Sunday, July 29, 2012

My cat, Sunny

One morning several weeks ago, I woke to find my cat Sunny crying pitifully. His head was cocked over to one side, he fell over when he tried to walk and he couldn't focus. We rushed him in to the vet afraid he was dying. He's only 8 years old and a real sweetheart.

After checking him out, the vet could only tell us it was idiopathic vestibular disease. She explained that idiopathic just means they can't tell what the cause is. Because the the condition made Sunny so dizzy, the vet said he wouldn't be able to lower his head to eat or drink. She gave him an antibiotic injection and sent us home with an IV bag of saline solution to inject into his scruff to keep him hydrated.

I was able to help him walk by straddling him and supporting his ample belly. I eventually got him to eat by holding the dish up to his face and found it was easier for him to eat if I added water. Thankfully, I could get him to take enough water this way that we could discontinue the saline solution which I really hated doing.

He began having discharge from the ear on the "down-side" so the vet prescribed some expensive ear drops. Happily, he's improved to the point where his head is only slightly cocked and he can walk around pretty good. But if he moves suddenly, he easily becomes disoriented and falls over. After eighteen days of treatment, he's still not back to normal. We will take him back to the vet on Wednesday for a follow-up. 

I blame it all on the upcoming property tax refund that comes in August. Once again proving Sparrow's Law: Your expenses will always increase to equal your income.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The silence of departed children

Yesterday, I took the kids back to their homes--well half-way, anyhow. I met my daughter (Allen's mom and the girl's grandma) at a Dairy Queen off the interstate and transferred them back to her. After having lunch, we said our goodbyes.

I admit I headed back home with mixed feelings. It's always such fun doing things with them and interacting with them. I get them just one week a year and each year they're a little older and their personalities are more developed. Kristie loves to cook and set the table. Kylah loves art and computer games and Karley, the youngest is a regular chatty Kathy. And, of course, they all love shopping and movies.

Every morning they slept late so I would get up and take my newspaper, coffee and the cats out on the patio. Karley, age 7, would wake up first, get dressed and pop out to join me. I got a bang out of the way she would talk non-stop. Karley had a hard time learning to talk but she is making up for lost time now. One morning, she told me she had gone into the room where her teenage Uncle Allen was sleeping. She told me, "I was watching him sleep and he is just adorable!"

I laughed out loud!

Allen is so cool and every inch the doting uncle. He is always watching out for them and guiding them, but is never cross or critical. They are so very lucky to have him in their life.

It was really amusing to hear Kristie and Kylah lecture each other over some supposed rudeness with, "That is inappropriate!"

On the plus side: no more macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, sloppy joes, tacos or chicken strips! Also, no more Disney kid's channel.

I sent them home with some baby hen-and-chicks to grow. They each got a drawing pad and a journal to write in. I found a treasure trove of stampers at the Unique Thrift store for a fraction of their cost and they they had a lot fun with them. Allen assembled a model Star Trek vessel and he got a copy of "The Hobbit" to read before the new movie comes out. He was an avid Harry Potter fan.

Anyway, good bye kids for another year. It was loads of fun and hard work, but I'm looking forward to doing it again next year!
                               Is it safe to come out now?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


The kids and I went over to Minneapolis yesterday and visited the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. It was really hot but fortunately, there were shady places to sit around the grounds. If you're ever in the Twin Cities, it's a fabulous place to go on a budget--it's free.

                                They loved this giant glass fish!

                              This giant jackrabbit was also a hit!

                           This fanciful horse was my favorite.

Cherry on a Spoon: the signature piece at the Sculpture Garden.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday evening

This afternoon, my teenage grandson, Allen and my great-granddaughters (his sister, Lindy's three girls) arrived for a one week stay. It's always such a delight to see them bursting with energy and affection.

We decided to go to Snuffy's Malt Shop for supper. Snuffy's is a tradition and I've been taking grandkids there almost as long as I've been a grandma. We went early and got seated right away. The interior is decorated in festive  red and white striped  wallpaper and just inside the door is a soda fountain. We sat in a large booth where we had a ringside seat of the place.

The kids ordered malts and sandwiches and chatted happily about their recent vacation to the Black Hills. I began looking around and slowly realized that there were no other kids in the restaurant--it was people my age.
It dawned on me that these are the folks who grew up in the malt shop generation of the 50's and 60's. So, of course they love the place as much as the kids do! I don't think they were having as much fun as the kids with me were having, however.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Just passing this on

                                        Beautifully said!

Monday, July 9, 2012

If Volvo made computers, just think!

A 72-year-old man from New York is in the home stretch to reach 3 million miles on his '66 Volvo P1800S. He paid $4,150 back in 1966 for the red two-door car. He plans to travel this summer and get the 34,000 additional miles racked up. 

Just think if all manufacturers made such enduring products!

                               (With a nod to Owl Wood!)                 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Relief at last

Last evening, the temperature during the 6:00 news was still at 100 degrees. Thankfully, during the night a weather front moved into the area and pushed out the 8-day heatwave like a freight train. Of course, that produced a thunderstorm with lots of noise and lightning but a wonderful, soaking rain.

This morning when I went out onto the patio with the cats, the temperature was a lovely 70 degrees.The brown grass had miraculously greened up, the sky had lost its heavy haze and was washed a bright blue and the air was crisp and clean. Ahhhh!

                      (Borrowed image--this is not my backyard!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I'm melting! I'm melting!

It's pushing 100 degrees again today--like every day for the past week. I have all the drapes closed to keep the sun out but it's a struggle to keep it comfortable, even with fans and the A/C running.

I chopped up an apple and a few other goodies and took a pan of water to set in the shade on the retaining wall by the wooded lot. When I popped open the side door, the mama turkey was only ten feet away. She was panting mightily and all of her poults were too. She promptly led them away from me over to the pine trees. I wanted to call her back, "I've got cool water and food!" But of course, they moved on.

I feel so sad to see all the birds and animal suffering in this heat. I feel so helpless to do anything about it. I just hope she brings them back tonight

I hate to leave on that note, so here's a beautiful, cool juicy carved watermelon to feast your eyes on!

Monday, July 2, 2012

My version of a funny joke

This is a joke I heard years ago that really made me laugh hard. I have taken the liberty of embellishing it with childhood memories of the "olden days".

The ten-party-line telephone on the kitchen wall of the farm house rang. Ma was at the wood burning cookstove stirring a pot of stew for dinner. Her cheeks were rosy from the heat of the oven where six loaves of bread were baking. She wiped her hands on her homemade flour-sack apron as she rushed to answer. Her heart was pounding from the jarring sound as the phone rang again--one long and two short.

She grabbed the hanging ear piece, held it against her ear as she leaned into the mouthpiece and shouted "Hello?" She had to listen carefully to the faint voice on the other end of the line.  There were clicks as other people on the party line picked up the phone to "rubber neck". 

She ignored the eavesdroppers since she often listened in on neighbor's phone calls when she heard their distinctive ring tones. This was partly out of concern that there was an emergency so it wasn't considered more than a little nosy. Ma shouted "Hello" into the phone again to get the caller to speak louder.

It was her brother-in-law, Al calling from town. "Helen, is Arnie around?"

"No, he's out in the field on the tractor." Al's voice was more serious than usual, so she asked, " Is something wrong?"

"Well, we got a call from the Old-Folks Home and Grandpa died this morning. We wanted to let you guys know. So, we all gotta get together and plan the funeral, don'cha know. So, you have Arnie give me a call when he gets in from the field, OK?" 

"Yah, OK Al."

Little four-year-old Jimmy, wakened from his nap by the phone, came walking into the kitchen. He stood there in his stocking feet and bib overalls and announced, "I'm hungry."

Ma picked up the little boy and gave him a kiss on the cheek. She sat him down on top of two Sears Roebuck catalogs stacked on a chair and slid him up to the big round table with a kerosene lantern suspended over it. She stepped into the side pantry and grabbed a jar of homemade applesauce off the shelf. She unscrewed the heavy zinc-coated lid and put a dollop into Jimmy's favorite Mickey Mouse bowl . He dived right in.

Later, Arnie came in for his noon meal. When Helen told him about Al's call, he took the news of his father's death stoically. The old man had been failing for a long time so it was expected. They talked about how to tell the three kids when they got home from school. Little Jimmy sat wide-eyed, soaking in all the conversation about Grandpa.

When the family sometimes went to visit the old man at the Home, he liked to put Jimmy on his knee. Grandpa delighted in holding his pocket watch against the little boy's ear and watching as he listened intently to the ticking. The visits were usually short because Jimmy's three older siblings would get restless.

The confused little Jimmy finally asked about what happened to Grandpa. Helen and Arnie lovingly explained how God wanted Grandpa to come and live up in heaven with him so God took Grandpa away and that's why he died.

The afternoon was hectic with phone calls and making the arrangements. When 3:30 rolled around, nobody noticed the school bus stop at the end of lane except Jimmy. He saw his three siblings came trudging up to the house. He burst out through the kitchen door with excitement and ran toward them yelling, "Guess what, you guys? God killed Grandpa!"