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  • Mystery Box

    I love how true this picture is to the cats' personalities. 

    Vizzi is curious but also terrified. WHAT is he doing? What if there's something scary in the box? 

    Cuppie is right there and she is ready for it. Also, she's hogging the cardboard box because of course she is. 

    (The answer, by the way, was an endtable for Matt. Not scary at all, Viz)

  • Cupdorable

    I adore this weird little fluffball. 

    She is a helper cat. By which I mean, she is an almost constant hindrance to anything out of the ordinary. (And many daily things as well) If it's of any interest to you, she's SUPER CURIOUS. 

    So when I broke out a paper cutter last week, she was ALL over that. And the paper. And the frames. And me. Eventually I gave up and would hand her a scrap of paper as soon as I cut it. She'd grab it, bite it, then wait for the next one. 

    There are plenty of things that she makes take twice as long. But look at her. She doesn't mean to cause trouble, and I wish that I thought everything is as exciting as she does. 

  • Pain in the Eye

    Didn't we clean up pretty well for the Arbonne Christmas party? :)

    I made that necklace probably six or seven years ago. Offhand, i can't think of any other necklaces of mine that are still around. (That I made, I mean) 

    So, I think it was my senior year of high school, my tear duct started acting up. Since then, it's been almost a yearly occurance. There were several years where I just let it go, and eventually it went away. I got tired of this approach a few years ago, so I brought it up to my doctor, who said pink eye. The next year, I didn't want to go back to the doctor, so I just went to the urgent care, who gave me drops for, you guessed it, pink eye. 

    This year, my eye started watering a bit in early September, and has been a leaky faucet ever since. I started using myself as something of a guinea pig - trying to figure out what might be causing it. It didn't matter whether I wore makeup or not (though you might as well not if you're just going to weep it off anyway), took allergy meds, or ... whatever else I tried. Point is, I couldn't really come up with a cause or a cure. So I gave in and made a doctor appointment. 

    This time, the doctor agreed that it was a clogged tear duct. Unfortunately, they couldn't really do anything, so they sent me to the eye doctor. The eye doctor also agreed that it was a plugged tear duct (TWO IN ONE DAY!) and gave me oral antibiotics. 

    Well, it's gotten better in that I no longer have white discharge from my eye, so it's no longer infected. Now I just weep 'normal' tears from that eye. I'm so bummed. I could cry, but hey, my eye will just do that for me. 

    Yes, warm compresses. Yes, I've massaged it. 

    If I go back to the eye doctor, I have a sneaky suspicion (thanks, google!) that the next step will be some sort of probe or flushing of the duct. My tear duct. Right by my eye. Just thinking about it makes me squeamish. I'm not relishing that idea, but I'm hoping that there's some sort of sedation involved, and at this point, if I have to do it, I'll do it, because I'm just THAT sick of this.

    I keep threatening to just poke my eye out, but it's an empty threat, because I never would, and also, it wouldn't fix the tear duct.

    Anyway, I have friends that rant and rave about essential oils and how amazing they are. A very nice friend of mine gave me a blend to try rubbing on my nose and under my eye, but not in it. (I feel obligated to clarify this, since you're not supposed to put them in your eye.) I figure worst case scenario, it does nothing and I end up at the doctor anyway. But on the chance that it does encourage my duct to move along whatever's clogging it - hey, why not? 

    ---

    It's annoying to have something that's SO uncommon (in adults, anyway). Sometimes it's nice to have people at least wince and say, "Oh man, I know how annoying that is." But no. I could buy a few pizzas with the amount of people who've said, "Oh, my child had that. I just put a warm washcloth on it and it went away." 

    I also miss wearing makeup. I don't always wear makeup, but to me, it's fun. It's like my face is a canvas that I get to paint on. 

    But what I really miss is seeing clearly and not having headaches. It's not that my vision is fuzzy, but a watery eye isn't the clearest experience. And I think my other eye is tired of having to do all the work, hence the headaches. It's really putting a damper on my book reading.

    It's not the end of the world. Don't get me wrong. There are a LOT worse things to have. But I want to acknowledge that this is a really annoying problem. 

  • If you can't beat em, share em

    This isn't the most extraordinary picture. But it's a lot easier to picture what I'm talking about with it.

    I'm sure I mentioned somewhere that last year Gwen (the calico) started snuggling on me at night. That was a surprise, given how standoffish she is. I still don't know if she stopped snuggling because it got too warm for her, or because she wasn't feeling good due to her thyroid. Getting her thyroid in the right place seems to have taken place around the same time two years in a row. 

    This summer, Aeris decided that she wanted to snuggle on me. That one also surprised me, given the fact that we've had her for 11 years, and she's never been inclined to sleep on me before. Maybe she got the idea from Gwen.

    Anyway, Gwen recently decided that she wanted to resume our snuggle arrangement, only to find that Aeris was on her human. RUDE. 

    So I am currently the subject of some sort of cat terf war. They've reached an uneasy agreement where Aeris is allowed to have me from the waist down (though she's strongly encouraged to stay below my knee), and Gwen gets my torso. 

    At some point last night (I was asleep) Gwen left, and Aeris moved up. When Gwen returned (and what I woke up to), she was upset that Aeris was in perceived violation of their agreement. 

    Gwen and Aeris aren't particularly chummy with each other. They don't go out of their way to be aggressive to one another, but Gwen would really prefer if Aeris kept a good 5ft away at all times. So this weird nightly arrangement is possibly the most time they've spent in close proximity. 

    Meanwhile, Matt has an entire side of the bed to himself. Joke's on him, Gwen makes an excellent scarf. 

  • A Feast

    If you have an Audible subscription, every month they let you choose two free titles from a handful of their Audible Originals. One of the titles I picked this month was "Twain's Feast" - they took a list of food that Mark Twain wanted at a feast of his, foods that he missed when he traveled, and broke down what those foods would have meant to him, and what they looked like culturally. 

    It's also narrated in part by Nick Offerman, which didn't hurt. He's got a voice that I would be okay with narrating a phone book. 

    If you have the change to listen to Twain's Feast, I do recommend it. Even as someone who isn't obsessed with Mark Twain, I thought the whole thing was really interesting, and is the jumping point for the rest of this post.

    Last time Matt and I went up to New York, we picked up a couple loaves of Felix Roma bread. I hadn't had it in a really long time, but all I remembered was that it was very good italian bread. Later, when Matt said that he wanted to drive back up to NY for more bread, I felt vindicated. It wasn't just my memory that made the bread good, it must be legitimately good!

    So between that and Twain's Feast, I got to thinking: What would my ultimate feast look like? What are foods that I not only like, but have some significance?

    I thought I'd start with foods that I associate with states I've lived in:

    Spiedies from New York
    Sopapillas from Colorado, and the long defunct El Matador restaurant
    Cheesesteaks and Gelatis from New Jersey, as well as a cheese pizza from Wing King in Maple Shade - I literally have dreams periodically about being in NJ and being able to get a pizza from there. Oh, and bread from DelBuono's bakery. Oh! And a carmine pizza from Bertucci's. It's not on the menu anymore, but it had carmelized onions and fresh mozzarella over a roasted tomato sauce. Fresh mozzarella is my jam. I wouldn't be upset if there was a soft pretzel there either. 

    Foods that I associate with people include:

    My Mom's Mac and Cheese with peaches. Yes, peaches. 
    Chocolate chip cookies using a recipe from my Aunt Sally, and Sugar cookies from my Grandma Judy's recipe.
    We'll make fruit salad from my great Aunt Margaret's recipe - it's fruit salad in the most flexible definition ... but delicious. 

    Just because I plain like them, there'd need to be mashed potatoescorned beef, and manicotti

    This is all just off the top of my head, so I'm sure there are things I've forgotten. But if I had the stomach for all of it, I would enjoy the living daylights out of this meal. 

    That being said, I was hungry when I started this, and now I'm even more hungry. So I'm going to go scrounge up some supper - I don't think it'll be nearly as good as anything on this list though. 

  • Not Much to Say

    Nothing groundbreaking going on. 

    The cats are all doing well at the moment. I went on a girls' trip this weekend and picked up some cat-safe bubbles. They've had some amusing reactions. Aeris likes to sit and stare at them from afar - Cuppie will laser focus and follow a few around, but she doesn't really like to touch them. Vizzi waits until they land and then will carefully slink up to one or two, then panic when it pops. 

    The weather is getting colder, as it does, but I'm never particularly thrilled. If I could live in a place that never really dropped below the low 50's for highs, I'd be happy. I've lived in the south long enough that the current highs in Michigan are horrifying. (Mid 30's and low 40's) If I start busting out the full winter coat when it's in the high 50's though, I'll need an intervention. 

    Matt and I are going up to Michigan for Thanksgiving - two birds, one stone. I'm sure his family will be happy to see us, and we'll be even happier to meet our new niece, Aryana. Other than that, I need to stay put for the winter. We've made at least one trip out of state every month since August, and I need to be done for a while.

    On the bright side, we now know that Aery has good company in the kittos. She hasn't had any of her super clingy meowy frantic behavior after any of our trips, and that's really impressive. It seems that she and Cuppie have bonded, and it's really adorable to see Aery have friends. 

    We've been moving some furniture around. We got a murphy bed this summer, so after sleeping on the floor for almost four years, we're finally high and dry. Despite initial speculation that the bed would never be folded up, we actually put it up 99% of the time. The cats love the extra room, and it makes things feel a lot more spacious. We also got a new tv stand this week, with a faux fireplace (but actual) heater in it. It's super swanky and makes everything feel very cozy. I moved the old tv stand into my office, and I've been chipping away at moving some of my Arbonne stuff into it. 
    Next up, I'd like to see us replace our couch and chair, but we haven't decided what configuration we want yet. Currently, we have a loveseat + chair. It'd be more practical to just have a full size couch, but I have to admit ... I kind of like having my own piece of furniture. I don't think we could fit a full sized couch and chair in the room. We'll see. No rush here, because the sooner we replace it, the sooner we have to play "no no, don't scratch that". 

    I've been keeping busy with friends, book clubs, DnD, spas, and a little bit of volunteering. It seems to come in spurts, where I have one super busy week, and then almost nothing the next. It's fine with me, because I'm content to crash on the off weeks. 

    I'll have to remember to take pictures of art stuff as I work on it. I haven't done a lot in that area, but I muddle through stuff here and there. That's partially why I'm looking forward to NOT traveling for a while - I'm in need of routine. 

    That's all for now. I'll try and check in soon with a more exciting update. :)

  • Dos anos

    Dos anos

    There aren't enough words for how much I miss this girl. It's been two years, and it feels both like a blip and a lifetime. 

  • Live From New York

    Okay, so where were we?

    We went up to Michigan in early August for my sister in law’s baby shower. Then my aunt died. Then Matt’s grandma died the same week. So then we made another trip to Michigan and a trip to New York.

    I got sick after we got home from NY and coughed up my lungs forever. I’ve been catching up on Book Club reads and doing Arbonne spas and otherwise life.

    As I write this (on my phone, not optimal), I’m in New York again because one of my cousins got married. I’m really glad that I got to come. Next month we’re going back up to Michigan to meet our niece and see Matt’s family. Then I’m going to try and stay put until spring.

    -

    So, Gwen is a good candidate for radiation. We want to get that done sooner than later - relatively. It’s fairly expensive, we have to block out a few days to drive multiple hours to and from the place, and then there’s the after care. I’ll talk about that more another time. Basically, we need at least 45 days to have things be a pain in the butt. 

    As of last month, we’d gotten a whole tenth of a pound on her. We tried a wet food that she really liked at first but then wanted to go back to her broth. But I FEEL like she’s gained weight since. But I don’t have a good way to weigh her at present.

    -

    Okay, yeah. We’ll put a pin in things here. Phone typing is not conducive to writing much. ❤️