Cider Press Hill


Friday, 11:22 am

By Kate




It turns out that it was serious. The vet knew when she talked with me this morning. There is only one cat affliction that presents in this way.

Stinky had a heart defect. He threw a clot last night that paralyzed his legs. There was no blood circulation in his legs.

No known treatments. Nothing to do.

He and I spent time together just talking and loving. And then I helped him leave this life.

He was our special boy. I am glad that we were able to make his last year and a half happy. I’m glad that he chose to share it with us.

I miss him terribly. There’s a terrible hole in my heart and in this house.

And now...I have to tell the lad.



Something's wrong with Stinky

Friday, 5:53 am

By Kate




There is something wrong with Stinky this morning. We will be headed to the vet within the hour.

On the way to school the lad said he thought something was wrong with Stinky—he wouldn’t get up. Being the usual morning mad dash around here, I hadn’t seen him, but didn’t think much of it because he often sleeps in until I come back home.

When I came back home I called him to me, but he wouldn’t get up. So I gently picked him up and set him on his feet. Either one or both of his hind legs caved in and he dragged himself toward me with his front legs. I felt what seemed like an irregular bump on one of his hind flanks. He didn’t want me touching it. I can’t tell whether just one of his legs won’t work or both of them are affected. Either way, it’s a bad sign. And naturally, I’m very, very worried now.

He doesn’t seem to be sick. He’s alert and has that old Stinky sweetness in his eyes. He began to purr when I pet him and all other signs seem to be okay. Just his hind legs. So I don’t know whether he hurt himself in the night or what. It doesn’t seem that if he’d had a stroke , he would be so alert or so ‘normal’ looking and acting.

The vet’s office doesn’t open until 9AM, so here we sit. I thought about taking him to the emergency animal hospital, but that’s over a half hour away, so I might as well wait until the one up the street opens.

Please keep him in your thoughts. Me, too, I guess. I’m pretty close to panicking here.


E-mail surprise

Thursday, 11:47 am

By Kate




As you may have noticed, I’ve been inattentive around here. My poor blog languishes and I do other things. Every now and then I just get tired of blogging. It’s certainly not permanent and I don’t have any plans to fade away into the sunset. But I expect to be blogging quite lightly for the next few days. Nevertheless, I thought I’d mention…

Last night I got around to checking my email and found a message from the professor I mentioned in my post on Christian Stewardship. Well, that surprised me aplenty.

It’s been 30 years since I last saw the man so he’d rank right up there in the group I’d call The Last People On Earth I’d Expect To Hear From.

Now, I believe I’ll respond, but when we last had interaction, he was most definitely Professor. And all these many years that’s how I’ve thought of him. And here he signs his email with a simple ‘Jack’. I dunno if I can force my fingers to write Dear Jack.

Anyway, it was a nice email note and I think it’ll be interesting to answer the man’s question...."I’m also curious who I’m writing to.” I would be surprised if he remembered me, but if he does it’ll be the extremely naive 18 year old who was so painfully shy that she’d blush if anyone looked at her cross eyed. Things do change with enough time.

Curious message though. A definite environmentalist paddling against the current—and making progress. Teaching interesting classes with Sierra Club personnel and coming up with new ways of thinking. Or at least ways of thinking not exactly common for the Christian community. The world changes.


More Verizon

Wednesday, 7:17 am

By Kate




My Verizon contact, Sandy, called twice yesterday morning and left messages on my answering machine. Finally we connected in the afternoon. She told me that Verizon is running a special DirecTV offer that starts May 1st. She wanted to run it by me, since I was scheduled for installation today.

If I wanted to wait until May 2nd for installation, I’d get three months at almost half price with all the premium channels, no installation fee, and I could upgrade the TiVo box for $45. She recalled that I’d mentioned our old TiVo box was starting to act a little wonky and wondered if I wanted to take advantage of this deal. Beats the special offer that TiVo currently has running by a mile.

And I was assured that the DirecTV technician does run cable through the attic and down through the walls. Without having to call in an electrician to do it. Unlike Comcast who recoils at the very thought.

I jumped on the offer. Man, I love Verizon more each day. This customer service thing they have going...well, I’m just not used to it. Imagine a follow-up call like that. I’m simply bowled over by all this attention.

Telephone to be installed on May 3. DSL within a couple of days after that.


In no particular order

Tuesday, 8:39 am

By Kate




Reasons why it has been quiet around here:

1. I haven’t had anything to say. That’s a good reason. Rare, but true.

2. The lad came home and brought his whirlwind with him. It is so good to have him back.
a) he is definitely in love.
b) 1 hr. phone call with her last night. He’s going to burn through his cell phone minutes in a week!

He informed me yesterday that he chose not to sign on to the newest drama production. Why? Because it will interfere with his Miss Ashley phone time. I must thank (or congratulate) this girl at the earliest opportunity!

3. I’ve been doing other things. Fer instance… Rainlender. Call me surprised. I’ve had this thing on my computer for...oh...months. I’ve never really paid much attention to it for one reason or another. But over the weekend I started poking around under the hood. Oh, it’s a robustly featured desktop calendar. I believe it can also be coordinated with Outlook. With alarms and reminders. It’s a tiny application that takes up few resources and doesn’t appear to conflict with anything. I’ve had no difficulty with it for lo these many months just sitting there being a calendar.

However, over the weekend, as I said, I started poking around to see what it could do. Here is a current screen shot (pop-up image) of what it looks like on my desktop. The items displayed are a To Do List, an event list of what’s scheduled for the next 7 days, and 4 months of calendars (how many you want to display is totally up to you). The thing is skinnable with umpty zillion skins available—links to skin sites provided at the Rainlender site. Skin shopping (free) is half the fun.

But, utility wise, it’s pretty slick. Events can be color coded. The calendar skins are pretty full featured, but if you’ve had experience coding web sites, it’s easy to start hacking the skins to customize them. Which, of course, I did—to add more event colors. Well, actually, the calendar skin in the screen shot is a total hack, but that’s just me having fun.

Anyway, it’s the best little (free) calendar/to do list/events list program that I’ve come across so far. Way better than ones you have pay for, in my opinion.


Vacation ends

Saturday, 12:16 pm

By Kate




It’s pouring rain out there today. If April showers bring May flowers, we should be awash with posies next month. Unless we are literally washed away first. Flood warnings all over the place. At least this gives me a good excuse for not doing yard work today.

Instead, I’ve been doing housework. I often like to tell myself that having a teenager is the cause of 75% of my housework. After a week with him away, I have to admit that is a myth.

I can’t believe how quickly this week has passed. He has been gone for 8 days and it feels as if he just left. He comes home tomorrow evening. So time to tidy up and prepare for the young’uns return. However, I haven’t cleaned his room. I ought to feel a little guilty about that, but I don’t. Well, maybe just a little.

I’ve opened his door and peered in a few times and then closed the door quickly. Coming home to that mess won’t be much fun, probably, but I’d have to point out that Mom didn’t have anything to do with making it that way and sometimes Mom wants to run away from it, too. On the the other hand, I am half convinced that he likes it that way. It’s his mess and he feels comfortable in it. That’s about the only explanation I can come up with.

Meantime, I need to learn how to make margaritas. Seem that I’ll be hosting a girls’ night in tonight. In my whole entire life I have never made a margarita. I’ve made lots of other drinks, but never a margarita. I’m not even sure what all goes in one and I’ll at least need to figure out that out so I know what ingredients to get.

But before I do that, the cats want their lunch. I have two of them alternately jumping up on my desk, reminding me that they have needs. Immediate, important needs. Best way to get my attention is to jump up on the desk and flop down on the keyboard.

So, I’m off.


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