Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Wild Life

We got home Friday night from the pre-op meeting. It's a 10 hr drive from Emory, with several parts of the freeway in Alabama and Tennessee under construction with delays and narrowed one-lanes shared with 18-wheelers, so it's a bit stressful. I am grateful for a week at home, soaking up Sanctuary and kitty karma, and intend to do a bit of energy work, meditation exercises, have a little fun, and do a lot of resting. I have a birthday this week, but don't have any plans other than relaxing at home and asking Excy to grill a filet -- I seldom eat red meat but once or twice a year, I crave a good steak. This afternoon a good friend and I had a lovely brunch and went to the movie Darling Companion, which is wonderful -- how can you go wrong with a cast of Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Sam Shepard and Dianne Weist, anyway, but the movie itself was great...with a good ending (I'm all about comedy and good endings these days).

The cats were so relieved to see us again, though they are wary because the suitcases aren't being put up. Lenny in particular was so happy to see us but also so unhappy, he still growls and purrs at the same time. I keep telling them we will be gone about 6 weeks and it'll be harder on me than them, but so far they aren't convinced. I am a bit concerned that while we are away the stray we have come to love, 'Frodo,' will wander off, despite Corey moving back into the house while we're gone. I am hoping we can figure out a way to keep Frodo with us but for now he doesn't have his shots and hasn't been tested for the kitty AIDS, and we don't have time to try to integrate him into the house anyway. Besides, Frodo now has a 'girlfriend,' I'm calling 'Cow Kitty,' for now, since she is black and white with spots like  a Holstein cow, and a little black mustache on her white face....arresting, and Fro is smitten, letting her eat from his bowl at the same time he does.

We had a few wildlife incidents of interest I thought I'd write about as well.

Those of you who have read the blog for a long time know about Nubbins -- the raccoon that had been like a pet -- so named because instead of ears, he had little nubs...a genetic thing, since they weren't maimed or anything. I always had a soft spot for Nubs. When I was feeding the others, they wouldn't let him up for food, so I purposely fed him and shooed the others off. Soon they realized Nubbins was a meal ticket, and they began to treat him with more deference and respect. One night more than a year ago, I looked out the terrace and to my horror, Nubs was standing there with a huge bloody gash on his side. I could almost see bone. My friend Sharon, the 'coon whisperer, had told me once coons have an amazing ability to heal and seeing them up getting food again usually meant they were on the mend, so I was heartened. But other than one other night, we never saw Nubbins again, and I feared the worse.

He was  by then an old, overweight coon and I thought his time had come. We hadn't been feeding any 'coons for some time, but one, Sad Girl, had come up as a baby with her mom and as a young adult, she just didn't get the  memo, or at least refused to read it if she had. Every blasted night she sat on the terrace wall and stared at the house for hours. I finally relented when I noticed that she was nursing and began feeding her. Every night I'd tell her to bring up her babies, and one evening, she brought three about 6-week old coons up to the sliding glass door. Friday when I saw a coon on the terrace after we unpacked I assumed it was she and grabbed for the dog food... and gasped as Nubbins ran up and flung himself against the screen door. I ran outside. He was as happy to see me as I was him. And he  looked great -- sleek and fit. If there was a 'grecian formula for coons,' I'd swear he used it. He actually looked younger. But it was definitely Nubbins. No one was as friendly.That night he feasted on left-over chicken thighs and grapes.

The other thing that's funny is also kinda sad. Our neighbor across the street had a white goose that decided he wanted to be 'adopted' by a family of wild geese and their three goslings that were born and raised on our pond. They had two others, but I guess he didn't care for them. The domestic goose can't fly. His wings are clipped -- not sure who did it or why...The wild ones are  practicing flying, with short take-offs around the pond and outings of greater and greater distance. Saturday the white goose would not stop honking and we noticed the wild geese weren't around...later that afternoon some other wild geese landed but kept their distance from the domestic one and vice-versa...eventually the white goose's honking picked up in intensity and he waddled towards the pond as fast as he could, and shortly after the wild family made their aquatic landings...the white goose raced up to them and in their language really gave them a piece of his will be a sad day when he's left all alone...we are hoping he will begin to make friends with the three domestic ducks Corey bought and has raised from babies. So far, they are all keeping their distance.

We are off again on Sunday, and I will eventually feel well enough to write from Atlanta. Y'all be well...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

travels and travails

Sorry I haven't been too regular in the postings of late. Been a busy time getting ready for the kidney remnant removal and then the transplant in just a few weeks. This week we are off to Emory for more pre-op testing, and then we are home for a week and then off for good August 5. If all goes well surgery is the 7th and the transplant on the 16th. We are getting this 10-hr drive down. By the time the process is over we will be old pros on this commute!

I will post when we are back home before we go for good. Then there will be 'radio silence' for several weeks while I am in the hospital and recovering. We have to live in Atlanta probably 6 to 8 weeks unless the perfect 'cocktail' of anti-rejection meds are found. If I don't feel up to writing I at least intend to make the rounds of everyone else's blogs. Blessings to all...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sheet Dreams

If I were absolutely stinking, go-to-hell wealthy to the point of having staff like a full-time maid and cook, I would instruct my maid to change the bedsheets every day. I adore the feeling of sliding into crisp cotton sheets... the cotton sheets would be so crisp they would be slightly crinkly. I have always savored a luxurious bed...not a fan of the big bunch of pillows that decorators seem to prefer, but at least two king-sized pillows to lean into at the end of the day.

I once read that as First Lady in the White House, Jackie Kennedy insisted the staff change her linens twice daily -- in the morning, and after a daily afternoon nap. I suppose I wouldn't be too high-maintenance in comparison. I seldom nap, so once would be fine, thanks. Really.

So I was shocked to learn of a survey taken in Great Britain that revealed most people 'across the pond' (according to said survey, at least), change their sheets only once every three weeks. One in six doing so only once a month. And the article continued to state that in the U.S., people also waited every three weeks or longer.

Not to be all judgmental, but: EEEeeeewwwwww...

To me that is disgusting. "Experts" in the survey recommended once a week, citing dust mites allergens as the main reason to 'go to the trouble.' The article continued to address how much 'trouble' it is to strip a bed and remake it with fresh sheets. Please. It's all of five minutes' "work." And well worth the effort.

I have always been told one should have at least 3 sets of sheets per season--that way they can be rotated constantly. I have 4 sets for each season. In the cold weather we prefer flannel sheets, and I also have two heavier cotton sets that are a bit too hot in warmer months. I splurge with the best I can afford at the time and always on sale from outlets or the Linen Source catalog. I prefer white ones, so I can toss them in the washer with a bit of bleach if necessary. I have an eye out for a bamboo set, as I've heard they are well worth the expense.

For the record, I change our sheets twice a week. Even being slightly odd about this, ** there's only so much time on chores I'm willing to spend. Where's my house-servant when I need one?!

**A friend says her 'quirk,' are clean floors...she said when she was in the hospital, she begged family members to go to her house and vacuum and mop for her...

Another one of my chore hang-ups are dishes: I cannot go to bed with a sink full of dirty dishes, even if we've had a dinner party and it's 2 in the morning. Something about seeing a stack of grimy dishes on the counter the next day turns my stomach..other than that I swear to you, I am no 'Martha Stewart.'

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

RIP, Andy

There will be lots of posts today about the passing of Andy Griffith and how much he was loved. This post is one of them. One of my proudest possessions is the entire set of DVDs of the Andy Griffith Show. Yeah, I'm a corn-pone that way. When life gets too difficult, going back to Mayberry is always refreshing. I intend to have a marathon viewing when we finally get back from Emory this fall and I have to lay low for 4 - 6 months while the new kidney kicks in.

I find myself laughing at least once every episode. And if it's not a humorous episode, I will enjoy it as well. So thanks, Andy and crew, for all the many hours of laughter you've provided this family. Many years ago I gave the 'ancient p's' (don't you watch Monty Python?) a book of the entire cast and characters, as well as a cookbook of 'Aunt Bee's' recipes, and I still use Barney's beef stew - it is excellent!

I know Griffith was a talented actor and comedian, but to me, he's just Sheriff Andrew Taylor, dad to Opie, and a sole voice of reason in the life of his sidekick deputy, Barney.