Friday, July 30, 2010

Pause.

I borrowed the idea from my friend S. about using one word to entitle blogs. I like it. It's fun, simple, and strong. Sometimes I have difficulty finding titles for writing, so it's less challenging to find one word and I will attempt to find new words to build my vocabulary. I sound like a writing instructor, don't I? Anyhow, my word of the blog is pause. After I compose this post, I am staying off email and social networking until Sunday afternoon. I'm also putting my cell phone on vibrate and don't feel like socializing (yes, I know that is unusual for me.) I finished the second fun and challenging semester at BMC. I enjoy teaching. Between the course and other emotional (and frustrating) happenings in both June and July that I won't address here, I'm spent. I am growing weary of every time something positive happens in my life, there's a caveat. I am also going to learn how to pause... especially when there are demands imposed on my time and energy. Saying no, not offering to do as much, learning to negotiate with dates and times, and learning to speak up more is a skill I am going to learn how to perfect, because frankly, I am tired. I am so over July and will be happy to see August.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tail

I laughed when I viewed this photograph. (Steve took this one, too.) With cats, it's all about the tush. Poor Java tolerates the antics of her little sister. We will need to adopt the kitten that a friend's tenant is holding for us so Moshi will have a playmate and Java can have some peace.

Stealth

Steve took this photograph in July 2010. Moshi and Squirrel were having a staring contest. The angle of this photo indicates stealth.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Time

Lake Michigan, July 2010 LCS
Time escapes me. I feel fortunate to have so many wonderful proverbial irons in the fire, but it's exhausting. This is one of the times where I wish I could be in several places doing several things at once. But alas, we live in a linear world, so I can only accomplish a finite number of tasks at a time. It's frustrating at times because I want to accomplish so much more and not let anyone down.
Since I posted last, I turned 39. For my birthday, Steve offered to buy domain names for a new website. It will be good to have one main website to contain all of my adventures. :) Steve and I celebrated our 13-year wedding anniversary. We caught a few sunsets and I had a beach day with a friend. I am finishing my second Composition I class at Brown Mackie College and will be teaching Composition II on Monday. I need to sign up for class myself and confer with my advisor on my direction in graduate school. Tonight I will be strolling around the boulevard and serenading the neighborhood. It's been too long.

Monday, July 19, 2010

One Year Looking Up at Forty

I remember writing a poem after turning thirty-two: Eight Years Looking Up at Forty. As of midnight, I will be one year looking up at forty. Rather, I'll be looking across at forty. And I embrace it. In 2011, it will be truly a new decade for everyone and a new decade for me. A new start.

Friday, July 16, 2010

KVC Experiences

Java (on ledge), Jack, and Latte
First of all, thank you for taking the time to read my posts. Also, thank you for your cards, emails, FB and web posts. Steve and I received a beautiful sympathy card signed from the staff at the Kryder Veterinary Clinic today. I also wanted to share with you about how wonderful the staff is at Kryder's Veterinary Clinic. They are the best in customer service with the patients and the humans. When Jack died, we took him to KVC to determine his cause of death (heart failure) and to the Cremation services there. Dr. Harr loved Jack (and he loved her) and she was so gentle and loving. They let us go out the back door and billed us so we didn't have to cry in front of the whole office.
When Latte passed over, as I mentioned before, there was a blanket draped over the metal examining table. Dr. Tracy (couldn't remember the last name) and the veterinary technicians were wonderful. They gave us a lot of time with Latte and let us have privacy saying goodbye to her. She draped Latte gingerly in the blanket. Not only did they soothe the patient, they comforted us as well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Latte

(Latte in 2005- LCS)
I lost my fur child today. I did not have to teach today. Steve called off because he was not feeling well. I woke up and met Latte at the end of the hall. She was lying on her stomach at the top of the stairs; her paws outstretched. I sat down next to her. Latte had not been affectionate recently because she was not feeling well. However, she placed both of her paws on my arm. Latte gazed up at me with her adoring green eyes and started purring. The tips of her fur glistened like crystals in the sunlight. She also chased a few shadows on the wall like she always does.
After Steve and I took Latte to the vet last week, I asked Latte to please let me know when it was time to let go. I am now certain she was telling me this morning. Today while Steve was home resting, I lunched with a friend and then visited other friends at the library. When I returned home, Latte continued to sleep on the couch on the porch. Her breathing hastened and her energy level declined significantly throughout the day. Steve and I spoke and decided to take her to the vet. When we arrived at the vet, Latte seemed to perk up. She was hopping and giving Steve and me "goat." (Goat is when she gives us head butts and walks on two feet. It's adorable.) She also purred. We conferred with the vet and due to her diagnosis (late-stage cancer), it was the kindest thing to euthanize. Although she appeared happy and hopping around, our vet noticed that she lost weight since last week. We were afraid that Latte's health would continue to decline rapidly and that she would suffer.
The technician gave her a shot that would relax her. We were fortunate, unlike with Jack, to spend quality time with her at the end of her life. The vet had a comfortable blanket draped on the table. (A kind touch.) The vet gave her another shot to relax her, since Latte has a lot of energy. After Latte was completely relaxed, the vet gave her the IV. Latte passed over in our arms, painlessly and peacefully. That's how she deserved to die, in peace and surrounded with love.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lessons From Animals

Latte, July 2010 (SJS)
You can learn a lot from animals. I thought about this today while driving home from class. Sunday evening, I took a long walk around the boulevard. While trotting, I noticed a gaggle of geese (about 20 or so) by bank of the river. Most of the geese migrated across the street. I could not help noticing one of the geese limping in the street to join the group. The goose appeared to be fine except for the left foot. There was no left foot. There was a stump where it would have been. However, I noticed that this little creature kept moving forward and eventually joined his friends.
Today after class I drove home to see Java, Latte, and Moshi, and Latte met me in the upstairs bedroom. She managed to give me a little hop, despite her condition. And I noticed when she leaped to get up on the bed, she managed to just make it on the bed, whereas before it would not have been an effort. Although Latte didn't seem to mind, it bothered me to see her struggle, even a little bit. I guess my point is that animals tend to handle adversity, challenges, and looking into the countenance of death well. Despite the fact that the vet gave Latte (as one of my favorite authors Jen Lancaster put it) "an expiration date," Latte is holding her own. She purrs, she relaxes, she goes on and does her cat things. Perhaps this will give me a little more peace today knowing she is holding her own.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday: A New Week

I do like Sundays because it marks the beginning of a new week. This last one was particularly tough. Our adventure with the Eau Clair, Michigan cop topped off the week with a circular red
exclamation mark. Don't get me wrong. Overall, I respect police officers and what they do for communities.However, I don't appreciate the elusive cops emerge from the shadows to look for unsuspecting out-of-state drivers. Anyway, it's over and in the past. Today is a new beginning to a new week. I am anticipating that it is going to be a better one. I hope to spend quality time with fur children, family, and friends, prepare for classes this week, accomplish a lot of tasks around the house, and write.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Friday Surprises

Carolgarden, 27 LCS/2009
Today is a respite from worry over Latte. She seems to be holding up well. She is eating, drinking and resting on the wicker sofa on the front porch with her sisters. All I can see from this view are Moshi's white belly, two back paws, and a gray tail. She, along with her sisters, are passed out on the porch from their recent Fancy Feast fiesta. Life is good for a kitty chez Sigety, even a sick one.
Today I ventured out and bought a sofa. Steve and I discussed what we wanted, so I visited River Park Furniture. We purchased our current sofa there almost ten(!) years ago. After utilizing several sales and discounts, we managed to snag a good deal on this one. Anyone interested in purchasing a gently used sectional (beige) with a pull-out bed?
Also, we received nice mail: cards and letters. No junk mail! No bills! Yay! And then I joined a friend for a champagne lunch at her house. She created a fabulous crab salad with cucumbers and bread. Mmm mmm mmm. Loved it. Her garden inspires me to venture outside and play in mine.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Latte's News

This is one of life cruel jokes. Yesterday we found out that Latte has stage four metastatic lung cancer. The x-rays show two masses on her left lung. Her left lung is completely full of fluid and she has limited capacity in her right lung. Basically, the vet sent her home with us and recommended that we spoil her and give her anything she wants. At the first sign that Latte appears to be uncomfortable, we will take her to the vet and have her life ended painlessly and peacefully. She deserves to be comfortable. She has been a terrific friend and companion to us. As I write, she is sleeping peacefully upstairs in her night-night bed with her tiny stuffed piggy. She is only six years old. The vet recently lost her dog to cancer at age six, so although it is uncommon, it is not rare. This is baffling to us, but we are holding up. I am now going to go upstairs and visit her.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Latte

It's been a bittersweet weekend. Good and otherwise. We're concerned about our cat, Latte. Today we discovered that she was breathing heavily. She experienced short breaths. She also was unable to use the litterbox. I'll spare you the gory details, but that's why we initially took her to the vet. As we drove her to the vet, she started breathing with her mouth open. We feared she started going into shock. We didn't take her to our usual vet because we had to drive longer. No one was there at the Emergency Vet Clinic. So, we took her to the Cat Care Clinic. Fortunately, they took us.
The poor cat went through the proverbial ringer: thermometer, bloodwork, x-rays, and they had to take fluid from her lungs with a needle. It's lymphatic fluid from her lungs. Basically she has the breathing capacity of one lung. Her left lung is completely full of fluid. Fortunately, feline lukemia and feline aids were ruled out. We'll find out more information tomorrow... the poor kitty will have an ultrasound and more tests. We love her and hope she will recover. She is only six years old.

Friday, July 02, 2010

An Earthy Website for an Earthly Cause

Today, I unloaded my groceries and (!) realized I forgot the cloth bags. It disconcerted me to see the amount of plastic bags I placed in our recycle bin. (At least I recycled them.) It reminded--and inspired-- me to revisit a website a friend sent to me. The website is called Ecopack Store, based in San Diego. Their supplies are bio-degradable and earth-friendly. There is everything to assist with your packing needs, ranging from tape to trash and doggy-do bags, from biodegradable cutlery to corn cups. I am going to try them out sometime. Perhaps you may want to peek onto the website and see for yourself: http://ecopackstore.com. This company is also on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ecopackstore and hosts a blog: http://blog.ecopackstore.com/. .

Wishful Drinking and Meet Me in Margaritaville

No, I am not a lush. These are actual titles of books and music. The book entitled Wishful Drinking is Carrie Fisher's memoir and (show) about her crazy Hollywood life, her eccentric parents (Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds), and her struggles with bipolar disorder. I finished the book last night. Hilarious. Also, I did not know that Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints CD featured songs about Carrie Fisher. (I saw that concert at Notre Dame many years ago.) Since our band (Purest Green) is performing fun, tropical music at Hacienda in Michigan City, we are learning Jimmy Buffet songs. This means I need to learn music on marimba and my small steel drum. I like the prospect of learning how to play different styles of music. Do you have a favorite Jimmy Buffet song?

Incivility

Hey. It's the last day of November. With the exception of an amazing cruise in 2015, this November has probably been the fastest mont...