Friday, January 30, 2015

Dogs vs. Cats

It's a battle that goes back centuries. . . dogs vs. cats.  I happen to be a "dog person."  If you insult my dog, you insult me and I'm going to make sure you know that!

Recently, my neighbors asked me to feed their two cats when they had to make an unexpected trip out of town for a family emergency.  They gave me feeding instructions and told me where to find the food.  Can a cat really survive with only a 5 minute trip inside the house to leave food once a day?

The first day (less than 24 hours after they left), I went over to put food in the cat dishes and make sure there was plenty of water.  Since there was ample food in the bowls, I left a little less food than my neighbors instructed.

The next day the bowls were licked clean, not a trace of food.  On the third day, same thing, only this time, one of the cats was pacing the floor when I arrived like it hadn't been fed in a week.  I quickly e-mailed my neighbors, "Am I doing something wrong?"

"No, that one is probably upset that we are not home."

The cat would have nothing to do with me.  But as soon as I walked away from the feeding bowls, it pounced on the food.  "Well, you could leave some for the other kitty," I said to it.  The cat ignored me.

When my neighbors returned, I'm told the cat ignored them.  It wasn't happy that they left it alone.  I never saw the second cat!  My dog would be jumping with joy all over me, even when I return home from work, even more from being gone several days!

I was relaying this story at work with another "cat person." 

"Cats have an attitude and they hold grudges," she told me.

The other difference between dogs and cats. . . My neighbors had emptied their kitchen trash can before they left but did not put another plastic trash bag inside.  So I put the first empty cat food can on top of the lid and left the house.  On my return, that can had been tossed all over the kitchen floor and licked totally clean!  So then I put the can and lid on the kitchen counter.  The next trip over there found several cans and lids of cat food scattered all over the floor!  I promptly took a trash can liner from my house and put it in the trash can, put all the cat food cans inside and closed the lid!

I know cats can have their loveable moments.  But God made me a dog person and I don't want to change!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Yesterday I had my last cataract surgery.  Done!

This time, and I don't know why, they gave me less anesthesia and told me I would be more aware of what was going on.  That is NOT what I wanted to hear.

Your mind can really do weird things to you on drugs.  They started to wheel me from the pre-op area to the OR and I immediately said, "You haven't put me to sleep yet."  Someone replied, "I just started the IV."

In the operating room, still wide awake, I said, "Please put me to sleep before you start working on me."  The drugs had started to take effect because people were talking to me but it was like they were speaking in a foreign language.

During the procedure, while I couldn't feel anything, I could see MUCH more than I wanted to!  I remember saying, "Are you almost done with me?"  Again, someone answered me in a language I did not understand!

I couldn't see people.  Instead I saw a mixture of all kinds of colors.  It's hard to describe.

The point of all my rambling here is, if you are told you need cataract surgery, you will probably want to run for cover, just like I did.  The night before my first surgery, two weeks ago, I slept very little from extreme anxiety.  To be blunt, I was scared to death.

All that anxiety was a total waste.  Cataract surgery is almost a walk in the park. . . really.  And the best part. . . I don't need glasses anymore!  Except for very fine print, I can see and read anything without glasses.  I went to Wegmans and bought a pair of readers to have "just in case."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What to bring to an office potluck???

I have been trying to decide for a week what to bring for my Division's Potluck Lunch at work tomorrow.  It has to be something that travels well since I have quite a walk, in snow and ice, from the parking lot.  At a past event, I brought in a hearty crock pot soup.  But even in a zippered case with the lid supposedly clamped in place, it was kind of a mess!  Actually, not "kind of a mess", but "a mess!"

Finally, this morning I sat down with one of my Southern Living cookbooks, idly turning the pages to find inspiration.  Ahhh!  That's it!  Hummingbird Cake!  I've never made one but many people over the years have told me it is a real winner.

The list of ingredients would charm anyone:  crushed pineapple, mashed bananas, cinnamon, chopped nuts and a cream cheese frosting!

I want to put in a good word for the Southern Living cookbooks.  I have several of them and every recipe is a sure winner every time.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Nice day for a road trip

I had to drive to Erie, Pennsylvania yesterday.  Pennsylvania no longer recognizes my multi-state concealed carry permit.  Instead, I needed a Pennsylvania permit.

I had no problems with that except for the fact that in the winter that section of I-90 from Buffalo down to Cleveland can be treacherous and is sometimes closed due to snow and ice.  And I wanted to stay on interstate highway so going to another county in Pennsylvania wasn't an option.  Only certain counties in the state issue non-residents carry permits.

The weather and driving conditions couldn't have been better!  I could see Lake Erie from a distance and it had huge sheets of ice on it.  It was even warm enough that I didn't need my heavy winter jacket and gloves.

It was a simple matter to apply for the license, I was in and out in a half hour.  I was told I should receive the permit within a week, in plenty of time for my trip South this Spring.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jackie!

If you happen to be in Pensacola, Florida today and run into Jackie Ward, wish her a Happy Birthday!

Jackie and I have been friends since way back in the third grade at Myrtle Grove Elementary School.

As a teenager approaching driving age, I was jealous that Jackie turned fourteen before I did!  Yes, in the olden days in Florida, you could get a restricted driver's license at 14, and then at 16, she had her full license four months before I did.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cataract surgery

I am pleased to report that my cataract surgery went very well this morning.  All the agonizing I went through was for nothing!

There was no pain and the hospital staff, from the secretary that checked me in, the patient care technicians, nurses, the doctors, everyone was top notch and treated me just wonderful.

Cataract surgery has come a long way from the days of long hospital stays and unpleasant recovery.  I was in and out of the operating room in a half hour and on my way home in less than an hour in recovery.

In two weeks I'll be back for the second eye, without the anxiety I went through this time!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The dead of winter

Winter has settled in for a long visit in Western New York.  With it has come frigid temperatures, slippery going, strong winds and gray, overcast days.

A great time to settle in on a Saturday morning and finish a good book I've been reading.  Have you read any of Debbie Macomber's books?  I love her Blossom Street books and have now read three of them.

I'm also crocheting an afghan with 6 sided granny squares.  I wasn't sure how knitting and crocheting would work with a dog in the house that loves my undivided attention!  Morgan just curls up on the couch beside me and takes a nap while I'm working with yarn.

This week I will have ambulatory surgery to remove a cataract from one eye and two weeks later, they will do the other eye.  Yes, I'm a little nervous about that but everyone I know that has had this surgery has assured me it has come a long way over the years and recovery is quick.  One person said she didn't feel anything but she could hear the surgeon singing a country song while he was working on her!  I just haven't figured out how I will survive without my cup of coffee before going to the hospital.

The harsh winter won't last forever and soon I will be on my way South for our annual cousin's reunion that we all look forward to.  This is year #7.

And I'm really looking forward to smoking meat again when the weather warms.  Last spring I bought a Weber Smoky Mountain smoker and truly enjoyed it all summer.  You don't know what you are missing if you have never tasted smoked meat right out of the smoker!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A nice thought for the New Year

"If more people knitted and crocheted, the world would see fewer wars and a whole lot less road rage."

That quote is attributed to Lily Chin from Lily Chin Signature Collection.  Think about it.  Knitting and crocheting are art forms handed down from generation to generation.  Working with a crochet hook or knitting needle in your hands, causes one to be calm and, at the same time, proud of the creation taking shape before your eyes.  I have a lot of friends that knit and crochet.  They all tell me the same thing, it is relaxing and almost spiritual in the effect it has on you.  My friend, Nancy Lauterbach, has even taken her knitting on canoe trips we have taken to remote wilderness areas!

I learned to knit and crochet decades ago.  At one time, I was quite skilled.  I made cardigan sweaters, afghans, ponchos, to name a few.  I used the cable stitch (my all time favorite), the seed stitch, and numerous pattern stitches in the items I made.  Then a busy life took over and without realizing it, I slowly got away from it.  In a cedar chest in my basement is a rather large, never finished afghan using triple crochet stitches that I used scraps of different color yarn over the years.  It is large enough that all I really need to do is bind off the stitches and possibly put a border around it.

One of my goals for 2015 is to get back in to knitting and crocheting.  I doubt, at this point, if I'm capable of the cable knits I did years ago, but I will work up to that.

Life can be frantic, demoralizing and unfair.  I've chosen a productive and pleasant way to walk around the storms.

Watch for posts on my progress!