Monday, September 25, 2006

Out Cattin' Around

Jewel E. Cat has become quite the outside kitty lately. She probably spends about 20 hours a day outside, usually coming in for breakfast and dinner and maybe a nap. This morning, she yelled at the door, demanding to be let inside for breakfast. When I opened the door for her, she staggered in like she'd been out drinking all night. :) I don't know if she even ate breakfast; I think she just went straight to her princess perch (the ottoman) and passed out. She slept until it was time for me to leave for work. When I let the dog out, she came running to the door, which I promptly closed in her face. I was going to make her stay inside today, but she gave me such a dirty look as she stomped away that I decided it would be better to just let her out. She's such a witch.

The other two come and go, and I actually get to see them in the house sometimes. Gypsy doesn't spend too many nights out because she likes to get kitten cookies at bedtime - the others will gladly skip the cookies for a night out.

Squirt stayed out all night Saturday, and when he came in Sunday morning he was soaking wet. It took several hours for him to dry out completely (Dave didn't feel the need to dry him with a towel like he would do for the dog). The drawback? The rain and excessive grooming it takes to recover from a night in the rain washed the medicated powder off his sore. So he licked it. Until it bled, again. I was very upset because it took a week to get a good scab on it, and now we are starting over. I really might end up taking him to the vet over this. He's so neurotic that he can't leave it alone. I wish I could put a bandaid on it, but I don't think it will stick to all that fur.

In people news:

I worked all weekend, so Dave did my chores for me: laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking for the pot luck lunch after church. He's a good, good man.

Life goes on.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dave!!

Today is Dave's 28th birthday.

I gave him one of those wooden boxes that has several different games in it. He got Chess, Checkers, Chinese Checkers, playing cards, Cribbage, Backgammon, Pachisi, and a couple of others. This is just another testament to our nerdiness. Maybe he'll teach me how to play Chess. He's currently grounded from Scrabble, which saddens me because it's our favorite game. The last time we played, I beat him and he got an attitude. I told him we wouldn't be playing again for a while. Maybe his grounding is almost over. Maybe I'll un-ground him for an extra birthday present. :)

We have family dinner tonight, because it's Thursday, so there will be cake. His second cake, actually. We had our standing Sunday night family dinner with the other half of the family, and that was also the September birthday celebration. There was birthday cake with a picture of the Beatles on it for Rob, and Dump Cake for Dave (that's one of his favorites). We are going to the County Fair Saturday for his birthday date. That will be fun.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tie Dye Adventures

Dave taught Rob how to tie dye tonight. These are the fruits of their labors.

This shirt was Rob's design.

This is what it looked like with the rubber bands on it. I don't think Rob realized that making tie dyed shirts involves work. :)

This is Dave's design. We gave Rob three colors of dye in his kit: yellow, green, and blue. Previously (to brush up on our skills) we tie dyed two shirts for him with purple and pink. We thought he'd enjoy the lesson for his birthday. It will be fun to see what else comes out tie dyed now that he knows how to do it.

This is what Dave's design looked like with the rubber bands on it.

This is Rob. As I said before, he's a wanna-be hippie. Sadly, there isn't much my dad can say about the hair because he had hair like that when hippies came into being. I'm ready for Rob to outgrow this phase. I keep telling him I'm going to shave his head in the middle of the night. He doesn't believes me. :)

I think our next adventure will be color remover. We want to get a school t-shirt and reverse tie dye it with color remover. I'm just curious to see how it would turn out. Yes, I am a nerd.

I think Rob enjoyed himself, and he got to go home with a bonus birthday present: a Grateful Dead cd that survived Dave's teenage years.

Life goes on.

Jewel E. Cat

I've been asked to explain what the "E" in Jewel E. Cat represents. The answer is nothing. Her name is Jewel because Dave gave her to me when he proposed and my engagement ring was on her collar. I call her Jewel-y Cat (sounds like "Julie") all the time. Instead of writing her name as Julie (because that's not her name) or Jewely (because that looks dumb), I started writing it as Jewel E. Cat. Much like Ted E. Bear (or "Teddy Bear"). That's the explanation; the "E" stands for nothing.

Furry kid news:
Jewel is recovering from her UTI, and has learned how to spit. She doesn't like her medicine, so she figured out that if she holds her mouth open after I squirt it in, she can let it run out again -thus, onto the floor and not down her throat. I think this is the closest she can get to actual spitting. Now I have to hold her little beak closed until she swallows. She also starts making gagging, coughing noises and gestures when I pick her up to take her to the kitchen to get her medicine (before I actually have the medicine anywhere near her). She's always been a sassy cat.

Squirt's sore spot is getting better, I think. I have been diligent about putting the medicated powder on it and it finally scabbed over, and now it just looks like a bald spot. Squirt is so neurotic, that he has been licking and licking that spot so it wouldn't heal. It just got bigger and bigger. I think the medicince keeps him from licking it as much, so we seem to be on the right track.

Gypsy is the same old pygmy, kitten-mini. In the mornings she barks a little bark at me (not a meow) and runs to the food bowl (if it's empty) or the front door (if she wants to go outside), always with the crook in her tail. If I do not respond in a timely fashion, she repeats the whole process until she gets what she wants. Dave told me this morning that Gypsy and I together put off too much heat at night, and I have to start throwing her in the floor. She always sleeps on me when she's inside, and if I throw her off, she comes right back. I don't think he will win this battle with that little speckled butter bean.

Georgia had an exciting weekend. She got to go to a new house and play with some new people Saturday night. She had a blast with her new friends. Sunday, we took her to the baseball field for frisbee and ball fetching. She drank a gallon of water, then she swam in the creek to cool off. She was so tired later that she was an upside-down dog for about twenty minutes with a basket of laundry piled on top of her. She was still tired this moring, and ready for her kennel.

I think that's about it.

Family News

My 16-year-old brother, Joshua, has been providing the family drama lately. He is not part of my household, but I'm going to tell this story because it is a perfect example of God working.

Friday morning, September 8th, my mom called me as I was leaving for work to tell me she was calling Rescue for Joshua. He had stroke-like symptoms and he wasn't coherent. I arrived at her house just as the Resque squad was arriving. This is what had happened up to that point: He had a sleepwalking episode early Friday morning and it woke my mom up around 1:30 a.m. She knew that something was wrong because he couldn't communicate and he almost fell down the stairs. (Some history: Joshua has a long history of sleepwalking during which you can have entire conversations with him without him ever waking up. If you were seeing it happen for the first time, you would not believe he was sleepwalking unitl the next morning when he wouldn't remember anything. For him not to be able to talk and walk normally was really unusual.) They got him back to bed and stayed up until 3 a.m. to make sure he didn't get up again. When she went to wake him up for school, he couldn't talk, he wasn't coherent, one side of his mouth was drawn down (like a stroke victim's), and he couldn't control his body. He was jerking and twitching, and he didn't realize it. All of this, on top of the bizarre sleepwalking episode, convinced her to call Rescue.

The paramedics checked is blood sugar (it was 60) and his blood pressure (102/60); both were pretty low. He had played basketball after dinner the night before, so they thought maybe he didn't eat enough. They continued talking to him and gave him an oral glucose test. Meanwhile, they we were discussing his prescriptions. He was taking two, and one of them didn't list the dosage on the bottle. I went to get the bottle the second time and realized that it was empty. It was empty, and according to the date on the bottle, there should have been a week's worth of pills left in it. This was an anti-anxiety medication that he was taking to prevent stress-induced migraines. I brought this to my mom's attention and she asked him if he had taken it. He said he took it before bed (like normal) and there were pills in the bottle, but he couldn't remember anything after that. At this point, my fears of epilepsy or other unexplainable causes were replaced by fears of overdose. The paramedics finished up and told my mom to take him to the ER.

They spent the entire day there, with him hooked to a heart monitor most of the time. After 8 hours, with no further setbacks and some improvement, they sent him home. It would be Monday before they got the results from his bloodwork so we could find out exactly what happened. It was unclear because the symptoms for low-blood sugar and for an overdose on that medicine are almost identical.

Fast forward to Monday: He went to school but called home because he felt really bad and he couldn't remember anything from the week before. His short term memory seemed to be completely shot. He was also still twitching. They went back to the ER to get his test results and have them sent to his regular doctor. The doctor found the evidence to be inconclusive, but decided to act on the assumption that he had in fact overdosed since the levels of medicine in his blood were high and that was most likely, given the circumstances. The thing that really concerned her was his memory loss. She decided to follow up with a CT scan to rule out a fall (while he was sleepwalking) that caused head trauma or a tumor. The CT scan was scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, we found out that he had gone to bed with a headache Thursday night, which would explain why he took his medicine while he was sleepwalking. We also found out that his other prescription, which he had just started taking the week before, can cause sleepwalking. This was his first sleepwalking episode in several years, so that explains why it started again.

The God parts: 1. Had this happened early Saturday morning, he may have died because my mom wouldn't have been trying to wake him up for school. 2. Had there been more than a week's worth of pills in that bottle, he probably would have died before she tried to wake him up for school. The medicine quickly and strongly affects the central nervous system and the heart, and kids have died as late as 72 hours after overdosing on it. 3. In our Wednesday night Bible study about prayer, we added him to our prayer list. Our specific prayers for him were that his CT scan come back normal and that he find some peace of mind (because he was really upset and had almost quit talking). Friday afternoon, the CT scan was normal, his blood tests were normal, and over the weekend he started returning to his old self. Those were answered prayers.

We still don't know what to expect as far as long term effects, and he's still twitching involuntarily, but it looks like he's going to be okay. It was a very scary week.

God is amazing and prayer works. This Bible study has demonstrated that fact over and over again. It is really exciting to watch God answer prayers.

Other news:
My other brother, Rob, turns 17 a week from today. We had a September birthday party last night (there are a few in our family), and Dave and I gave him a tie-dye kit. Tonight, he's coming over to learn the art of tye-dying from Dave. He's really going through a psuedo-hippie/Beatles phase right now. Oh, and I feel old. How did he get to be 17?

Rebecca and I spent Saturday looking at wedding and bridesmaids dresses with our cousin, Jessica, who is getting married in July. She found a dress that is absolutely beautiful, and perfect for the occasion. We didn't have as much luck with the bridesmaids dresses, but I think she has a better idea now of what she wants us to wear. It was a fun day, and the plans are coming along.

Life is crazy as ever.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My Favorite Sister


This is my sister, Rebecca. She is upset with me right now because she just became a blog reader and she found issue with the fact that I've only mentioned her once; I quote: "I have one complaint about your blog. I have read a whole lot of passages and I was only mentioned once. I consider myself a part of your household, even if I don't live there. . ." So, favorite sister, this entire post is dedicated to you. :)

Since she considers herself a part of my household, I will take the same liberty of writing about her as I would Dave, Georgia, Squirt, Jewel E., and Gypsy (the members of my household that actually live there full-time). If she's reading this now, she's already upset that I posted a picture of her. (Sorry, Booka, I only have a few people pics saved on my Snapfish account, and that was the best one.)

Rebooka is her childhood nickname that my cousin and I assigned to her when we created the Sea Gully Club so, so many years ago. There are many variations of the name: Bookie, Book, Booka - all pronounced with the same "ooooo" sound as in "Moooo" (like what a cow says). She's also been called Bug, Reebeck, and Reebock. I'm sure there are others that escape my memory right now.

What can I say about her? Hmmm. Well, she's my best friend. She's the kind of best friend that I love even when I want to strangle her, the kind that makes me laugh when I'm crying, the kind that makes me hurt when she's hurting. She's the only person in the WORLD who has been through what I've been through. True, we've gone our different ways, we have different lives, but there's nothing like the foundation of childhood to bind two people at the heart.

Oh! I just thought of another nickname: The Beez Knees. When she was little, she was all angles and bones, and her knees stayed skinned. We knew it was summer time again when The Beez Knees were skinned. :) She broke her ankle playing soccer in the backyard. She flipped over her handlebars during a bike race and had to have rocks picked out of her elbows (she still accuses me of running her off the road). As recently as last summer, she fell out of an SUV and skinned those knees again. Some things never change.

She's a bad influence on me. :) She forces me to lighten up. She's the only one who inspires inappropriate and spontaneous fits of giggling that no one else understands. Her tears bring me to my knees. She's smart and funny and beautiful (inside and out), and watching her realize these things about herself over the past year has been amazing. I'm so proud of her.

That's my favorite sister.

P.S. For anyone else who is concerned that I don't mention you in my blog, realize that I limit myself to writing in detail only about the members of my household. Most of them can't complain, and the one that can doesn't read this blog. :) I don't want to embarass anyone who wouldn't want to be mentioned here.

P.P.S. I only have one sister.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Roll Tide

A fellow Bama fan told me I needed to show my team spirit and change to blog to crimson. What was I thinking with that orange?! :)


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Face Lift

I decided it was time for a change, so the blog now has a new look. I felt that orange was a little more Fall friendly than the greenish blue. Feel free to offer questions, comments, or editorials if you don't like it - or if you do.

Time for Another Update

I gave up on toilet training. I've reached the conclusion that if I only had one cat (Jewel), it could be done fairly quickly. Since I have three cats, I just don't think this is going to work for us. The other two just don't seem interested, and Jewel quit using the litter in the toilet. Plus, I'm tired of the mess and living with just one bathroom. I cleaned it all up this past weekend, so we are back to two litter boxes. The good that came out of this is that both boxes are now in the little bathroom, instead of one of them being in our bedroom. I like it much better that way, and there isn't nearly as much cat litter on the carpet now. For a funny demonstration of why I would never teach Jewel to flush (if I had toilet trained her), watch this video: .

I spent last week in Indianapolis with a new client to kick off a new project. The week went really well, and I got great feedback from the client. That's always exciting. :) It looks like Indy might become my second home over the next couple of months, as I'm already supposed to go back there next week. I like occasional travel, but I don't like leaving my little family for very long. A week is plenty long enough, and I'm not sure I'll be ready to go back so soon. On a positive note, the people we are working with are very nice and cooperative, and the city is pretty neat. We stay in the Hilton downtown, and the office is only half a block away. We don't rent a car because everything (except the airport) is within walking distance. However, if I'm going to be there during the winter (and I'm sure I will), I'll need real winter clothing. I have a feeling my Alabama winter clothes aren't going to do the job. :)

Dave is moving right along in his law practice, and picking up new cases every day. He seems to love the work, even if he sometimes feels like he doesn't know what he's doing. (He says that, not me.) The majority of his clients really like him, and I know he's doing the best he can for them. I'm so proud of him, and so happy that he's happy. There is also a possibility of some teaching in the future, and I think he's excited about that. Actually, there has always been the possibility of teaching, as the man has a Masters in Education as well as the gift of teaching, but the possibility has become more real as of late. We'll see where that goes when it goes.

Dave and I spent Labor Day canoeing with my sister and some of her friends. That was the first time since Dave and I have been together (6 years) that I have been able to get him on the Cahaba River. We had a great time and we didn't see any "Rattlecoppermouth" snakes. :) He's terrified of snakes, and that is the primary reason we haven't played on the river before now. I think he'll go back again, and we definitely have to go in the spring when the water level is higher. It was pretty low yesterday, so there was lots of getting stuck on rocks and walking the canoe. It's a smoother ride when the water is higher, but its REALLY cold in the spring. I liked being able to hop right in the water without the fear of hypothermia. Oh well, there are always trade offs.

Dog Breath turned 2 years old last week while I was out of town! It's hard to believe she's two! I gave her an early birthday present before I left. It was a Good Cuz, which is a thick rubber ball with feet and an obnoxious squeaker. The feet make it easy to fling, so she plays with it by herself a lot. Dave named it Big Yella'. :) She has matured so much in the past several months, it's amazing sometimes. She's really learning to run and play with little kids without jumping on them, though she still loves to lick their dirty hands and faces. Who wouldn't? :) She and Jewel E. Cat have become faster friends lately, too. I've witnessed a lot more snuggles and licks than ever before, from both parties. It's really cute.

With October coming upon us quickly, Dave and I have been joking that it's time to add another one to our pack. We seem to collect animals in the fall (which makes for a huge annual vet bill, by the way). He gave me Jewel and Squirt when he proposed to me in September of 2003. Then we got Georgia in October of 2004. Last October, at the 2005 annual vet visit, we adopted Gypsy from the vet's office. It's hard to believe we've had her for a year already. She quickly made her place in our fur family, even though Dave still calls her "The Spare." So now it's almost October again and he already mentioned that it's time to add another. :) Of course he's concerned that we don't have space for another kennel, but I told him we could get a smaller dog and we'd have room. It would have to be medium-sized, as I now tend to trip over small dogs after living with a big one for two years. I'm thinking a Basset or something of that nature, but I have to wait for him. In case anyone is wondering, EVERY one of our animals was HIS idea (with no prodding or hinting from me) and HE initiated the procurement of each of them. :) I know that if you know me, that's hard to believe, but it's the truth. Even Gypsy was his idea, and supposedly he's not really an animal person. :) Yeah.

Life goes on.