although I must confess that having them there, all snugly and warm and fuzzy is a way for me to improve my own moods lately.  We must have reached critical mass in the dander/saliva/hair realm some time ago.  They should be out.  They should stay out.  Then, I see them there, curled up in the little cozy spaces they have made in the bedclothes and I just cannot deny them, and myself, the pleasure of their company and the quiet rest they find there during the day.

The love of these, two, sweet creatures gives me hope in a kind and loving Universe, the place where I believe that I live.  It is difficult to hold onto that belief some days, which is one of the reasons that I avoid newspapers and the news on radio.  Just too much damn sadness about which I can do nothing. 

Those guys, the furry babies have a small life.  Their universe is this house and the occasional visit to the vet.  Their food is nutritious, but not very varied because of their health issues.  They have toys and people to amuse them.  They have plenty of bird feeders situated near comfy window seats.

Their world in tiny, like really small.  And, they are O.K. with that.  I mean, what choice do they have?  It is all they have known, except for part of their kitten-hood on the streets.  I wonder, sometimes, what they think about what they have.  If they have needs I am not meeting.  Wants, with no way to express them.

No way to know for sure, so I do my best.  So, the bed.

AKA Puddin' Boy


Thursday, December 23, 2010


So, anyway, I am sitting here tonight, watching a DVD and noodling around on the computer.  My daughter and her wonderful husband and brilliant sons are on their way to Outer Middle-of-Nowhere where his parents live.  They go every year for Christmas and stay for the better part of two weeks.  We celebrated Yule on Monday and it was wonderful.

Tonight's fillum was Prince of Persia.  Not too bad, but there was an aspect of being able to...oh, if you have not yet seen this and want to, stop reading, or I will ruin something for you.  Seriously.  So, anyway, this aspect is about doing something that everyone has wished that they could do.  Go back in time, even if for a minute, and re-do something, or avoid doing something or stop something from happening.

And, once that plot device was introduced, I am not sure how much of the rest of the movie I watched.  I could not help but think about that.  About the things that could be changed, should such a thing be possible.

I have always felt, and said, that if it were possible to go back in time and change something, that I absolutely would not do it.  That I believe that every experience I have had is/was essential to becoming the person I am now.  I would keep them all, even the ones that were horrible, miserable or just generally fucked up.  Not even the couple of times that I nearly died.  Nothing little, nothing huge and nothing in between.

I meant it all of the times I said or thought it and I mean it now.

Except, now I know about another person who had a childhood and adulthood, built on abuse, similar to mine.  I can intellectualize about this with the best...done it.  But, I know her, and that makes it different somehow.  Up to this time, practically this moment, I have never met anyone who was either seriously abused or willing to share it.  It makes a difference, this knowing.  Please do not misunderstand.  I am not quantifying abuse or neglect or anything of the sort.  There is no comparing.  Each person's experience is just as terrible for them as another's experience was/is for him or her.  It is not even apples and oranges, because you simply cannot compare or measure suffering.  It is too specific to the person, too individual.

So, I spent a lot of years in therapy.  I spent a few, cumulatively speaking, mood altering with wine.  A childhood of experience in that realm formed and informed me about not going down or settling onto that path, but I dabbled every once in a while.  When I needed to.  When the pain was too great.  When I had no other resources.  I never got stuck there, not even for a few months, but I did have the occasional few days, maybe a week here and there, that were significantly more wet than dry.

I read.  I used to watch television.  I know that legions of children suffered much the way that I and my siblings did.  I know all of that.  But, now someone else is sharing a significant milestone in her journey to healing from her childhood.  She lives too far away for us to talk, but I am trying to let her know that there is survival to be found.

So, I am sitting here, movie over, very early in the morning and thinking.  No one gets out of here alive.  But, some people manage to go through their life without more than the ordinary, stream-of-life bumps.

Not everyone is tortured as a child.
Not everyone wallows in alcoholism or other substance abuse.
Not everyone suffers from the lack of basic resources.
Not everyone has significant or chronic health issues.

Yeah.  I get that.

And, I get that there is not one, single thing that any child ever did to deserve any difficulty or obstacle or challenge that his or her life presents.

We are all innocent until something takes that away.  If we are lucky, we find a way to reclaim that.

Like I did.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I have been home a few hours now.  Tonight was the evening version of Saturday Morning Coffee with the Chickies.  My friends.  My pilgrimage buddies and then coffee friends and then hang-on-for-dear-life friends.   We do this each year near Christmas.  It is great and some of us give presents and some of do not and no one ever seems to notice who is giving or not, much less care about it.

It is a nearly perfect of manifestation of what true giving and gifts are about.  No expectations to be dashed, no weirdness about what is received or given or anything.  It is as pure and unselfish an experience as any of us have and one would hope that all such exchanges could be.  It is a pretty fucking amazing thing.  Just amazing.  One friend gave me three...count 'em...Anna Lee mice.  Two kind of Christmasy, and one Halloween little mouse witch with a sweet, tiny broom.  Another friend gave sweet little things and a gift card for a book store.  I gave my ornaments and chocolate gelt, which I adore, not only for the chocolate, but for the whole historical aspect and have been doing so for, gosh, this old babe has been giving gelt for nearly forty years and not a single one of them spent as anything other than the pagan girl that I am, and Christian that I was.  Maybe I was a Hasmonean-wanna-be in a former life.   

Last weekend, or the weekend before that, I simply cannot keep any of this straight anymore, just four of us got together for dinner at the apartment of one of the sisters.  I met both of them, the sisters, on a pilgrimage to Ireland.  One of them, the apartment one, had been warned about me by one of the other travelers, that I was a witch.  I may very well be a witch of the rude, nasty and despicable kind, but she did not understand that the other person was telling her about my spiritual path.  She, the apartment Chickie, much later, told me that it was near the half-way point in the trip that she realized what she had been told and found, much to her surprise, by the way, that she liked me as a person.  Cool.  Groovy.

Anyway, back here in the States, she was part of the original coffee women and over the years, other people have come; some stayed, others left, not finding us to their particular liking, which is fine, truly, because that is the process by which we find the people who are essential parts of our lives.

I have become particularly close the the apartment Chickie.  I like her sister a lot, too.  In fact, we were friends first.  Anyway, the apartment Chickie does not drive, never has, does not want to, and, frankly, she is unsuited to being behind the wheel of several tons of metal and other assorted parts and bits and pieces.  We often go on to do something else with the day after the coffee group breaks up and wanders off to do whatever it is that they do.

So, anyway, at the whenever-weekend dinner, it was, hell, I will just use their initials.  Sheesh.  There we are, at M's apartment, with her sister D and her husband and our other friend S and her husband.  S's husband is recovering from a stunningly serious heart problem, which nearly took his life a couple of months ago.  He is not recovering well, but that is for later.  D is our friend who is dying of ovarian cancer.  She had had a big transfusion on that weekend and was able to stay for a nice, long time and when she left, the rest of us left, too, because it was just so sad to know that that night was likely to be the last time that we would all be together.

D and her husband did not attend this evenings lovely thing with all of us friends because she is too ill to leave her house.  Her sister, M, does not talk about D very much.  She gives the occasional update, but her heart really is not in it, you know?  I worry about both of them, but M does not talk about any of this with anyone and whilst it is her journey and I would never interfere, beyond what I have done to make sure that she knows that I am available to her 'round the clock, it is her journey and she gets to travel it in exactly the way she prefers.  I truly do my best to not worry about this, but it just does not seem like a good plan on her part.  Truly.  Sometimes it is so difficult to keep my thoughts about this to myself.  Seriously.

Anyway, it is time to write how I feel and say my goodbyes, whilst I still can.  Even if I do not make this happen in time, D already knows how much I love her and that all of us will be here for her husband.  A kind of goofy, but altogether lovely man he is, who lost both of his closest relatives in the past year, his mother and his only auntie.  He is the kind of husband that all of us would love to have.  Interesting in a not too painful way, a person with wide and varied interests, and, most importantly, a man who pulled up his big boy panties and was there for his wife in every single way that truly matters.  

And, then we have S's husband (the one with the miserable heart issues), who is not behaving well.  He has always been a joking and intellectually lively person, but two weeks ago found him taking a serious fall in his driveway, from which he is still sporting a black eye.  Tonight it was the worse that I have seen.  He kept repeating himself, over and over and some of it was inappropriate for general conversation and we all tried to make light of it, but it was so disturbing.  S talked about it when he left the room, and one of us is a nurse, the big-hot-shot kind and the two of them discussed what S needs to discuss at this week's visit with her husband's neurologist and cardiologist.

Things here, at the old homestead, are going from bad to more bad and I simply cannot muster any energy to deal with any of it because, in the scheme of things, like in life in general and the issues with which the people around me are struggling, my crap barely registers on any level of importance that anyone could devise.  My stuff is lacking in significance in the face of everything else and I am not able to cope with any of it.

There is great suffering in my town, many people who do not have the means to take care of the basics, much less anything extra.  I see them in my work and whilst I am working my ass off to help where I can and to find additional resources and connect people with them, it is just endless and I wonder how much good I am doing or if it is possible to do good at all.

I still cannot be holiday anything, and this evening's thing is the exception (the one and only, single thing I have done for months), because to not go and do and eat and share would have brought too much attention to myself, the feeling and being apart from everything that everyone else holds dear right now.  Pretending that I am cheerful and happy to be around people is so exhausting.  I am doing lots of volunteering, zoning in on something besides myself and it does fill the time.  I guess that it does do some good in town and I am, gosh, just so grateful that I have the resources to help, but I need this fallow time, some time to try to heal and maybe come back to who I was or who I want to be, yeah, who I want to be.  I am not empty, in any sense, but I am weary and exhausted to the bones, the ones that bedevil me and for which there is not adequate pain relief.

I cannot be the only person who feels adrift in all of this holiday stuff.  It is difficult to hold my tongue when I hear or read about how someone is stressed about not giving the exactly perfect gift or receiving some longed-for ideal present.  Or is distressed because other people do not have the same beliefs about how they feel holidays should be celebrated.  I weary of listening to the sadness someone feels because not everyone else, Christians or not, prefer to wish one another a happy holiday instead of merry Christmas.  I mean, seriously, Christmas is ruined because everyone else is not Christian or refuses to lock-step with their personal beliefs?  And, I just keep struggling with my own judgments about how others judge all those other people.  It is a vicious and pointless exercise and I just feel nauseated about it.  I do not want to be perfect or any such damn thing, but I would so love to not give a crap about how miserably some people are treated or judged.  Just pointless.

Frankly, if I hear or read about one more person bemoaning the commercialization or the Americanization or the Disney-izaion of the holiday I am going to scream or hurt myself.  I swear.  I really do.  If you are doing exactly what you want to do in your life, whether or not is it a holiday, then why do you give a rat's ass about what someone, anyone, else is doing?  If you have that much time in your life, to waste it worrying and fretting and judging other people, there is a possibility that you are not actively doing enough for other people or your neighborhood or your community or working to make your little part of the world a better place for everyone, every group, every creature, every issue.

I think that I must no longer be fit for being around other people.  If I start talking about any of this with other people, it might not even be a personal choice, as those other people might be very happy to kick my sorry ass right out of polite society, which, in itself, is kind of an oxymoron these days.  Crap, there I go judging again.  I am hopeless and best find a cave in which to live.  Posthaste. I am not fit company.

O.K., I thought that I was finished, but I am not.  One thoughtful, tender and well-intentioned thought stream.

Do your own thing.  I will do my own thing.  Leave my thing alone and I will offer and extend the same courtesy to you.  If you do not like my thing, please keep your opinions (to which you are entirely entitled to hold) to yourself.  Please, I am begging you, do not concern yourself or fuss about how I shop, what is in my grocery basket or shopping cart, how, or if, I cook, how many convenience products I use, what cleaning products I use, how I do the laundry, what I drive or do not drive, how I dress, whether or not I make all my own personal crap, how I garden or do not garden, how I educate my children, where I work or how I spend my money.  Please do not worry your pretty, little head about what I read, where I go, how I vacation, how organic my food supply or lifestyle is,  where I live or how many utilities and services I use, what my belief system or spiritual path might be, or how I manifest, or do not, what those beliefs may be.  If I have forgotten anything, please add it to the list of things about me which should not have to bother you.

I will do exactly those things, and more, for you. 

Oh, one more thing.  I have, for as long as I can remember, said Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.  I did this even when I was a serious and dedicated and faithful Christian, because I always recognized that my religion, spiritual practice and faith community was not the only one in the world, and because I did not want to marginalize anyone with whom I came into contact should they have beliefs different from my own.   It always seemed like, plain, simple and ordinary courtesy.  Just saying. 

Besides, the winter holiday season is chock-full of some of the most interesting practices, both spiritual and secular.  Many of them are fun, but all of them are informative to anyone who desires to be a well-rounded, educated and interesting person.  Open your heart and be a part of some of them. 

The more you learn about other people, how they live, what they practice, the less fearful you will be about those who seem to be different than you.  Educate yourself, inform yourself, move beyond only what you have been taught or experienced.  Yeah, just open your heart...if you are brave enough.  Courage, baby.

Monday, December 13, 2010

K's tote bag

I sort of forgot about making this, but did a little preliminary choosing of the parts and sewed the bottom closed and added the flap last night.  Today I finished it.  I had a nice mattress ticking fabric, in pastels, but I am still under the spell of the Hello Kitty flannel fabric and it worked brilliantly.  Much better than the cotton ticking.

I will drop it off when I get home from upnort' tomorrow night, as she is leaving to go home sometime on Wednesday.

I wish that she would stay here,
Where her friends hold her dear,
But the heart wants and knows,
What the heart wants and knows,
So back across the big water to her honey she goes.

Then denim is from that sack of jeans and overalls, most of it used now.  This is from a jeans leg and the trim is some old upholstery tape I have. I had planned on hand-sewing the lining onto the body of the bag, because it is kind of bucket shaped, wider at the top than at the bottom.  But, the lining came out like magic and fit perfectly.  How did that even happen?  There is a double pocket on the front and three pockets inside, the largest of which divides the depth of the bag.

She wanted one similar to the one I made earlier this year from her father's tweed sport coat.  She refuses to use it for every day, even though I made it very durable, so this one is the daily-use one she requested.  They are her bags, so I guess I have to just let go of any attachment I have to them.  Yep.

This is the bag from the sport coat.  I kept the front, the pocket and the vent in the back and lined it with the jacket lining; even though it was quite old, it still worked fine.  I used part of a sleeve and buttons for the strap, trying to keep it looking like, well, whatever it looks like.  Those are her beautiful, artist's hands.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

S's eyeglass pouch

She wanted a thing in which to stow her eyeglasses and she wanted it to be Hello Kitty.  I could not wait to give it to her, but she will have to wait for the other purse accessories.  Practically everything she has it this Sanrio character, but she loves it, so we all give it to her.

Eyeglass pouch, vintage button, craft shop charm and beads

Hello Kitty fabric, soft and fuzzy flannel
I think the baby sleepers and maybe a blanket or three still need to be made from this fabric.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The ornaments are mostly finished

Hankie quarter, beaded and made into a tree

Lace hankie quarter with green glass center

Shell center

Shell cluster center with blue rose bead

Stoneware beads center

Wooden bead with goldstones

One of the hankie quarters, beaded

Ribbon layered over red lamé

A whole bunch of fluffy wreaths

Fluffy turquoise wreath with tiny jingle bells
1.5 inch diameter beaded wreaths
I also made some tiny, purple felt purse shaped ones.  They had dangley beads at the bottom and ribbons scraps and rhinestones at the middle.  Made them on Friday and gave them all away on Saturday.  I will be making some more tomorrow when I sit at the gallery.

I also want to finish up the beads that I am using for the teeny wreaths, and will take those supplies along, too.  They were a pharmacy purchase because a friend gave me a gift card to the pharmacy for my birthday.  Yeah, I know, but she does stuff like that and my guess is that she thought I could buy one of my favorite chocolates there.  I went to spend it just a week ago and found some cool beads for making bracelets in the toy aisle.  I knew immediately what I wanted to do with them and bought three packages.

I have more of the fluffy yarn wreaths to make and have/had another ornament idea, but I cannot remember what it is.

Anyway, today is the first day in weeks and weeks and even more weeks when I have felt more hopeful about things.  Nothing has really changed, but I just feel better.  Even better is that I was able to walk today with less pain, and much less medication.  That may account for some of my good and groovy feelings, but there must be more to it.

Whatever it is, I want to hold on to it for a long time.  It just feels so wonderful to not be all sad and weepy and sad for a change.

Days of bliss I fear to be lost
And, not knowing why is the cost
Of doing the business of a life.

Brighter moments break the thrall
Of being lost and sad, and all
Those aspects that come with strife.

Holding dear the blessings of hope
I beg, will help me to cope
When the darkness returns with its knife.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Simple thoughts

Today was too busy and too full of complicated issues for a simpleton like me.

I had a despair hangover from last evening at the gallery.  Just because you are creative, and we invite you to exhibit with us, well, that does not give you free rein to be a cranky bitch.  But, you cannot tell someone where they can put their artistic temperament and still run a business that deals exclusively with artsy fartsy types.

I went to a craft fair after this morning's coffee get-together.  It is probably the last nice one before the holidays and whilst I rarely buy anything, preferring to make my own crap, they are great fun.  Seeing how other people, especially old babes like me, manifest their creativity is a glorious and wondrous experience.  I simply cannot get enough of it.  One of my never-to-be-manifested-dreams is to provide a safe and supportive place for all of these women to sell their stuff all year round.  The talent out there is stunning, and they are some of the nicest people on the whole damn planet.  Blessings to them all.

Because my sweet and wonderful daughter and her equally adorable husband left within ten minutes of my arrival at her house today, and then I left a mere five minutes after they arrived back home, there were no adults there to witness and then complain because I do not do everything exactly like the resident adults do things.  It is the first visit in a long time where I did not get in trouble for not being a clone, which probably would not have the capability of doing everything exactly like, well...oh, never mind.

The day ended with a small dinner of four of us coffee chickies and two husbands.  One of us is fully into her third year of treatment for cancer.  She is receiving some kind of hospice care and doing quite well.  Tonight she did exceptionally well because she had a big blood transfusion this afternoon.  Even so, she pooped out shortly after dinner and had to go home. 

But, it was so wonderful seeing her out and about and eating well and having a good time.  She even had a nice bowl of ice cream for dessert.  It is all so bittersweet.  I love seeing her, but it is such a struggle to avoid talking about her health, as she chooses to not have it be a part of our conversations or time together.  Her journey, her choices, her rules.  It is enough.

No one believes that I am really taking a break from life for a while.  You know, I am sorry that this retirement from just about everything is taking place during these fall and winter holidays, but this is the appropriate time to do this.  It feels very surreal.  Everyone thinks that I will be attending all of the parties, open-houses and actual holidays.  Even my lovely daughter's lovely husband asked me this afternoon when we would be getting together for Yule.  My simple reply was that I am taking a break from holidays for a while.  Whilst no one wants to actually discuss this with me, they keep believing that I am kidding or something.  

This is not an avoidance or some kind of rebellion or taking a stand or anything like that.  It is simply me taking a break in order to avoid completely breaking.

Nothing is simple.  What a shame.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


So, where was I?  Right, the aftermath of the vet clinic visit.

Today the cats went back for teeth cleaning and possible mouth surgery.  Yesterday's visit included a whole bunch of blood work, both as a pre-whatever for the anesthesia, but also because both of them have significant trouble with their teeth and gums.

Today's visit took the entire day, as they had difficulty recovering from the anesthesia, always a possibility with cats, sad to say.  I have never lost a cat to anesthesia drugs, but it is worth the risk because they simply cannot have mouths that hurt all the time and the additional risk that poor dental health causes to some internal organs, including their little hearts.

So, under they went and several hours later I received a telephone call that they were doing well, but not waking up very well.  They were supposed to come home at 2 p.m., then 3, then 4:30, and I was finally able to fetch them at 6.  They have lots of antibiotics and pain medicine, syringes for today and two more days.  Because I used to tech, I can call them on Friday and come in for more, need be.

They, the clinic, expressed some of the the blood drawn yesterday to one of the state labs so that they would get results sometime today.  It seems that someone there suspected that there was more going on than just bad dental hygiene.  They have feline stomatitis.  They are allergic to the plaque that forms on their teeth between cleanings.  How both of them can have this is beyond me.  During the past forty-plus years that I have had cats and dogs, we have experienced lots of physical issues, mostly because we adopt animals that are health compromised in some way.  We know to expect problems and that is fine.  But, this!  It is beyond my ability to understand.  Worrying is that both FIV and FeLV are often present with this other immune issue, but the tests indicate that neither is there.  Small favors.  I get to be frightened about this for at least a week.

L had four extractions, two of which needed jaw surgery.  C had one, and no one expected to have to do more than simply clean his teeth.  We, the docs and me, are going to get together and figure out a way to monitor this and maybe have me do regular treatments and cleaning at home.

So, the good news is that we are going to be as proactive about this as possible.  L is seven years old and C is just a bit over eleven and I am going to do everything possible to keep them around as long as possible.

The best news about all of this is that I had a lot of money saved for my next trip.  Two days at the clinic and the bill is nearly $1400.00.



So, the kitties are better.  Not that they were manifesting any behaviors regarding the sad state of their teeth, but that is the way of cats, they suffer in silence, and I think that that aspect is what is causing me such distress.

Yeah, I am still nearly incapacitated by the vet bill, but I cannot stop obsessing about the pain that L must have been in with those lesions on her teeth.  Today is their last day of pain medication and I am thrilled because swooping them up and shooting this stuff into their mouths twice a day is doing nothing to improve their wariness of me or to help lessen my guilt about all of this.

The doc has assured me that there is not anything that can be done about this disease they have, but I am worried about either of them suffering again.  I am also worried about how to pay for more treatments and surgeries.  The mister was well prepared.  He had everything in writing before we went ahead with this week's tests and procedures.  I made certain of that.  Another fear is that this is going to be like every other time that he approves something (although never before at this great amount) and then changes his mind after the fact, particularly when the bill rolls in.  I am ready for this time, though.  I have taken the full amount out of my savings for my trip and when he goes all insane on my ass about the costs, I will have the cash to hand to him.  I probably should do that now, but I am holding back just in case he does not start yelling about the whole mess.

I am not sorry that I, we, agreed to do this, but L is seven years old and C is eleven and they have lots of teeth left, with lots of potential surgeries.  I am so conflicted.  I brought them into my life with the commitment to do whatever it took to give them a good life.  They are mine and I am a faithful person.  Hell, more than four decades of marriage proves that.

Just going to have to wait and see what happens.  What is that thing about worry?  Something like worry is payment on a debt you do not yet have, or something like that.  I just looked it up, was only kind of close:  Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.  ~William Ralph Inge

Here are a few more that helped me to feel a little better.
You can't wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.  ~Pat Schroeder

Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.  ~Glenn Turner

If things go wrong, don't go with them.  ~Roger Babson

Worry is rust upon the blade.  ~Henry Ward Hughes

Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face.  ~Nelson DeMille
Well, that one is just plain wrong...they are always worse.

Oh.  This is all about love.  Simple and plain, love.  I do not think that I can put a limit on that.  So much the worse for this situation, but loving is worth whatever it takes.