Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Goodbye, my friend

Tonight took me by surprise.  Daily reports from my parents told me that Cotton did very well while I was gone.  The combination of steroids, heart medication and cough inhibitors seemed to be doing the trick because he barely coughed at all.  Despite the vet's warning, I started to get my hopes up.

Because of bad weather, delayed planes and a full day of work, the dogs didn't come home from my parents' place until 4:00 tonight.  I could tell right away that Cotton had lost weight and wasn't his usual self, but my parents reassured me again that he seemed to be feeling quite well.  Then, at about 7:00, the coughing started.  This was a different cough, that made it clear how weak he had become, and that wracked his whole body.  It went on and on, and the medication didn't help.  Finally, I brought him to the emergency vet and let him go.  He died in my arms.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Today is my 40th birthday, and a friend and I have flown to Vegas for the weekend.  The timing couldn't be much worse for this, but the trip has been in the works for a few months.  Cotton has had mostly good days since Sunday night's scare, and so I took a chance and left him at home with my parents for a few days.  He's in good hands.

So, we're in Vegas.  We're winging it, mostly.  We plan to see a few shows, do some shopping and check out things that can only be seen in Vegas.  There's no internet at our hotel, so I'll report in when we get back and let you know how it goes.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Palliative Care

Although Cotton's heart is not failing, it is now so enlarged that it's blocking his airways.  We've got him on a new medication that should help decrease the size temporarily, but the vet made it clear that he is now on palliative care.

I have chosen quality over quantity for his remaining time, and also decided (with the vets support) to up him to the max - probably a little above - of the medications that do seem to be helping.  Again, she reminded me that this is temporary and his illness will progress. When the time comes that the medications don't help anymore, or if the medications damage his liver or his kidneys, it will be time to let him go.  

Last night, he had a really bad night.  He woke up multiple times, choking.  He also refused to eat last night before bedtime, and so I thought maybe the time had come.  At 6:00am, when a coughing fit reminded me that it was almost time for his medication, I got up and emailed work that I would not be in.  I gave Cotton his medication and then I went back to bed and wept.  I so badly don't want to let him go yet, but I don't want him to suffer.

After a few minutes the coughing subsided, and I decided that I would let him tell me if it was time. If Cotton refused to eat this morning, I would make his last appointment at the vet.  If he ate, then maybe we could have a few more days.  I stayed in bed until after 9:00, putting it off as long as I could until finally I got up to take a shower.  There, I let the water run for 10 minutes as I sobbed.   Finally,  I turned off the water, picked him up and carried him to the kitchen; refusing to put him down as I filled a bowl with his new favourite, canned rabbit.    And, thank God, he ate it all.

That, and the fact that he's not coughing now, tells me that it isn't time yet.   It's getting close, but I think his good days still outnumber the bad.

I'm not sure how much longer I'll have with him with me.  I don't know if I'll get a few more days or possibly a couple more weeks.  All that I do know is that this is the most difficult decision that I've ever made.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Bed Game

Cat owners know what the bed game is.  It's the mad scramble across the bed with claws drawn and teeth bared that happens whenever the sheets are changed on beds.

When Winter was young, I pretty much had to lock him out of the room when I changed sheets, because he destroyed too many sheets playing the bed game.  He hasn't played nearly as much as he has aged, though.  He's got arthritis, he moves slower, and he isn't quite as playful as he used to be.

He's on a renewed regiment of glucosamine lately, and I think it's working.  He just ripped another set of sheets playing the bed game.  And, irresponsible me, I'm not mad.  I may have even encouraged him a little bit.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Nieces Rock

Yesterday, I went to Calgary with my sister-in-law and the nieces.  Our original intension was to check out a new organic farmer's market, but when the nieces decided to come along, it became a girls' day out.

We started off at the market... well, we started by driving past two Tim Horton's before we found one that had a reasonable lineup so we could get breakfast... then we went to the organic market.  It was good (I came away with a grass-fed beef roast that will be chopped up for THIS Mediterranean Beef Stew,  fresh honey and handmade gnocchi) and it was nice to go to a farmers' market that was mostly limited to things that farmers actually produce, rather than people selling crafts.   ... don't judge me for the gnocchi.

After the market, we swung over to the first of two malls that we ended up visiting.  The focus there was mostly clothes for the girls, and we had both successes and challenges.  It's pretty disturbing how overtly sexual some of the clothes are now for young girls, but luckily they both seem to understand that there's a big difference between attractive and sexy... both are still drawn more to classy styles.  The older niece, who is an avid golfer,  cleaned up on a few golfing outfits.  The younger niece, who is like me and loves all things sparkly, ended up cleaning up at a sale by bringing home about 7 new sparkly outfits...  oh, to be ten and wear sparkles every day.

In one store, I zeroed in on some bags right away.  The younger niece loved them too, and thought I'd picked it out for her.  I said HECK NO, that's for me; but agreed that there was no reason why we couldn't have matching bags.  So, I got one for carrying my stuff to zumba classes, and she got one for her overnight trips to visit her grandparents.

Cool bag, eh?  It doesn't show very well in the picture, but it's covered in clear sequins.
Regularly priced @ $37.  Cost $10.98 thankyouverymuch.

After that, the girls introduced me to my first bubble tea, and then it was time to head home.  All in all, it was a fantastic day.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back in the Day

My dad and I used to have a lot of fun together.  I remember my mom shaking her head and tsking a lot around us when we came up with our crazy ideas.

This series took quite a bit of planning - we had to wait for a loose tooth, we had to wait for it to fall out, and then we had to wait until my favourite shirt was clean so we could finish the series in a convincing way.  

I'm thinking of getting this printed and framed.  I'm not one for self portraits, but these ones make me smile.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I love this thing

I have been lusting after THESE since I saw them on Pinterest a few months ago.  I'm a big avocado fan, and usually eat a few a week.  I don't, however, like guacamole or mushed up pieces of it that look like somebody is starting to make guacamole.  I like slices of it on sandwiches, and (mostly) cubes of it in salads.  It's not unusual for me to have a tomato and an avocado for lunch.

So, when I finally got to go to the William Sonoma store on the weekend (it's new-ish to Canada) I snapped one up.  It wasn't cheap for a kitchen gadget, but I've used it and it works like a hot damn.

It's so simple, but it's genius.  And, with this new kitchen toy, I see lots and lots of avocado in my future.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Another Decision

After much angst about getting rid of furniture that I like to make room for a desk in a place that I don't really want to work, I've decided to build a room in my basement.  It's a room that I have always intended to build, someday down the road.  In my mind, I've been so stuck on "down the road" that I it never occurred to me that maybe the time is now.  I have been trying to figure out where to set myself up to work, and it just occurred to me that I've been putting a lot of effort and planning a lot of money for something that would be temporary at best if I do it upstairs.  I work at home now, so now is probably the time to build the proper space.

I had planned to complete the entire basement at once, but maybe it'll be easier to do it one room at a time.  This room will be fairly large... eventually, it'll be a tv room/games room/office/library type room.  I'll start the walls, ceiling and the floor, as well as the desk portion and maybe some bookshelves.  The rest can follow as funds are available.

A friend of mine's husband is a contractor, and has recently set out to work on his own.  He did their house, and seemed to do a good job.  I will also plan to do as much of the work myself as I can to save money.  If I can, I'd like to have this done in the summer.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I've decided

My least favourite thing to do:

Bra Shopping.

It's an exercise in frustration.  I had to go to four stores today.  FOUR.  

The problem is that I am fairly generously endowed in that area, but I've lost enough weight that my old bras don't fit.  I  used to buy my bras at the fat lady store, but now my band size is smaller than they sell, so I have to go to regular sized stores, only they don't usually carry large enough cup sizes.  

And, so I went from store to store, and chiselled away at my body image with each attempt.

Somehow, I ended up in a change room across from a woman with exactly the same problem.  Sad to say, we bonded over excessive boobage.  Luckily, we both hit pay dirt with a sales woman who not only knew her stuff, she knew the inventory.  Even then, we were there for over an hour, as we tried on bra after bra and tossed them over the change room doors to swap back and forth.    Finally, as we were both about to give up, we came upon the miracle bra.  Not the one that pushes your boobs up to your chin - this one holds everything where it belongs and fits properly while miraculously not looking like something my granny would wear.  

We each bought three.