Friday, March 27, 2009

Week 12 - I'm Headed West

The past week was a whirlwind of getting ready for my LA/Las Vegas trip. Being gone ten days, which is longer than I’ve been away from home since my dad died, takes a lot of preparation. The older I’ve gotten, the better I’ve been at getting things done slightly sooner than last minute but it still left me with a big to do list every night. I managed to get it all done but didn’t relax until I stepped off the plane in Orange County. As always, it was wonderful to see my cousin Debbie, who’s one of my VERY favorite people, and not just because we’re cousins. And, go figure, the weather was fabulous. That’s one thing you can always count on in LA.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Saturday. After hanging on the balcony drinking coffee and chatting with Debbie and Felicia (her sister-in-law and best friend), I got dressed and headed with Debbie to the Orange County Jail. Debbie’s husband is there, awaiting trial for securities fraud. Of course he’s 100% NOT guilty, having gotten involved with a con artist who took Jonathan for as much of a ride as the investors he scammed. Don’t get me started – I could go on and on.

Anyway, talk about being somewhere I never expected to be! The visitor’s area on Law and Order is the Ritz compared to Orange County. After handing over my ID and being scrutinized from behind the glass while the guard checked me out online, we were assigned a number for the narrow little window where Jonathan would be brought out. There’s a little metal stool where you’re crammed in cheek by jowl with the other visitors. Everyone’s eyes are glued to the gate behind the rows of visiting cubies, waiting for the first glimpse of their loved one.

To see Jonathan stuck in there was awful and it took everything I had to hold it together for the 2 minutes I spoke to him. I handed the phone to Debbie and made a bee line to the lobby. I had brought a book but once I’d fought off the tears (I hate to cry, especially in public!), I couldn’t help but watch the people. They were the skankiest bunch of people I’d ever been in close contact with – from gang bangers with tattoos a-go-go to people women who looked like they were fresh from their last trick. There were only a couple of people I’d consider “normal” (meaning they looked like me.)

The whole visit is kept to 30 minutes long so it wasn’t long before we were on our way home. Jonathan’s prelim is next week and Debbie and Felicia spend all day, every day preparing for trial (Felicia’s a para-legal) – talking on the phone with lawyers, gathering information, calling people for support letters (I wrote a good one. At least I hope it’s good.)… I just have to put my trust in the system and hope that Jonathan is exonerated and can come home to Debbie. I know the US justice system is the best in the world but that doesn’t help when you see a good man locked up because he can’t make the ridiculous bail that was set ($52,000,000!), knowing that he’s innocent. How powerless we all are when someone with a political agenda is using someone you love to set an example.

On that note, I’m off to Vegas on Sunday for the International Master Gardener Conference. Yee ha!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Week 11 - Off My Butt or The Procrastination Ends

Prior to this week, I had a lot of things hanging over me - so much so that I wasn’t sleeping well. But that all came to an end this week when I finally got off my butt and made some decisions.

The one that was most on my mind was making final preparations for the Vegas trip. The original plan had been that I would drive to Vegas with Lorri and Bob but then head west afterwards to the Salton Sea and then get home on my own. When getting a condo in the Salton Sea area fell through (who knew it was spring break week?), the whole plan became an issue. When Lorri asked if I could get out a bit early Friday, which turned out to be noon so would require more vacation time, I finally made some calls. Now it has all worked out perfectly. I’m flying to my cousin’s after work on Friday (no vacation time needed), will spend the weekend with her and drive to Vegas on Sunday afternoon for the conference, drive back Wednesday to spend more time with her and then fly home on Sunday. Hopefully that 2nd Saturday will include a day trip to my fave place – the Salton Sea.

Other things I accomplished this week:
1. I finally cleaned out the fridge, which was a nasty mess and now looks brand new. Not only is every surface clean and shiny, I also overcame my frugal side and got rid of all those jars with just an inch or jam, sauce, etc. in the bottom. Yay!
2. I found someone to feed the cats while I’m gone since my neighbor wasn’t available. Thanks Sarah!
3. And last but definitely not least, I found a new home for the calico I was fostering for Husker Cats. She was super sweet and had the softest fur ever but since she was the 5th new cat I’d had in the house since October, my cats were miserably cranky and there was no way she could still be here when I left for Vegas. So, after doing three internet postings, I got a response in less than an hour and she was picked up Sunday night. She has a wonderful new owner and the kitty equilibrium has been restored chez moi.

Life is good!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Week 10 - The Cat Ambush

This week Husker Cats had our follow up meeting with administration. Since we had responded to every call from Landscape Services, be it about cleaning up a mess from rogue feeders or finding a home for a kitten they’d caught, and I should note those calls had all but stopped, I hoped for a quick approval. How na├»ve I was being! Despite their earlier insistence that we remove no adult cats from campus (we had to fight to be able to adopt out kittens), now they say there are “too many” cats at CBA, which is my colony, and we have to get rid of some. Now that they’re all fully feral, oh yeah, that’s going to be easy – sheesh! They didn’t say how many was a good amount – it’s like dealing with my mother from the grave! – so I guess I’ll wing it.

They also wanted the feeder moved so the cats wouldn’t hang at the front entrance of the college. All this because they say the cats are pooping in the grass (I’ve never seen that and it’s completely against cat nature but what can I say?) So right after the meeting, I went over to CBA with the Landscape Services people and we moved the feeder – about 50 yards to around the side of the building and down a few stairs to a service area next to the library. I tried to call the cats over there after work but it’s quite a way from where they live so they just sat where the feeder used to be, glaring at me. I made a trail of dry food, with piles every few feet and went home to a night of bad sleep. While I didn’t dream about cats, I had a stress dream that woke me up at 3:45 and I couldn’t fall back asleep. I finally got up at 4:30, got a few things done then shocked the whole group by showing up for water aerobics at 6:15 (I’d sworn vehemently that I’d never go to that class.) When I checked the feeder on the way in, at least one cat had found it because some food was missing but again, the cats were hanging at the old site and wouldn’t come over. I had better luck after work, using a can of stinky salmon wet food to lure them over. By the time I left, 5 or 6 cats had found the feeder (good thing or would I have slept that night? Doubtful.)

Several days later, I’m sleeping better but now am dreaming of cats. Oh well, at least it’s progress. Now I just need to find people with farms or acreages who are willing to take some feral cats. Know any?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Week 9 - Making Some Progress

The story for this week is again mostly about my knee. I had an appointment with another PA at Lincoln Orthopedic on Monday morning and, happily, she was everything the first one wasn’t. She spent nearly a half hour with me, explaining everything, answering all my questions (she still thinks it’s only arthritis) and gave me a prescription for mobic and ordered PT. So this week saw lots of progress. I was back in the pool Tuesday night, met with the physical therapist (who gave me a whole list of exercises for my knee) and I started taking the mobic and glucosamine chondroitin. The GC will take a long time to make any difference (she said I had to commit to taking it for 3 months) and is a horse pill that makes my fish oil capsule look tiny. But the mobic is a little bitty pill and replaces all the ibupofen I’ve been taking, which is good. And it works great. I skipped one pill to test it and woke up this morning all stiff and creaky. So now I’ve become one of those people who takes a handful of pills twice a day (only 2 are prescriptions) but I’ll do whatever it takes so I can keep living my life.

On the non-knee front, I am fostering another cat for Husker Cats. This one is a gorgeous, fully tame calico that someone dumped. I found her hiding in a downspout at the library and took her home Thursday night. I’ve already found her a home (Connie is taking her and I didn’t even ask her – she saw her pic and fell in love) but will have her for this week. I’ll take her to the vet Friday to have her spayed and pick her up Saturday and deliver her to Connie when I go down for her son’s wedding.

Speaking of that, Connie and I had a really fun day Saturday. We met for an early lunch then headed to the mall to find her a dress for the wedding. Now you all know I’m not a mall shopper but this was fun. We went to JC Penney’s and I played Connie’s dresser, running back and forth to the dressing room bringing her different sizes, matching things, etc. – something I couldn’t have done a week ago. And I don’t know if it’s the bad economy or what but they were practically giving the stuff away. Granted, the woman in front of her in line gave her a 15% off the entire order coupon she wasn’t using, but still she got 2 spring dresses, a little black dress from the clearance rack, a shrug and a jacket for just over $100! The painful part (my soul, not my knee) was searching the rest of the mall for a shrug to match the 2nd dress. We finally found a shawl on the clearance rack that was perfect and only $6. That found, we headed to Starbucks for a latte break then to the shoe store where, you guessed it, she found perfect shoes on the clearance rack. We ended at Big Lots for my only purchase of the day (I have enough, remember?) – a bag of candy and 2 cans of Treet, which I was out of. Gross I know but I love it.