Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

I was negligent in doing cards this year, so I e-mailed this. Got it to a lot more folks that I would have via snail mail.

Well, mailing Christmas cards is a no-win at this point, as I realized last night, so I thought I'd take a shot at making my own.

The image above is one I found on rummaging through the Interweb. The animation of the water and the reflection resonated with me, and I think it's the best image I can share with you.

First, I hope this finds you and all of yours warm, safe, happy and well. After all, it has been one of the strangest years I can remember, what with the Cubs winning the World Series.

Here at home, it has been a mixed year. I have a decent part time gig at the Manheim Auto Auction, which pretty much consists of find the car, drive the car, park the car, in a 500+ acre lot holding several thousand cars. Some days I wind up walking several miles, so it provides some exercise.

In general, we are all warm and safe. However, it has been a tough year for the critters. Suzu, my sweet little girl Shiba left us in April. She had been failing slowly for a while, then started to crash in March. I was trying to feed her and get her to drink from a syringe during her last week, but when a Shiba says "No", it means "No!" Turns out she'd had a stroke and her kidneys were failing, so, in consult with the vet, I let her go.

Two months ago, Griffin, my rescue Shiba, went in for a dental cleaning and exam. Whilst he was unconscious, the vet was able to give him a full exam, which was not something you could do while he was awake. Both his knees are 'blown', and he wound up losing all of his teeth. I felt awful about that, but, as the vet suggested, since the extractions, he's been a much happier dog. It seems to have taken a couple of years off his age! (The report I got of his mouth is best summed up as "horror show".)

Finally, the vet also confirmed that Baxter is blind. We did a full blood work-up to see if anything suggested itself as the cause, only to find that he is in really good shape for a cat of 17!

I didn't get as much work done around here as I would have liked to, and gardening suffered a bit, too. I did get quite a harvest of Oregano, Thai Hot and Ghost peppers. The early hail took its toll on the potatoes, which, along with strawberries, were the only other things I planted.  I did wind up with a slew of 'wild' tomatoes, from seeds left from previous plantings and contributions to the compost bin.

Bottom line is that all is good. I feel blessed to have a warm, safe happy place for me and the critters, and for family and friends around the country.

Here's hoping that your Christmas is merry and bright!

Lee (and Grif, Benny, Baxter, Nadia and Missy)

P.S. If you've a mind to, our adventures in Red Lion are chronicled here: Window on Red Lion, and my curmudgeonly rantings and musings are here: Leelu's Place

Saturday, December 10, 2016


Baxter and I got back from the vet a few minutes ago. Here's what I sent to Jen and friends:
Got Baxter to the vet this morning. He confirmed what I suspected, Baxter is blind. His pupils are responsive to light. which suggests that there was, possibly, a stroke.
We're doing a full blood workup to see if something suggests itself. At his age (17), the likely candidate is kidney issues, followed by a thyroid problem. The goal is to reduce blood pressure, and get his weight back up (he's down to 7 lbs).
The vet suggested an ophthamology consult. But I can't see Baxter wearing glasses.
Should have the results Monday.
Baxter helping me in the office, about a year ago.