Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas 2020!

Merry Christmas! 

I realized this morning I have not posted in weeks.  

I apologize.  Where I once posted daily, I realize life overtakes things and I just don't get to it, even in this strange year we are having. 

So, this was going to be about Christmas, etc., but I did not gather with my family this year... so... it is going to be about squirrels with a couple of look backs. 

First, the big present... 

My grandson Nathan and his significant other, Rachel, are expecting in June. 


This very blurry photo taken with my phone is a picture of the sonogram 
they sent me, "Only the best parents get promoted to be Grandparents" ... and Nathan 
has taken to calling me "Great Grandma" now.  

They bought a house in Garnett in September, and he has been on his job for 
two years now, so I think they feel stable. 

Yes, it was a surprise and what a Christmas gift!

So... the squirrels....

You know that I have a camera up in the bird-feeding area all the time. 
I saw 300 some pictures on it today, and saved some of them. 

You know that they say cardinals are visits from your lost loved ones. 
I have seen as many as eight pair around my feeder. 

There are MANY blue jays here, too. 

The dark shadow pole is the suet pole that the camera is on. 

They crack me up. 
(I am sure he was jumping down because there I am at the gate) 

This strange cat appeared on the porch cam this month, but I 
have not seen it again.  And, in sadder news... 
Spot has not been here since last Saturday morning. 

I am not giving up hope, he was gone for ten days once. 
I believe he has a former family somewhere around here.  

Then, while reviewing the feeder cam this morning after church, 
I found this picture. 

Is this Spot???

I don't think so... but I may be wrong. 

You know what?  Maybe it IS him.  He hates the blow up Santa I have had 
up for the last three weeks.  It sits on the corner of the deck. I do take it down at night. 
(comparing the two pictures now, I don't think it's him) 

That is the only thing I can think that would keep him from coming to the door. 

Today is Santa's last day for the year. 

The possums are fast to get the food on the deck in the evening, so I am not 
sure what he would have found, and he has always come to the door, he does not really like the dogs, but he tolerates them. 

Speaking of the dogs... I also looked at a lot of pictures in my Google pictures archive. 

That was my beautiful Lilly Ann in December, 2014.  We had officially bought 
a big new house about fifteen miles from here, and we were three months away 
from a renter moving into this house.  I came over every day, because, of course, I still 
had chickens here,  Keith's health was failing by this time. 

There is my handsome Jester, the same month. 

And the two of them, running up the driveway. 

And what would a Christmas day post be without a Christmas picture... here is 
Keith in the kitchen of our big house with Madison, my granddaughter, who is a mother now herself, and Amy, my daughter in law.  

Keith was in pretty good shape here, all things considered. 

He also LOVED Christmas and having parties. 

And... he loved his grandkids.  Here he is with baby Hayley, who is a big 
sister to twins now.  This was at her big sister's Brynn's party that same 
December of 2014.  How little we know what is in our future... but these pictures 
bring back such happy memories. 

My big brother Pete was still alive, and had another Christmas to go... gosh, I miss my brothers and my little sister.  If it weren't for my first cousins, there would be no one who remembered sitting around my family table, that sits in my kitchen now. 

Little Snowy has been sick all day today, in fact, she has only just now, at 2:30, laid her head down 
for the first time.  She has periodic days when she vomits copiously all day... and I mean copiously. 
This morning, I could not get her to take her morning meds.  

After I came home from church, I discovered she had been sick and urinated in the house, and she never pees in the house.  After that, she vomited two more times.  It was only after the second large one that she was able to lay her head down and rest.  I gave her Cerenia for vomiting about two hours ago, and I did not see it come up... so... I am praying it is helping.  She is gently snoring on the orthopedic bed behind me.  I had actually made an appointment for both to see their vet tomorrow morning at 9:30, and am planning on taking them so Dr. Coles can check her out thoroughly.  Jester needs his 
eyes checked again, so he is going along for the ride. 

And now, a little bit about Snowy. 

I took her in as a foster for a rescue in March, the week the area shut down for the pandemic. 
I decided to keep her in about two weeks, I knew she was sixteen, but it was not until they emailed her 
vet records to me that I realized she was turning seventeen on July 1.  She settled in okay, but was not overly affectionate.  She was the only dog that slept with me at this point, but always across the bed, she did not snuggle.  She has clung to Jester since Fritzi has gone, but.... she began snuggling at night a month ago, and this morning, I woke up with her in the crook of my arm.  

I had planned to take her picture over again today with her little Santa dress spread out over her back... but we are going to forego that. 

Here is one of our "official" Christmas pictures, 
take by one of my Grandkids whom I ran in to get specifically for this purpose. 
You notice the dogs are facing away. 

We tried.  (laugh). 

( my hair was also crazy) 

Friends, several friends of mine and one set of dear cousins have 
had Covid.  I know many of you know some who have been lost to it, and who have been ill and recovered.  Please, I beg you, 
wear a mask and stay safe.  I wear a mask whenever I go anywhere, and in fact, we cannot attend church without masks and our chairs in the sanctuary being six feet apart (unless you are family members).  We have to register for mass. 

This morning, at Christmas Day mass.... I was alone in the middle of a row, but grateful to be there.  

Everywhere I go here, a mask has become part of my wardrobe.  I know many people have a problem with this, but I do it to protect me and mine.  

I hope you will all be here to read my next blog post, and those of 
next year's.  I want to be here, too. 

Stay safe, and I pray you have had a Merry Christmas! 

I admit it, I love him.  He lights up at night, too! 


Sunday, December 6, 2020

A Loss

My last post was entitled "Still Alive and Kicking". 

Little did I know that the very next day, I would lose this little girl. 

I adopted Fritzi last year, three months after I had lost Lilly, 
who had grown up here at Calamity Acres. 

Fritzi was one of three dogs, all older... whose mama sat 
down in her recliner one day and passed away.  One dog was so old 
as to be unadoptable (ill health).  The other two were placed with a foster by a local rescue. 
Fritzi's sister, Dotte, had already been placed when she came through 
my Facebook feed.  (and crossed the bridge three months ago). 

Jester and I went to meet her, and I fell in love with her little "one ear up, one ear down" 

She was not a cuddler, but she always wanted to be near me, and padded around the house to wherever I was.  She was also the BEST watchdog, nothing escaped her eye and certainly not her hearing and smelling. 

She was a barker, where the other two are not. 

I would sit in the recliner and read (snooze) in the afternoon, and Fritzi was always close. 

She loved my son, too, if he walked in, she was all cuddles and squeals. 

In March this year, she became very sick.  She spent five days at a very expensive 
ER specialty hospital, and was diagnosed with diabetes, and later, with Cushing's disease. 
Around mid-summer, she went blind. 

We got used to the daily routine of shots morning and evening, but we were never
able to adjust to the "twelve-hours apart feedings".  The blindness was another thing, 
as she constantly bumped into things, and broke my heart.  She did learn to turn left
off the front door step, and was able to cross the porch to the east, get down the three steps, potty, and then for some reason, she would go around the deck and come up the south side, until she was 
having difficulty doing that.  We put a ramp in, but it was not soon enough, she did not learn to use it before the blindness set in all the way. 

By Sunday the 15th, she was in a bad way, and I did not realize she was 
suffering from low blood sugar, and I am diabetic, I should have. 
Monday morning, I rushed her to the vet, she was in her final throes.... and the vet 
thankfully helped her cross the bridge as I held her close to me. 

This one hit me hard, even though I had only had her sixteen months. 

Within a week, this one got sick: 

The vet did a very careful exam, and discovered soreness along the spine. 
He also noticed definite soreness above the right eye.  He ran a senior panel. 

We started pain meds. 

Two weeks later, she was very bad again, and I took her back in, 
and he did another panel... she was holding her own, but he gave me 
meds for vomiting and I really changed the way she is eating (it helped). 

He examined her again, and he thinks what has happened is that 
the cancerous tumor taken off her mammary gland in August had already spread. 
The cost of an MRI is prohibitive, and frankly, it would be done if there 
was any hope of a surgery, but... she is seventeen and a half.  He believes the tumor 
is above her right eye.  

Snowy had a grand mal seizure at 1:45 AM in bed with me.  It was scary, but 
I knew enough not to touch her, but just spoke reassuringly.  The vet told me 
they do not realize they are seizing.  

She continued having small seizures, for instance, on Thanksgiving she 
was laying on the couch across from me, and her head would jerk suddenly and hard. 
I took my phone to the vet's office the next morning and he looked at them and then 
looked at me and said "Those are hurting her". 

So..... she is taking Keppra for the seizures, three half pills a day. 
She has gabapentin in the morning and evening, for pain. 

So far... so good.  Except for two days when her tummy was upset and she vomited 
over and over, she has been much better.  We now have Cerenia in the house for 

This morning, she took advantage when I opened the pasture gate to fill the water fortex there 
to shoot past me and take off down the pasture.  I can't trust her, she has selective hearing, and sure enough, (I followed her), when she got to the bottom of the pasture she tried to go through the fence twice.  I had to carry her back up. 

She has become much more affectionate, and likes to come across the couch to where my recliner is, jump into the recliner, see me for a minute while I scritch her, then jump back to the couch where she has two big comfortable pillows to lay on.  (these jumps are inches apart) 

Once in a while, she will lay on my chair next to me for a while. 

She has become cuddly with Jester, too. 

Jester, my Goodest Boy.... he is my rock, the one I always depend on. 

And... Spot the Cat has been spending days and nights here lately... though I have come 
to believe he actually has a family somewhere around here. 

He does NOT like this guy: 

That's Ben, who works in the yard for me .... 
Ben came yesterday to put Santa together and tie him to the deck. 

I'll show you some changes made to the deck and some other things happening around here in my next post. 

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, as good as could be expected in this crazy year. 

I pray everyone has stayed safe, and will continue to do so. Forgive me for the sad post, I just had to talk about little Fritzi again.