Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 43 - A Wonderful Mess

It was another busy week. Surprise, surprise! Seriously, this was busy at work (nuts!) and home too. I heard life referred to as “a wonderful mess” and I think that perfectly fit my week.

In addition to the ongoing work on the F&A proposal, which included an entire day of coding in Mary’s office with two people watching me (lovely – actually we laughed a lot between the queries), I had a ton of HR stuff to do, which required a certain amount of BS. By week’s end, I was out of BS and so have more to face this coming week. Yay!

So, work was a bear and life was busy too. I ran home on Monday to pick the last of my garden produce before the first frost, which was due mid-week, then headed to knitting at the library. Anne Marie gave me an orange cotton sweater to deconstruct for the yarn and I started right then, unraveling an arm and giving the yarn to Anne Marie before I left. Well, when I got home, despite wanting to go to bed early, I couldn’t resist finishing the sweater, which left me going to bed late but with a pile of fun yarn. What a trade off.

Lack of sleep didn’t stop me from getting up early on Tuesday and hitting Jiffy Lube before work. The day flew by and it was time to go to the movies with Nancy. We were seeing The Whistleblower at The Ross. OMG! Such a depressing movie. I had poo poo’d Nancy’s earlier request for a beer with dinner but needed one after that movie so we went to Bison Witches for soup and alcohol. It was good to catch up. I got home at 9:45 and started bringing in my plants. Unfortunately the cats got out and didn’t want to come back in so it was another late night. Sheesh!

I was running on empty Wednesday but work was busy so I just powered through. I went right home, sat on my butt watching TV and went to bed early. Whew – needed that. Thursday was another busy day at work and afterwards I went to Hy-Vee to pick up dinner for Kate and me plus a few items for Kate and some for me. Kate and I chatted over dinner then I went to Belinda’s to pick up carriers from the weekend. It was another long day but Friday was the next day.

Friday morning was as frantic as can be. I had to feed at 2 feeders, schlep 3 carriers from my car to my office and be there by 8:15 for a phone reference for a friend’s job. Well, I couldn’t get Darla, who was supposed to help me carry carriers, so fumbled them all myself and got to my desk at 8:17, missing the call. I threw the carriers down, took my cell into the conference room and gave a great reference, finishing just as my 8:30 appointment arrived. I threw some water on my face and sat down for 3 hours of one-on-one training. By the time I was done, I was spent. I went to lunch with Layton and then tried to muster energy for the afternoon. I did more F&A stuff with Lacey but completely failed at the HR BS, counting the minutes until 5:00.

I headed to All Feline Hospital to pick up the little black kitten who had been on death’s door when we trapped last weekend. Nancy was going to foster her. I was prepared for pathetic but she was over the top. She was so tiny, thin (you could count the ribs) but with a big belly. The kicker was they had shaved her. It was almost too much to bear. I was very happy when Nancy picked her up and I started my weekend, which was completely free of obligations. Yee ha!

I had a few errands to run, including a bank deposit for Friends, which lead me to the library where I got sucked into book sale stuff. I left with just enough time to eat a quick lunch before heading to Hansen House where Lorri, Steve (another Wahoo master gardener) and I were mulching. It was a damp, drab day and an hour into mulching, the rain that had been threatening started up. We toughed it out for a bit then left. I was cold and wet so took a shower, made a cup of tea and sat down to knit. That was the MO for the rest of the weekend, with some chores thrown in for good measure. By Sunday evening, my house was in order, most of my chores were done and I even had time to make some flannel pillow cases out of one of my old Lanz nighties. The weekend was the perfect foil to my uber busy week and I ended Sunday feeling human again. A wonderful mess but human.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Week 42 - Kitty Equilibrium Returns

What a wonderful week! It was busy, busy, busy but worth it because I got so many things done.

I felt particularly productive at work, getting lots done on my F&A proposal work. I also swam 3 nights in a row, which hasn’t happened in a long time. It was a cleaning lady week too so my house was picked up and clean, which is always good. But the best part of the week had to do with yarn and cats. Go figure.

I knitted on Monday as usual and started a new pair of socks using my favorite pattern and gorgeous yarn. Before the week was over, I was past the heel on the first sock, which has to be a speed record for sock knitting for me. While I was enjoying my new project, that was just the icing on the cake because I had a total yarn thrift score on Wednesday, when I hit my fave thrift store over lunch. I got 2 bags of yarn for $9 that included 2 dozen skeins of quality yarn – lots of Brown Sheep (a Nebraska company), some French wool, some nice Donegal aran and even a skein that’s a wool/mink blend. Nice!

On the cat front, I took the boys to the vet on Tuesday morning to get neutered, which meant money out of pocket for me but I was hoping it would make them more marketable, having failed to get rid of them with an ad in the paper and Craig’s List posting. It also crossed something off my to do – always good. But the best part was getting a call from Darla on Tuesday night. She’d found a home for them and would deliver them over the weekend. Yay!

The week flew by and it was the weekend, which was going to be super busy. The library’s fall vendor fair was Saturday so I was there around noon placing some orders for myself and people at work. I then went to Andrea’s for 1:00 and we headed to Fremont for spinning. We were meeting at the May Museum, where we had a tour then met in the sunroom. From there, we ran errands in Fremont, killing time so we could arrive at Farmer Brown’s when they opened at 5:00 for prime rib – Andrea’s first time there. But we didn’t time it right and arrived just after the tables filled up so we went to the bar and had a beer while we waited for the 2nd seating. Our food was yummy, as always, and we left with doggie bags for another round of beef. Yum! From there we went to Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond. By the time we got home, it was after 9:00. It had been a long day but fun.

Sunday was more of the same. As soon as I had gone through the paper, I started my laundry and got cooking. I was taking some food to Kate after meeting Darla to drop the boys and before doing my stint for Husker Cats. I made chocolate bread pudding with dried strawberries, quesadilla casserole and taco salad meat, finishing just in time to put them in the car. Between the cooking, I snuggled as much as I could with the little gray kitten. He had stolen my heart and I would miss him a ton but the boys had to go. I left the house at 1:30, with the car full of cat carriers, food and the boys. I met Darla at 2:00 in the Walgreen’s parking lot for the handoff, which was sad but I held it together. Then it was on to Kate’s to drop off the food and DVD’s but it was a quick stop because I had to be at the vet’s by 3:00.

Husker Cats was in the middle of a mass TNR (trap/neuter/release) operation for the State Fair Park cats. UNL purchased State Fair Park and is creating Innovation Campus. They’ve been demolishing old buildings but 2 of the oldest, which are filled with unhealthy feral cats, are staying so we expanded Husker Cats mission to help out the SFP cats. The TNR had started the night before but I was only scheduled to help Sunday. They had caught so many cats Saturday (15!) that the vet they’d arranged to spay/neuter all day Sunday had to start early and neuter the males on Saturday night. A group of us was meeting at the vet to pick up the boys as well as carriers and traps. We then had to take the carriers and traps to a car wash to wash and disinfect them so they could be used for round two.

We were setting traps before 5:00, hoping to catch as many cats again as Saturday. The next two hours were a blur – setting traps all over, resetting traps that had been tripped, moving traps as needed and the best part, picking up traps with cats inside. By 6:30, we’d caught 10 more cats. Belinda handled the paperwork (we had to identify the cats as well as the area they were trapped in so they could be returned to the same spots) and we coordinated who would do what next, with people assigned to pick up cats, drop off cats, retrieve traps and carriers, etc. I ended up with 3 cats in my car that needed transport to Belinda’s, where they would overnight in her garage before going to the vet tomorrow. Others had cats going to the Humane Society, which was giving us 5 free spay/neuters. I got home after 8:00, cold and tired but feeling good about all the progress we made. Of the 25 cats we caught, 5 are adoptable (4 kittens and 1 tame cat) and 20 will be released back, spayed and neutered so they won’t be reproducing. What a wonderful thing!

So, I ended the week with my chores not done but at least there was food in the frig and cat equilibrium has been restored at my house. Yay! I also have a warm fuzzy feeling about the State Fair Park cats and there’s my yarn score. Life is good! Now it’s on to all the publicity for the library’s book sale, which is less than two weeks away. It’s going to be a busy month but as I always say, better busy than bored. : )

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 41 - Perils of Neighbors

The week started with a sleepless night and went downhill from there. I was worried about my whack job neighbor who was shooting my cats with a BB gun Sunday night so didn’t sleep much at all. I was awake at 3:00, got up at 4:00 and headed over to the neighbor’s at 7:00. I asked if we could talk after work and that she please not shoot any of my cats before then. She tried to get into it there and then but I didn’t take the bait and went to work to zombie my way through the day.

I left work a bit early and called her as soon as I got in the house. She said she’d come over in a bit and so I sat and waited for a long time. She finally showed up beside my deck and hyperbole ruled the discussion. She said she’d spent $100 on products to keep the cats off (something called Cat Away), spent 1.5 hours with her son to clean the 8x8 foot rose bed (what did she use, a salad fork?) and sometimes the smell was so bad on her deck that her guests had commented (the bed is 40 feet from her patio and besides, they’re all smokers so haven’t smelled anything in years.) I told her I was dismayed that the issue went from a casual mention this summer as step 1 to shooting my cats as step 2 with no further discussion in between. I told her I’d called the City Manager and it was against the law to discharge even a BB gun within city limits, even offering to show her law that I’d printed off. I said I would keep the bed clean and offered to pay for mulch, since this was the only unmulched bed in her yard. She said she’d looked for mulch but couldn’t find it this late in the year. When I offered to get some for her in Lincoln, she declined. I’ve scooped every couple of days since and have found nothing that wasn’t completely buried and a total of 8 turds in 7 days. So basically this is how I see it - she’s a nut case, had a bad day and took it out on my cats. I don’t think they’ll be anymore shooting but our relationship, which I had always considered good, is damaged. Oh well. You can’t pick your neighbors.

Despite being exhausted, I had trouble falling asleep Monday night (something on my mind maybe?) so didn’t make up any lost hours but did manage to get a good night’s sleep. However, I woke up Tuesday with a sore throat. I started zycaming and went to work for a relatively normal and productive day, ending with water aerobics. I still had the sore throat on Wednesday and by the afternoon was coughing and congested. At least my feet felt good cuz I’d been to the podiatrist for a slice and dice on my calluses. Unfortunately, that was the bright spot of the week.

By Thursday afternoon, I was feeling pretty crappy and was happy when Nancy emailed to say her plans had changed for Thursday night so we wouldn’t be doing dinner. I went home to take drugs and sit like a zombie. At least the Actifed I took knocked me out and I slept like a rock. I felt really bad on Friday but went to work to finish up a project I was working on, only to find out I couldn’t finish without a file I needed from someone who was out of town. I went home after lunch and, you guessed it, sat like a zombie again. Other than leaving for a hair appointment Saturday morning, which left me sweating like I had a fever, I never left the house all weekend. By Saturday night I was feeling functional again and actually cooked some dinner – the first I’d eaten in 3 days so you know I had to feel like crap. Speaking of crap, I also had the runs on Sunday morning so have no idea what this was that I had. Oh well. It’s a miracle any of our bodies function so I’ll just chalk it up to a virus or something.

The weekend wasn’t a total loss. I did some knitting, of course, but also took apart 2 thrift store sweaters to harvest the yarn, which was fun, and caught up on some TV on hulu. I did do my regular chores on Sunday afternoon but didn’t manage any cooking, which had been my plan before getting sick. Oh well, it’ll just be another week of eating out of the freezer. I’ll live. And I’m looking forward to a better week. It’s just got to be!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week 40 - Didn't End Well

I woke up on Monday, the last day the California gang was in town, with a funky stomach. I think all the late hours and odd eating had caught up with me. While I never actually got sick, I felt like I could and ended up taking Pepto and sitting like a zombie all morning. Whether it was the resting or the Pepto, I felt better by noon so was ready when they called. We were meeting for lunch in the Old Market in Omaha before they left for the airport.

By the time we rendezvoused, it was after 2:00 so we had a late lunch at Upstream, shopped for just a bit, had ice cream and it was time for them to leave. It was a whirlwind weekend but lots of fun. By that point though, I was ready for some routine again. I made a bee line home, ate some dinner and went to knitting. Step one in finding my normal. I slept like a rock and was up and at em, ready for work Tuesday.

Tuesday flew by, helped by the fact that I had to train all afternoon. I swam after work then went home for dinner and TV, which felt great. But I should have been getting ready for the cleaning lady so I had a busy morning on Wednesday – putting chairs back in the basement, taking the leaf out of the table, folding laundry, etc. I was doing OK until I decided I needed to water my containers. I got that done, let Tot in and drove off, leaving my purse and knitting in the house. I realized that a few miles out of town and had to turn around. Sheesh! The rest of the day went well after that and after a Husker Cats meeting after work, I met the gang at Village Inn, which we haven’t done in a LONG time. Even Kate (who had her hip replaced last month) came and it was great to see everyone.

I spent Thursday morning doing HR stuff and taught again that afternoon – another day at lightening speed. I swam after work and went home to prep my swap box. The final day to ship was Monday but I wanted it mailed sooner. But when I decided to make a chapstick holder, it put me behind. I had everything done except the note and called it good enough, planning to write it Friday and mail it Saturday. Unfortunately I had put chicken in the crockpot that morning and so was dealing with that at 10:00. Typical.

Friday was gone in a flash and after stopping at a going away party for Vicki in Journalism, I went home for a blissfully average weekend. I was up cooking late on Friday and then up early on Saturday so I could mail the swap box before the Friends of the Library meeting. Then I hit the bag sale at the thrift shop and stopped at Andrea’s. I had a relaxing afternoon, getting a few things done but not many. I did, wait for it, knit a bit. And there was more of the same on Sunday but with a few more chores than on Saturday. All in all, it was a good weekend. The slow weekend did wonders for my energy level and I was finally feeling back to normal.

The night did end on a down note though. I was in the yard calling the cats in when I saw a man in my neighbor’s yard (a friend I guess - I don’t really know who he is) pointing a gun at one of my cats. I asked if he planned on shooting my cat and he said he would if it went into Cara’s yard. When I asked about the gun, he said it was a pellet gun then ranted at me about my cats being out loose and “shitting” in other people’s yards. I guess I should have expected this. Since the boys, who I still haven’t found a home for despite putting them in the Market Weekly and on Craig’s List, are living on my deck, the food I give them is attracting other cats from the neighborhood. So I brought all my cats in and will make an extra effort to find a home for the boys. I’ll also go over in the morning and scoop any poop I can see in her garden beds.

It’s too bad it’s come to this. We’ve always had what I thought was a good, neighborly relationship. It’s not perfect. Her boys are autistic so there’s a lot of pacing and humming going on and they also play country music (ICK!) every time they’re in the yard and they leave it blaring when they go back inside. It often drives me inside instead of enjoying time in my yard. Maybe I’ll make some apology cookies and take them over so we can talk this over. I don’t want to have to keep my cats inside all the time so maybe if I offer to scoop her gardens forever in exchange for their freedom. Time will tell I guess. Wish me luck.