Oban Ferry

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It's been a rough month. 

Major changes on the work front, the effects of which have yet to be seen. I'm hoping the positive results will outweigh the (potentially) negative ones, and that we can get back to business better than usual.

At home, we're once again doing kitty hospice. It sucks.

Thirteen and a half years ago, my buddy Drac came home with me with his sister Rani (who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 3/9/09). He could fit in my shirt pocket back then. We named him Drac because he would chase us around the house nipping at our heals. We decided he had been a dog in his former life, since he is a top growler - even last week, a knock at the door elicited a deep-throated growl from the back bedroom. Sometimes he has even made barking sounds! 

Drac has been the one constant in my life all these years. Whenever I opened the front door, he was there waiting for me - he knew the sound of the car, of the car alarm, of my footsteps. When my kids were at their dad's, he was there. When I came home from a trip, he was there waiting. When I've been sad, he would lay in my arms and gently place his paw on my cheek. If you used the can opener, he would come running in the hopes that it might be wet food or even better, tuna. He has spent hundreds of hours on my lap as I sat at the computer or watching tv. 

He is an Energy cat. Any time someone was doing energy work, he was there. If we had a Haedery class, or a ritual, he was in the middle of the circle. If I had a Reiki class or a client, he was on the table with his paws wrapped around the recipient's ankles, adding his own Reiki healing to ours.

A year ago, he gave us quite a scare by losing half his body weight despite eating everything we put in front of him. Bloodwork showed he had a thyroid imbalance; after putting him on thyroid medication, he gained most of his weight back in six months. Everything was fine, and he was back to his normal self.

Then a few weeks ago, he started throwing up more frequently, and was less interested in food. We took him to the vet, and he had lost weight again. More bloodwork was done, but everything came back normal. We figured he was constipated and put him on a no-dry-food diet, nightly infusions of Ringer's, and stool softeners. It didn't help, and wifey was suspecting he might have a bowel obstruction, so we paid another vet visit complete with xrays. 
Thursday the vet called and let us know that the shadow on the xrays is most probably lymphoma. All his other symptoms fit that diagnosis. Now he's on pain meds, an anti-nausea medication and an appetite stimulant. It's helping some - the vomiting is much less, and he is more interested in food most of the time. But it's still only a matter of a few days. We're doing what we can to make him comfortable, and as long as he is still interacting with us, and wandering around the house, and purring, we'll keep him with us. Once that changes, it will be time to say goodbye.

My heart is breaking.
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Oban Ferry

The song of Hogmanay

Tonight is the last night of the year,
  Be generous to me in the dwelling,
As I come to sing my Hogmanay song,
  Give to me timely heed.

The wedding-feast of the black lad of the snuff
  Is a cause of pondering in the place;
Were I among the rabble,
  Many an ugly fellow there would be.

Some at flattery, some at lies,
  Some at words unwonted,
Others devouring the gizzards
  Of the wheezy grey fowls;

Some of them fixing their back-teeth
  In the back joints of the cattle,
And some of them hunkering down
  In a corner on a heap of potatoes.

They are from every quarter of the land,
  The hungry ones of the corners and the cairns;
'Tis the rumbling of their bodies has brought
  Three of them, at any rate, to this place.

[One brought] the chicken here from Lewis,
  A ragged-foot from Kintail,
A great clumsy lout that was in Tiree
  Who at the milk-pail-cover in Balemartin.

Since it is not worth my telling
  The state of this country with yon rabble,
I hope that I shall get a morsel,
  And that there will be butter and cheese on it.

I pray for you sweethearting and peace
  Until a year from this time, O friends,
And since my feet are bare,
  Open to me the fastening of the door.


--Carmina Gadelica 558
Oban Ferry

Free to Good Home

Attention Portland Folks:

We have a few items we would like to offer you for free - you pick them up in Beaverton

1 27" RCA television (not digital, but cable ready)
1 20" Mitsubishi television (not digital, but cable ready)
1 large black entertainment center with multiple shelves (either TV will fit it) 43"Hx19"Dx54"W 

Please contact me here if you are interested!
Oban Ferry

Is it Friday yet?

Ever had one of those days where it feels like you crammed a week's worth of work into 8 hours?

That's the day I had. 

But I got (nearly) everything done that needed doin', so I feel like it was a pretty productive day.

It just feels like it should be the weekend now...
Oban Ferry

Adventures in Travelling, chapter 6

After several uneventful trips, we find our author onboard a flight to Denver; not her favorite place to fly into after an eventful landing in a spectacular lightning storm ten years earlier.

It's just a short hop from Salt Lake City to Denver, a little jaunt across the Rockies. It should be about an hour, gate to gate. Fortunately, her seat request had been traded for a seat assignment just before the boarding announcement. Our author finds herself in an aisle seat, with a quiet 20-something woman at the window, and takes a deep breath. The CRJ700 pulls back from the gate, taxis down the runway and takes off into the bright and sunny skies above the Great Salt Lake.

And then it began.

Window shade down. Window shade up. Window shade half-way down. Window shade three-quarters of the way down. Window shade up. Window shade down.....

For the entire flight.

Obviously our author has drawn the short straw this trip and is seated next to an extremely anxious young woman with OCD.

Finally, the plane begins its descent into Denver. Thank the gods! our author thinks. 

The plane levels off, stopping its descent. For half an hour, as the plane makes successive left-hand turns in the skies above Colorado, her seatmate applies lipstick - four times - and eyeshadow - twice - and mascara (!). Window shade up. Window shade down. Hair in a ponytail. Hair down. With the inspiring addition of a heavy sigh every 2 minutes or so.

Our author was, at this point, fervently wishing for a prescription pad and the license to prescribe valium.

At last the thunderstorm cell moved away from the airport, and our author's flight discontinued its holding pattern. The one-hour flight had taken two, but after a few bumps in the air on the way down, they were safely on the tarmac. 
Oban Ferry

Fresh start

I admit I've been isolating. It was taking all of my energy to deal with things at work, leaving very little for me to use elsewhere, including in posting/commenting here. Most things at work I can't share, so that was taking quite a toll. I took a week off, and I'm hoping that has been enough to replenish my tank. This morning, it's back to work, where I hope my perspective has been sufficiently adjusted by downtime so that I can approach everything afresh.
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Oban Ferry

Post-conference

 I'm so glad to be back home! I spent 5 days in Salt Lake City for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Region V conference. The last one I went to was in 1990 - 20 years ago! A few of the same faces were there, but primarily the participants were in their 20s and 30s. Most of them weren't even born yet when I started interpreting. Sigh.

Some excellent workshops, some were just so-so. The entertainment at Saturday night's banquet was AWESOME though. I haven't laughed that hard in a while. We had a deaf magician, Roberto from Texas, who was a master at his craft, and was definitely playing to an adult audience. Then we had the Anderson Twins, a comic act. One of the twins is Deaf and the other is hearing. They were hysterical!

Of course the conference schedule was insane; they had stuff planned from 7am to 10pm each day. I really could use a day to recover, but alas, it's back to work I go.
Oban Ferry

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was once a very difficult time for me. Every year as it approached, I would spend several hours crying in my therapist's office, wishing I could just ignore the whole event. It wasn't about my mother; it was about me, as a mother. I felt like I was a terrible mother, that I didn't deserve to be recognized or honored on that day. And yet, every year, Mother's Day arrived on little feet carrying weak coffee and runny eggs. As much as I dreaded it, I loved the effort my kids put into it. And eventually, I found my peace with Mother's Day. I learned and accepted that I didn't have to fit the traditional definition of a mother in order to be a good one, and that I could become a better mother as time passed. 

This is the third Mother's Day I've been away from all my kids. They are all adults with busy lives. No more runny eggs or burnt toast or recycled coffee.  But they have turned into amazing people, hopefully not so much in spite of me, but because of the personal growth I have modeled over the years. 

As mothers, we do the best we can with the tools we have. And we strive to gain more tools and be better mothers. And then, just as we come close to mastering motherhood, the rules change and our childrens' needs change, and we have to find new tools. It's still kissing booboos, but these booboos are emotional. It's still teaching them how to share, but now it's sharing their feelings and their dreams. It's still teaching them how to get along with others, but now the others are bosses and partners. 

I miss being around my kids. I am proud of the people they have become. I am grateful for all they have taught me.
Oban Ferry

Kitteh update

 Drac has a recheck at the vet this morning. He's been on thyroid medication for about a month now, and his appetite is slowing down. We're thinking it might be time to cut back the dosage on his meds, but I'm sure the bloodwork will tell. We're also hoping he's put some weight back on.