Thursday, May 28, 2015

In Memoriam: Vicky the kitty 1999-2015

Vicky is the kitty on the right, sitting with her pal, Tigger.

Sad to say, but I had Vicky put down yesterday afternoon. She was such a good girl, and I miss her already.

She was born under the deck of the next door neighbor back in '99. We lived in town back then, and Tigger had a friend who was a stray cat we called Skank. Tigger was about 6 months old, and would jump in and out of the house via the kitchen door. There was a window missing on the bottom pane about 3' off the ground that I had not gotten around to fixing by then.

So Tigger and Skank would jump in and out of the house, grab food and wander the neighborhood together. One Saturday Skank was acting oddly; jumping in and out repeatedly. I went to see what was going on and lying there in front of the door on the outside with this little black furry jelly bean...Vicky. I followed Skank around for a bit and found her birthing place under the deck, grabbed the remaining survivor..another black jelly bean...and brought them into the house.  For the next few months, she jumped in and out while we kept her babies for her. We named them Ricky and Vicky. Ricky got given away but Vicky stayed.

As she grew, we noticed she was a VERY neurotic kitty. She didn't like to be picked up. She didn't like to be held. She skittled under the couch at any loud noise. I reasoned that living the first few days under a deck would make that happen. Boots clomping around overhead while you're trying to nurse would do that. So we let her be ...Vicky. Neurotic...sometimes invisible, but a part of the family.  When we moved in 2006, we stashed her in with a VERY dirty Tigger who had gotten out and was found in a swampy area. As soon as we got her here, she dashed under the loveseat and spent the next 3 years there. Occasionally she would come out and I would know she was fine.

Tigger and her were best buds. The two would sleep, fight and eat together. In the last few years, Vicky has ventured out of her hiding spot and become a very friendly kitty. She loved to sit with Daddy at night curled up on his legs in the recliner while Daddy read.  She would only do that if he had a blanket covering his legs, we never did figure out why.

When Tyler entered the realm, Vicky would fight with him regularly. We would know who won by who got to sleep with us upstairs at night. Vicky would prefer curling up on my hip.

She became our most prolific mouser. She caught and killed about 4 mice over her lifetime..which is 4 mice more than the boys!

The night before last, she jumped up on the foot of Dave's recliner and I noticed a smell...awful smell like some bad gas. Didn't think much of it until she got closer to me. Then I noticed it was her. Conversation ensued, and Dave and I bundled her up and took her to the bathroom where the best lighting is in the house. At 10 pm, Dave held her while I searched her for the cause of the smell. It turned out to be a big hole in her mouth. I rinsed her with some antibiotic laced water, gave her a dose of antibiotics and fell into a fitful sleep.

Yesterday, after finally finding her, I looked into her mouth again to give her another dose of antibiotics + rinse. The erosion was much worse and I did my best to rinse it and give her some antibiotics. I called the vet, and thought about it. My thoughts continually went to the worst possible scenario: Cancer. Whatever this is came on too fast, eroded what seemed to be a healthy mouth too fast and laid her low too fast to be a normal infection. I emailed Dave told him my fears and we decided that if were the case to have her put to sleep.

The vet did a thorough examination, and I withheld my suspicions. She was such a good girl through the whole thing that I bet those ladies thought I was kidding about her being such a neurotic kitty. I held her as best I could on the table while the Vet confirmed it was cancer. Only then did I admit that I had suspected it to be cancer as well. We discussed treatments; one MAY have given her another month, but she's old and it was pretty advanced. I told her to put her to sleep.

Vicky's last photo taken at the vet. She looks scared and sad. 
I stayed with her, petting her and telling her what a good girl she was, and how it was OK for her to go. She went as peacefully as we could make it. I had a cotton scarf that I put over the pet carrier to keep her calm that became her shroud. I took her home, laid her in state on the front room couch until Dave came home. I knew he wanted to say goodbye to his girl.

She's buried out by Sissy the goose, in the tall grass on the berm. A place where no one will disturb her and she will rest well. Right now, it is marked with a tree trunk. I'll get her a proper marker when I find one that's fitting.

RIP were a good girl. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Gonna be a 'glass half empty' day, I guess.

We lost a goose last night. She got into the road and hit by a car. We noticed Penny dead in the road when we went to do night chores. Dave gathered her up and we put her in the yard so that the other geese could see she was dead. I have a theory that they accept the loss of a flock-mate better if they see the body.

Penny was the gal that looked most like her Mom, Sissy. She will be missed. No amount of harassment and nothing short of a fricking 6' fence will keep those damned geese out of the road. They've got 30 acres of land behind that road ripe for the grazing, but they just wont.  stay.   out.      of.    the.   road.


I've been working on things to sell in my Etsy store: Things of interest I find in my trips to Goodwill, Vintage Patterns, Some Workbasket mags from the '50's. My decision right now is that attempting to get a job that would be able to work around the schedule here would be just as disastrous as before. EVEN THOUGH, I have no school to work around, I still need to be here to let out the animals in the morning. ...and to be honest, I need to be checking on them during the day as well. Apparently being available from like 7 am til 8 pm  Mon - Sat is too stringent of a schedule for most employers.

Another friend, another diagnosis of cancer. Another prayer shawl working on the needles. It seems as though there's an epidemic of cancer these days. I guess it's luck that I don't have insurance to see the doctor. I will not know that I am dying of cancer until I'm well past the point of no return.

I'm having issues with every gosling dying in the shell before hatching. I put one gosling under Gracie and she buried it in the nest. I found it dead the next morning. She gave me 4 bruises on my arms trying to give her a baby to Mom and what does she do? Kill it.  Bitch.

So perhaps my attitude right now is less than happy happy joy joy. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Um, stuff?

Yes, I am still down to the one flockmistress job and school. Finals are this week, and I have one left in Microbiology.

'Tis probably good I quit last week at the store anyways. I contracted a cold so bad that I lost my sense of smell and taste for two days. That is only the 2nd time that's ever happened. As it stands now, I am not fully recovered. I have bronchitis and also this thing where I'm just not all that hungry. Which can be good, since I've got plenty of weight to lose.

When I wasn't sleeping or horking up a lung this last week, I managed to compile a pattern of all the prayer shawls I've knitted in the last year. It's all my notes on the revisions: How I made them smaller, modified to fit one brand of yarn, and one needle. ***CLICK HERE ***** for the pattern on Etsy
Pattern costs $3.99 and the money goes to buying more yarn for my prayer shawl efforts.

This one here is a shawl version of the 'My Way' pattern. The original knit was given to Kevin, who passed away a few months ago. I was watching "Singin' In the Rain" about 2 weeks ago and felt the loss of Kevin in a big way. He loved those kinds of movies.

So I decided to alter the pattern a bit so that it can be a stole instead of a throw but in the same colors as the original.

*** Pause to hork up more crap out of my lungs***

It's getting better, honestly! I CAN get stuff out of my lungs now, instead of struggling, coughing so hard that I am popping calcium off my ribs and throwing up......trying to take any meds I have here that pertain to asthma and breathing.

In an effort to keep busy, I'm working on a few things I'd like to try to sell online: Survival Kits broken down into Mods (like Firestarting, water, shelter, etc) and a coconut-oil-free hand salve. My Sister is allergic to Coconut, so I was inspired. So far, that one will have Shea and Mango butter in it. Working on scents and additives to give it staying power.

What will become of me after finals? I don't know. Right now, I'm just trying to keep alive and gain back my health. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Adventures in Minimum Wage - An Abrupt End?

So after the rant, I went in and did my Sunday work and looked at the board. I had already decided to quit the job as the hours I was getting were unworkable for more than a few days.

I perhaps did not make myself clear when I said there were hours I didn't want to work. It wasn't that I didn't 'want' to work them, it's that I 'couldn't' work them. You see, my schedule is wonky, but uber-tight. If I'm not working one job, I'm either working here at home or studying. Which sounds odd, right?

My day starts off at anywhere between 5 and 6 am every morning. Not 5 days a week, but every stinking morning. 
I stumble down the stairs, feed snacky treats to the cats at bottom stair.
Then I spritz, candle and turn eggs in the incubator.
Then I dump out the bad water and give new water to the 3 baby ducks and 4 baby chickens in the laundry room. And feed them too.
Then it's outside:
Open the coop, let out the ducks and chickens,
open the garage, let out 1/2 of the geese, check on the brooder chickens and make sure they have food + water.
Open the goose pen.
Check on broody girl geese refresh food and water.
Empty out and replace water in 5 kiddie pools.

Then make sure everyone is ok, no one is dead.. make note of who is limping.  Today it was dark out with the rain, so I dug under a grumpy Fred and candled her eggs. One looks viable and will hatch next week sometime. This is good, because I've got 3 eggs in the incubator that can go at the same time. It's always MUCH BETTER to have a goose hatch the eggs and be Mom. Fred is gonna be a great Mom this year.

Then, after hour has passed and I can get in and get my coffee. 7 am. 
If it's a school day, I'm out the door in an hour and fifteen minutes to get to Monroe on time.

Get home at noon. 
Check on animals, start studying, throw something in the crock pot for dinner.
If I'm lucky (and lately I'm not) I can get an hour in for a nap.

4 pm, Dave messages me, then comes home. We get dinner on the table at about 5. Night chores take about 1/2 an hour at sunset. Then I can relax with nothing to do but knit and watch tv for about 2 hours. then it's turn the eggs, refeed and rewater the baby animals in the laundry room, go to bed.

 I usually get there about 10:30, asleep around 11.  So.......on a good day, 6 hours of sleep, maybe 7 on a great day.  With this recent work..I was getting 5 - 5 1/2 mainly because 8 hours of standing was affecting my already bad ankles.  It took them at least an hour to stop screaming.  Yeah, in 2005 I fell down the stairs and sprained both of my ankles; the right one so badly I could not walk without crutches for 6 months. That's another story for another day.

So when I say I don't want to work this time or that time, it's because I can't without it seriously affecting the work I'm already doing. I've got this whole block of time during the day that is just floating free, but NO ONE wants to fill up that time with work. They want late nights, or weekends. Or both. If I'm not here to do chores, THEY DON'T GET DONE. And my animals will die. 

So maybe retail is not for me. I need to be able to count on a specific schedule that does not change. I need to have a manager that understands that my schedule cannot change to their whims because my schedule does. not. change.  Well, at least until the next semester.

I am so looking forward to having one job. Dave will be great at being the flock master and I will be happy to work in a lab. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Adventures in Minimum Wage - The Mini Rant

I've been a cashier for 5 days now. I've not seen the back room except to put the broom away.

BUT.. here's the deal:

I SAID both on my application and in person that I did not want to work Sundays, Sunday Night, Any night BEFORE class. Class is Monday Wednesday and Friday.

So when does my boss schedule me for this next week? Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday 4-10 pm.

I stole the meme. I mean, can't ANYONE EVER LISTEN TO ME?!?!?!?! 

I don't put these exceptions down willy nilly, I NEED TO HAVE PEOPLE LISTEN TO MY SCHEDULE!!!  I get up at 5:30 .......not on some mornings, EVERY FUCKING MORNING!! 
How else are chores going to get done?

So yeah.. I want to work til 10, get home at 10:30.. get to bed around 11 and get to sleep around Midnight...BECAUSE 5 HOURS OF SLEEP IS KEWL!! Especially RIGHT BEFORE EXAMS!!

Guess what day my quizzes + exams are in Microbiology??? FRIDAY MORNINGS AT 9:00 AM.
awesome, just freaking awesome!! I get to tank quizzes because my boss won't FUCKING LISTEN TO ME. 

Yes, I'm thinking about quitting....already. Just because people WON"T FUCKING LISTEN TO ME. 

Get the jist of what I'm saying? Well then! you're smarter than my boss!