Category Archives: cats

Home Sweet Home

Taking a short trip was nice but man oh man is it good to be home! It is exhausting learning to live in a new space, having to pay close attention constantly, getting turned around easily. If you’re sighted, just imagine being blindfolded and put in a car for six hours and then being walked into a hotel room. It’s pretty intense! Naturally, when I had pretty much figured out the room, it was time to go.

I love being home in my space that I can move around with ease and confidence. It took some time for Jayden to relax too. He followed me around until just a bit ago, when I got my computer hooked back up and sat down on the couch with my keyboard. He’s curled up beside me now and I’m sure I speak for both of us when I say it’s wonderful to not be stuck in the car!

I’ll be writing about the trip soon but for now I’m just happy to be home and comfortable. B is the best travel companion! It was awesome but I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed tonight. Oh I haven’t mentioned that I did all this back on poisonous antibiotics since I got another attack of diverticulitis over the weekend. I get to start the liquid diet tomorrow Yay! Haha…at least I had the best food EVER last night. I mean, EVER. The best…food…EVER.

Oh and cats! It was so good to see the cats! Yay!

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Filed under cats, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2012, num num food

A Letter to Fourteen Year-Old Me

I follow a Twitter account that is posting daily writing prompts to assist people with NaBloPoMo ideas. Part of me really wants to come up with my own ideas but I think that’s the stubborn part. I found one of the ideas really intriguing so I saved the tweet. For today’s post, I’ll write a letter to my fourteen year-old self. Whoa. I’m imagining it being November 4, 1993. Tomorrow I’ll write a letter to myself in twenty years. I’ve been trying to recall who I was when I was fourteen. This should be interesting!

Dear fourteen year-old Ro,

Did your eyes light up when I referred to you as Ro? I bet they did. I know how much you always wished you could have a cool nickname and how you fantasized that you could be like Ro Laren from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Well guess what? You don’t turn out like Ro, but you’ll be known as Ro in your thirties. How cool is that?

It’s funny that I’m writing this letter to you because just yesterday I played four X-Files episodes so I could convert them to mp3. You have no idea what that means I realize. Oh, the technology that is coming, I won’t even begin to try and explain because I think it might freak you out a little bit. Just…pay attention to a lot of what they use in Star Trek, ok? Because I can tell you from first hand knowledge of the future that some of that is real in my time. Don’t get too excited; they haven’t figured out how to transport things yet. You and your friend Carol will wish for that a lot when you grow up. Transporters and replicators would make life so easy but I guess maybe we won’t see that in our lifetime. Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t want you getting your hopes up. Technology is going to be a huge part of your life in the future. I know right now you’re resistant to it but just trust me, ok? Oh, and try to remember what that little Mac is called when Mom gives it to you.

Congratulations on making it through middle school. I know that was awful and I know you’re still recovering from it and wishing it had never happened. Try and believe me when I say it made you incredibly strong and you have no idea what that hardship prepared you for as you grow up. I won’t go into details but I will tell you that everything you’re going through now is all going to be invaluable as you face challenges in life. There will be challenges. But you overcome them because of your experience. Just keep doing everything you’re doing because I have no regrets. You’re doing it all the right way.

Except, quit being so hard on yourself about Mom and Dad’s marriage, ok? It’s not your fault. No really. It’s not your fault.

On a happier note, you know how much you love cats? Well that doesn’t stop and Combat and Little Kitty are with you for a really long time. You know how you think you’ll never have a dog? Well you’re gonna have the coolest dog ever, take my word for it on that. I’m sitting with him on the couch as I write this and he is the light of my life. You’re probably rolling your eyes at that but it’s the truth!

I want to say I’m very proud of you for waiting with G. Your future self is grateful you didn’t give in to your hormones with him. You really are too young for that and that is totally ok, so just keep waiting. You know that boy C who sits with you in Biology? Can you try to keep closer tabs on him? You’re probably laughing at me right now. I know you don’t think much of him now but you just wait. I lost touch with him and only just recently found him on Facebook but neither of us uses it much so I still don’t know what’s up with him. I’m sure the word Facebook is confusing you. There is so much in the realm of technology you’ll experience! I wish I could watch. Oh and Wesley Crusher? Yeah, I follow him on Twitter. Wil Wheaton that is. Don’t ask what Twitter is, it’s too hard to explain. I’ve talked to him though. Well not really I mean he hasn’t replied to me but his wife has! Oh sorry, yeah he has a wife and it’s not you. Oh that was harsh? Just helping to toughen that skin!

Oh, I know I said I had no regrets from this time in our life but I do want to make one suggestion. Stay in the girls chorus one year longer ok? If you graduate when I did you’ll be really upset the next year when you find out where the tour is. I know you left chorus to focus on getting ready for college but trust me on this and stay in an extra year. The experience of the trip will be so much better than the time wasted preparing for college. Wait, I’m not saying that college isn’t important, but please, for the love of everything Nirvana, stay in an extra year. I wish I had gotten to go on that trip…

Speaking of trips, wasn’t New York amazing? You’ll be telling stories from that trip for the rest of your life. That was such an incredible experience. Please add to it and stay in choir another year. Ok ok, I’ll drop it.

You’re probably getting bored of this letter and I bet there’s an episode of The X-Files getting ready to start or something. Oh hey thanks for recording all those episodes on the VCR. Those tapes really came in handy when I was about twenty-one or so. Just wait until you see how people record TV shows and movies today!

Keep on being the cool kid you are right now. Yes I said cool. You don’t think you’re cool but you are and you helped me be who I am today. Remember about choir and keep hanging on to those morals of yours; they get you through a lot. Mom is going to talk to you about drinking. Pay attention ok? Don’t change what you do with that information, but it becomes very valuable when you’re twenty-six. Thanks. I think that’s about all I have. I wish I could go back in time and give you a hug. Get ready for the crazy ride the next twenty years will take you on. You’ll be amazed when you sit here and write this letter to yourself, amazed at what you’ve been through and survived. Enjoy it, none of your books could have written it any better!

Love,

Thirty-three year-old Ro

PS – I still refuse to step foot inside The Gap. Oh, and I love baseball. No seriously. Ok, you’ll believe it in about seventeen years or so.

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Filed under apple Inc, baseball, cats, Combat, family, gratitude, Jayden, letters, mom, My story, NaBloPoMo 2012, on this date, proud geek, sobriety, twitter me this

Cuddling with the Kids

I wrote this this morning before I had even had a cup of coffee. Every morning I do a bit of writing/journaling before starting my day so I turned this morning’s entry into what I decided would be today’s blog post. I went about my day and got busy with a project so I’m finally getting back to this to post it. It has been such a nice day!

***

My favorite time of day is in the morning just after I’ve fed Jayden and taken him out and started the coffee. I let Timmy out of the spare room, put in there so he doesn’t escape, and walk into the living room to turn my computer on. Most mornings Jayden is already on the couch and I sit and lay over on my side, resting my arm and head on him for a good cuddle. Timmy jumps up and he and Jayden greet each other and then we all settle in for a cuddle as I wake up.

This morning was no different except it was one of those rare mornings that Jayden isn’t on the couch. He followed me into the kitchen while I rinsed his bowl and he drank water and then followed me as I let timmy out. I walked over and turned my computer on and Timmy jumped on the couch and meowed as I sat down, almost like he was calling for Jayden! I whispered Jayden over and he got up on his spot and timmy struggled out of my grip to walk over to Jayden, purring all the while. It never fails to make me smile, this cuddling with the kids.

The three of us settled in, I on my right side with my knees pulled up, resting on Jayden as he lay curled on his end of the couch, Timmy tucked in between us purring away. Spinelli decided to join us as she does on some mornings. This will usually make Timmy run but not today. Spinelli perched on my hip and leg and the four of us lay that way for a bit. I love those mornings! The air conditioner kicked on and I groaned, mentally cursing myself for not shutting it off when I got up. I didn’t want to dislodge the kids to turn it off so I let the cool air wash over us, grateful for the animals’ warmth.

I was laying there, listening to the coffee maker gurgle as it made my wake up nectar thinking I would write about this today. The coffee maker beeped to let me know it was ready and I still didn’t move, enjoying my three fur kids and our morning ritual. Suddenly Jayden had an itch on his back leg and as he swiftly moved to use his teeth on the spot the cats scattered and I giggled, having just been agonizing over having to make everyone move so I could get my coffee. Thanks Jayden, I thought as I stood and stretched. Good morning, Saturday.

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Filed under cats, coffeeholic, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2012, Spinelli, Timmy

It Smelled Like Going Blind

“The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind.” – Thalassa Cruso

This is long so grab some coffee or tea or chicken broth.

Saturday night I took B out for steak dinner for his birthday. It was pretty good but I didn’t know this particular restaurant cooks green beans in over salted bacon grease. When I felt nauseous after laying down Saturday night, I blamed the few fork fulls of the disgusting greens I had eaten while trying to convince myself they didn’t taste that bad. I guessed I had just eaten too much of them because I din’t think a plain filet and plain mashed potatoes would make me feel so sick. My extremities had also begun to hurt but I thought that was just because I was due for my nightly nerve pill.

Sunday morning I woke up with the worst headache of my life. I also had a pain on the right side of my abdomen near my belly button. Again I blamed it on the food and thought maybe the Lexapro might be partly to blame because some of the side effects are headache and slowing of the erm, lower digestive system. I wasn’t awake for very long before I decided to drink some mil of magnesia and see if getting things moving a little faster would ease the pain. It didn’t and only seemed to bring the nausea back and increase the headache.

B got up a little while later and when he turned the TV on the sound went straight to my brain. The pain was as bad as that of driving at night with a migraine when light from oncoming cars enters the eyes. It wasn’t hard to decide to go lay back in bed so I shuffled into the bedroom, switched on my white noise maker and climbed into bed. That was where I spent all of Sunday.

I never spend entire days in bed. Even when I have bad MS days, I just lay on the couch. It has to be really bad to keep me in bed for an entire day. I even ate in bed. I couldn’t stand sitting up on the couch long enough to do anything. When I first got into bed the headache was so bad I didn’t even put on my audio book. I just pulled the covers tightly around me as cold began to set into my bones and my body began aching even more. The headache and body aches distracted me from the abdominal pain, that’s for sure. Probably around noon the headache began to ebb after lots and lots of fluids and some ibuprofen. Every blow from the referee’s whistle as B watched football in the living room still cut through my white noise machine and dragged long fingernails down the chalkboard in my head. I decided to stay in the bedroom to keep the headache from coming back.

As the day wore on I had moments of intense cold under the covers and then moments of feeling ok. I was able to take Jayden out like normal but that was about it. Luckily I was able to tolerate my audio book so I just lay in bed and read and Jayden snoozed beside me on his bed.

Eventually I knew I had to be running a fever. I was freezing but my skin felt warm even to me. When B came in to check on me, he felt my forehead and agreed so I got up to get the thermometer. I still don’t have one that talks so B had to read it. It was 100.6. It had been so long since I had had a fever that I almost forgot what to do for one. Oh yes, Tylenol, wipe the skin with a cool cloth, ok, yes, fluids, lots of fluids, bring the fever down, the MS doesn’t like fever, the MS can get royally pissed off and start making my immune system attack me if I run a fever, bring the fever down, bring it down.

I wet a washcloth and wiped my face and the cloth became warm where it touched my skin. I grabbed my ice pack and took it and the washcloth back to bed and swallowed two Tylenol. I lay in bed with the ice pack on my stomach and alternated the cloth on my forehead and behind my neck. I was freezing. Then soon I wasn’t. I finished my book and began another. I was warm. My body had begun to melt the ice pack. I kicked the covers off. I was uncomfortable but the fever was beginning to break. I checked it again. 100.2. Down four tenths. I went to sleep after telling B I was calling my doctor in the morning.

Unfortunately she had no available appointment so I found an urgent care and B came home around noon to take me. They got me back quickly and a nurse practitioner examined me after I described the pain as a four on a scale from one to ten unless the spot was touched then it was higher. At first she thought kidney but she told me she was going to thump my back and when she did it didn’t hurt. So she checked my abdomen and the pain was too high to be appendix so she thought maybe gallbladder which freaked me out. She asked if I had weight fluctuations which I have my whole life and if I’d recently eaten a high fat meal. I explained about the filet the night before and the green beans but she said the fatty meat she was thinking of was more like a prime rib. She then suggested going to the emergency room for an ultrasound to check my gallbladder since they didn’t have the proper equipment there to do that. At this point I started getting a little more scared. She wanted to check the urine sample I had given before settling on a possible gallbladder problem but that came back normal so it was the emergency room. Joy.

She asked which hospital and I named the one I had been to for my two big MS flairs and she sent all my info there and said they were expecting me so off we went. We signed in and a man asked B for the envelope please and I cracked a joke about him sounding like an award show host but no one laughed and my mood darkened and we sat and they called me back to triage somewhat quickly and then had me sit in the lobby again. It wasn’t too crowded but I could feel the anxiety starting to try and boil up. Thank God I’m on Lexapro. I mean really, thank God. The Ellen Show was on the nearby TV so I just tried to focus on that. It didn’t take too incredibly long for them to call me again and Jayden jumped up the minute he heard my name, which made me laugh.

This time we were led deeper into the emergency department to my room and as we walked, memories flooded back to me, memories of the last time I had been there, the smells were the same and instantly I could picture the emergency department since that is the last place I saw. It smelled like going blind. I began to cry as I walked between Jayden and B. The nurse let us to my cot and told me to undress from the waist up and put the gown on and then she left and I lost it when B asked if I was in pain. I told him it smelled like going blind and he said it all came rushing back to him too. We had a moment there, standing in the tiny cubicle, wondering what came next.

There was a whole lotto waiting. I texted and tweeted and emailed and B watched ESPN. It made me think of House after B said they had cable. Honestly how can you not think of House when in a hospital? It was specifically the cable though and if you’re a House fan, you’ll know why.

After a bit everyone came in at once. The doctor, two med students and a nurse to draw blood and start my IV. Why they ran a bag of saline through me is beyond me, probably because they could get fifty bucks from Medicare for it. The doctor asked some questions and examined me and when I said the nurse practitioner at the urgent care suspected gallbladder he palpated just under my ribs and it didn’t hurt. He found where it hurt and the medical student said, “that’s too low to be gallbladder.” Yes, Thirteen, you are correct. The doctor said my pain was between my appendix and gallbladder which was curious and he wanted a CT scan. I said I was there for an ultra sound. I wonder if he rolled his eyes. He said that wouldn’t do any good since he didn’t want to focus on the gallbladder. They all left and we waited some more.

The bag of IV fluid was ready to come out not long after and I don’t mean out of my arm. I pressed the call button and told the voice on the speaker that I needed the restroom but was hooked to an IV. Fifteen minutes later no one had come so I just had B get the bag off the hook and the bag was empty. I shoved it in my pocket, grabbed Jayden and B helped us find the restroom. After that we waited some more and then the radiology tech came to tell me to take the remainder of my clothes off and she’d be back soon to take me for the scan. We waited some more and then I left Jayden with B when they came for me. I told him to stay and be a good boy and I’d be right back and as soon as we were out of ear shot I started crying. I knew he must be wondering what on earth was going on. If hospitals are scary for children, how must they be for dogs?

I told the woman that I went blind in this hospital, about going into the MRI machine with a little vision left and coming out with none. She was stunned and said I wouldn’t go blind this time. I laughed and said I’m already blind. She said I wouldn’t go any blinder and I laughed and she complimented my sense of humor. I should have thanked her for being the only person with a sense of humor in the entire emergency department.

The scan was quick, just a transfer to another table and then an electronic voice gave me breathing instructions. When I was brought back I was very happy to see Jayden. B said he did fine, he looked after me for a bit when I was taken, then B gave him some kibble and he lay down. I was happy B had done this. When I first handed the leash to him after the CT scan lady left I told him the kibble was in my bag and to give him a few pieces. I’m glad he took it upon himself to give Jayden some after I was gone. I like to make experiences as positive for him as possible and he is very highly food motivated. He was allowed to eat more than I was. When we left the urgent care I was given strict instructions not to eat or drink anything. B thought it was because of the ultrasound I was originally going to have but I told him it was probably in case I needed emergency surgery and that’s what it was. After the CT scan we didn’t see any matter of nurse or doctor. I knew Jayden would need a bathroom break because it was already well after his normal feed and relieve time. I just said screw it and crammed the empty IV bag back in my pocket and out we went. A nurse tried to stop me, saying they prefer the patients to stay in the hospital but I said no one had been to see me in hours and I am the one with the rights, not B, not my dog and he could be denied re-entry since we were unable to make arrangements with the hospital. It was well beyond the time he needed a potty break and I was taking him. I honestly don’t know how true what I said was but I was refusing to be separated from my dog. I was mobile and didn’t even have any medication in me and obviously the hospital thought I was find since no one had been by to check on me. So we marched out and Jayden peed a river. Poor guy. B decided he would run back to his office and grab his phone charger. He had left it since he had expected to return to work after the urgent care. I said that was a good idea and I bet him I still wouldn’t have any information by the time he returned. We got back to my cubicle and I proceeded to listen to the NLCS game seven between the Giants and Cardinals. I ran through obedience with Jayden, feeing him a decent portion of kibble, grateful I had thought to grab his afternoon snack and bring it along with his collapsable water bowl. I gave him some water out of my bottle and felt happy that of the three of us, he was fed, watered and relieved.

B called when he was heading back from the office and I still hadn’t seen the doctor. A nurse had poked her head in and said, “oh you’re back, the doctor will see you soon now that you’re back.” Really? You’re going to put this on the five minutes it took to let my dog pee? B called after that and I told him what she had said and he laughed. We hung up and just before he got back the doctor finally came in and told me I had diverticulitis That is a Mayo Clinic link I found this morning that is really useful. the doctor briefly told me to take my antibiotics, just drink some clear liquids over the next few days and then switch to easy to digest foods. Make a follow-up with your doctor etc. I asked if I could exercise and he said give it a few days. Then he was gone and soon B was there and I told him. I was very relieved not to be having surgery and I’m familiar with diverticulitis since my dad was diagnosed with diverticulosis when I still lived at home. That just means you have the sacs and could suffer from diverticulitis. Back then they thought that seeds and popcorn played a part but according to that Mayo Clinic link, they no longer believe that. It sounds like it might be my poor choices in the past that could have brought this on since I live pretty healthy these days. I did recently take time off from exercise while the weather had me in pain and it sounds like lack of exercise can bring this on as well. I believe I had it last year also, when the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office diagnosed me with a kidney infection even though the urine wasn’t conclusive. She based it all on the fact that I jumped when she thumped my back. I told her I jumped because I wasn’t expecting it, not because it hurt. So the two nurse practitioners I’ve seen are zero for two though at least this last one thought it was something serious enough to warrant an ER visit. I see my doctor in two weeks for a follow-up. It was the soonest she could see me.

We waited at least another thirty minutes and then the discharge nurse finally came in. B and I had already worked out that we’d take care of getting my antibiotics and broth and everything today since we were both exhausted by the time the hospital was going to let me go. The nurse went on and on about nearby twenty-four hour pharmacies and I just nodded in agreement rather then explain that we had already made our plans. He handed me the discharge papers and told me my prescriptions were stapled on top, the first one being oxycodone. I began shaking my head vigorously and telling the nurse I didn’t need that, I hadn’t even taken ibuprofen and the doctor had said nothing about pain medication but the nurse just said if I didn’t want it, don’t fill it. B exclaimed, “no wonder so many people are addicted to pills!” and I agreed, both of us beginning to rant and then realizing it wasn’t the nurse’s fault. We got the heck out of there and I swore I’d never go back. I’m obviously not filling the prescription for oxycodone. However that must be the hospital to go to if you’re a drug seeker since I didn’t even ask for Tylenol and they handed me a narcotic. Disgusting.

While we were walking to the car Jayden suddenly stopped and relieved himself. B was like, “he’s going! He’s going! Do you have a bag?” Do I have a bag. Silly man. First rule of guide dog handling, always have a bag. I theatrically pulled a bag from my pocket and snapped it open. Jayden immediately moved as far from the mess as he could and B asked why. “He’s ashamed when he goes in harness,” I explained. I wasn’t angry with him at all. He had done a lot of walking in the hospital and I was just glad he waited until we got outside. We got home at eight o’clock and I fed and relieved Jayden and then we went to bed. I was so relieved to be home in my own bed with Jayden and my cats and my man. I had had awful visions of being stuck in the hospital for days. What. A. Day.

This morning I woke up starving. I hadn’t eaten anything since Sunday. A little over an hour ago B brought me some low sodium Swanson’s chicken broth, some bouillon and apple juice. He was going to call me from the pharmacy so I turned to Google to compare bouillon to liquid broth and ran across my favorite fitness site and a liquid diet with calories article. Score! It recommended both forms of broth so I got both. I got the low sodium Swanson’s since the article recommended low sodium when possible. I tell you, that Swanson’s chicken broth tasted so incredibly delicious after not eating since Sunday! I chugged some apple juice before it was even cold and thought, well this isn’t so bad. My belly felt full and I tasted something other than water and coffee. I laughed at myself and thought, ask me again tomorrow if this isn’t so bad. Luckily I can drink coffee and tea with no cream which is how I drink it anyway but I’ve mostly only wanted water since the coffee makes me a little nauseous. After a few days of the liquid diet I can start introducing low fiber foods and then after that get back to a normal fiber intake. I find it odd that a diet low in fiber contributes to the problem yet while recovering from it fiber must be avoided.

It was quite an ordeal but we all made it through ok and I didn’t have to go under the knife. Jayden didn’t seem phased by it in the slightest. After the smells brought back all the memories of my last visit and the not so pleasant experience this time, I think I’ll be looking for a new hospital. I just hope I won’t need one for a very long time.

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Filed under cats, coffeeholic, doc, humor as coping skill, Jayden, mental health, misty eyes, sicky sick, working dog

Book thirty-six in 2012 – “Angels Flight” (Harry Bosch #6) – Michael Connelly

I am writing this slightly sleep deprived. When a cat wakes you at 5am on a Sunday and your get back to sleeper is broken, it makes for a very early and unhappy waking. (No cats were harmed in the waking of this morning)I was awake somewhat late last night finishing this book. Have I mentioned before how brilliant Michael Connelly is? Yeah, I have huh. I finally am able to get back on track with the Harry Bosch series since I finally got my hands on the unabridged “Angels Flight”. I love love love this series! And this book was fabulous! Definitely one of my favorites so far. Is it because it’s really that good or because I had to wait so long for it? Nah, it’s really that good.

One of the things I like about Michael Connelly is I don’t have to suspend my logic all that much to believe his stories. They are all believable which makes some of them quite scary since I can imagine them actually happening. “Angels Flight” was like a really good episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent when that show was brilliant. There were so many twists and turns and different character interactions it would have been easy for the head to spin but Connelly is so good it all flowed seamlessly.

I can normally start to see who might have done it when I read Connelly books and as I’ve written before, I’ve been right then doubted myself then found out I had been right after I suspected the wrong person after doubting myself and so on and so forth. That’s a lot of fun but “Angels Flight” had me totally baffled. That was even more fun! Because I had those moments of oh holy crap are you serious! And, oh that guy from the last book is back, yay! I also found myself starting to like a character that in previous books I rather despised. This character had a different role in this book so I got to know him a little better. And then? What happens? Oh…oh no. Oh no you didn’t!

I read this book really quickly. Michael Connelly books are great escapes and right now they are the only entertainment that keep me from thinking about life. I’m starting another tonight thanks to a five dollar sale on Audible. It’s not the next Harry Bosch book. I’m waiting for my credit to get that one.

Oh, “Angels Flight”, I keep thinking about you. So good, just so so good! So dark, oh so dark, and nauseous making. So good.

2012 Audio Book List (all unabridged):

1. “IT” – Stephen King – Began end of 2011, finished 1/4/12

2. “The Concrete Blonde” – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/9/12

3. “Under the Dome” – Stephen King – Finished 1/22/12

4. “The Black Echo” (Harry Bosch #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/24/12

5. “The Black Ice” (Harry Bosch #2) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/27/12

6.* “The Concrete Blonde” (Harry Bosch #3) – Michael Connelly – Finished 2/2/12

7. “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” – Rob Lowe – Finished 2/6/12

8.** “So Yesterday” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/10/12

9.** “Peeps” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/15/12

10. “1Q84” – Haruki Murakami – Finished 3/12/12

11. “The Stand” – Stephen King – Finished 4/2/12

12.** “Uglies” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 4/9/12

13.** “Pretties” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 4/15/12

14. “The Last Coyote” (Harry Bosch #4) – Michael Connelly – Finished 4/20/12

15. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” – Seth Grahame-Smith – Finished 4/25/12

16. “Zero Day” – David Baldacci – Finished 5/1/12

17** “Specials” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 5/7/12

18.** “Extras” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 5/13/12

19. “77 Shadow Street” – Dean Koontz – Finished 5/21/12

20. “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” – Jenny Lawson – Finished 5/25/12

21. “Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars” – Paul Ingrassia Finished 6/1/12

22. “The Glory of Their Times: The Story Of The Early Days Of Baseball Told By The Men Who Played It” – Lawrence Ritter – Finished 6/3/12

23. “The Given Day – Dennis Lehane – Finished 6/17/12

24. “Trunk Music” (Harry Bosch #5) – Michael Connelly – Finished 6/22/12

25. “The Lincoln Lawyer” (Mickey Haller #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 6/29/12

26. “The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science” – Norman Doidge – Finished 7/6/12

27. “A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans” – W. Bruce Cameron – Finished 7/11/12

28. “The Potato Factory” (The Australian Trilogy Part One) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 7/25/12

29. “Tommo and Hawk” (The Australian Trilogy Part Two) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 8/8/12

30.* “Fifty Shades of Grey” – E. L. James – Finished 8/11/12

31. “Fifty Shades Darker” – E. L. James – Finished 8/16=12

32. “Solomon’s Song” (The Australian Trilogy Part Three) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 8/22/12

33. “Fifty Shades Freed” – E.L. James – Finished 8/25/12

34. “The Poet” (Jack McEvoy #1) – Michael Connelly Finished – 829/12

35. “13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time” – Michael Brooks – Finished 9/4/12

36. “Angels Flight” (Harry Bosch #6) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/8/12

*Audio book previously listened to.

** Audio book previously listened to multiple times.

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Filed under 2012 Book List, Audio books, cats

Doggy Diaries – Pooch Ponderings – The Couch

Mom gave me a couch when I moved here. For a long time I didn’t know it was my couch and I wouldn’t get on it until she said it was ok and she had the towel down but soon it was always ok and it was mine. She used to be on it all the time too when the white thing was near it so I’d have to curl up on one side and I couldn’t stretch out on my back but then she moved the white thing and most of the time it was all mine and sometimes she’d ask me to move over so she could sit with me and use that silver thing that’s small but makes the white thing talk or she’d have that string stuff that turned into a big thing.

You guys, yesterday she moved my couch. She’s been moving a lot of things and using that loud thing a lot so at first when she moved the other couch I didn’t care but then she moved my couch all the way across the house and it was where my mat usually is. I stood there and looked at it. Am I still allowed on it? My towel is there. But I don’t want to get told no so I just looked at so she sat on it and told me ok and I got on my couch while she used the loud thing over where my couch had been.

Then Carol came over! But she had two dude guys with her and mom put my leash on me! In the house with the leash? What?!?! Huh!?!?

I couldn’t say hi to the dude guys even though I tried and they carried in this HUGE thing you guys. It was huge. I was stuck in the kitchen with mom on the leash looking at the dude guys with the huge thing. Where did it go? Then they went in the cats’ room where I don’t go and they brought out a big thing from in there and carried it outside. Then I was allowed to say hi to them.

Then, they put my couch in the cats’ room! Are you bloody kidding me? The CATS get my couch? What!?!? Huh!?!?

They took the door off the room after they had my couch on it’s side twisting it and hurting it. Then it was gone. My couch was gone.

Then mom let me off my leash and I went into where my couch had been The big thing was there and one of the dude guys was putting its winter coat on. He said it was coffee. Mom asked if it was coffee with cream and he said yes. I sniffed him and before he left he gave me a big old pet.

Then Carol and mom sat on the big thing and mom sounded happy. Of course she was; she loves coffee, you know, that black stuff.

I stood there and looked at them and mom invited me up. Oh, I’m on this thing with mom *and*Carol? Told you it was big. Apparently it’s also a couch. The coffee couch?

Mom and Carol did some work out of a book and I got on the couch. It doesn’t have a towel, just the winter coat.

After Carol left mom got on the couch with me and then we went to the place where mom lays on the bed for awhile and I nap. We came home and dad was home and I got on the couch again and didn’t get off till mom took me outside to pee.

We went to bed and mom gave me my snack and I didn’t get on my bed. When she changed clothes I went to the door but it wasn’t open all the way. She got in bed and I walked to her but didn’t lay down. Then I walked to the door. She stayed in bed. I walked to her. She pet me and asked why I was restless. She. Just. Didn’t. Get. It. I went back to the door. I went back to her. I went back to the door. Finally she got up and opened the door and I ran to the coffee couch. She asked dad if I was on the couch and he said yup and they laughed.

I never went to my bed in mom’s room last night. I love my coffee couch. The cats can *have* that other one.

Mom’s on the couch with me. We had a fun day. Guess what I got? A Rudy! Mom says she has videos for you, but she’s too tired to put them on what is it? Ooboo? Whatever. We’ll tell you about my Rudy tomorrow. Right now we’re just on the coffee couch and mom is drinking it.

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Filed under cats, coffeeholic, Doggy Diaries, fellowship, gratitude, Jayden, pooch ponderings

On this date 2009 and 2010

As I thought about what to write today I had a few ideas but nothing that was really grabbing me. I don’t feel like writing the few heartwarming stories mulling around in my brain nor do I have energy to be silly about nothing. So I had the brilliant idea to check out December sixth for the last two years. Not sure I wrote on the sixth in 2009 yet but last year’s made me laugh. This might also test my willpower a bit. I have not eaten Cheetos for about a month now. For about the first week or so of abstinence, I was snacking on fresh veggies and cheese cubes at night while reading which was tasty but I got lazy and didn’t feel like chopping veggies anymore. Luckily I didn’t go back to the Cheetos habit, instead enjoying some sunflower seeds when I get the hand to mouth urge while reading.

I was just telling Carol today that my willpower was tested when a tweet triggered me yesterday. Someone tweeted that they craved Flamin’ Hot Cheetos but didn’t feel like driving to the store. My first thought was, it’s a good thing I *can’t* drive to the store, or I just might have gone and gotten me some Crunchy Cheetos. The obsession passed however. So what did I blog on December sixth last year?

Puffs or Crunchy?

When the Cheetos craving first began last year, it’s been a year wow, I asked B to pick me up a bag and he brought home a bag of Puffs. I had thought original Cheetos meant crunchy but no, Puffs were the original. I had taken a poll on the blog and Twitter I think, maybe even Facebook. So, two days in a row now, I’m being tested with Cheetos references. Uh oh!

2009 had three posts. One post announced that voting for the puppy pool was over, another post gives the pool results. Maddie, if you still read here, can you leave your address in a comment? I won’t publish it. I can’t access the Facebook message with it. Yes, two of the winners still have not received their prizes. Just call me slacker. Toby’s raiser, I still haven’t been able to mail it.

This is strange too, because the other post is written from the cats’ POV and I’ve been planning a Pooch Ponderings post to write about a day from Jayden’s perspective.

Unfortunately these posts don’t tell us much about what I was up to on the tenth the last two years, so maybe I’ll do another on this date post again soon. Archives are fun!

Oh, in the cats’ post, Fi asks if anyone knows how to get rid of her dreads. B started feeing the cats Fancy Feast dry cat food and her coat cleared right up.

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Filed under cats, on this date, twitter me this

Audio/Video: Hanging with Ro Episode Three – Silly Bells

I just slapped a title on this post and had to edit to say it made me think, Silly Bells…silly bells…why are they ringing you?

Now back to our regularly schedule post.

Since I went blind, I haven’t touched my Christmas decorations. This year something changed though, as I listened to audio of Carin and Steve coming up with drunk lyrics for Christmas carols. The deal was sealed when I downloaded some Trans-Siberian Orchestra. (That’s how itunes spelled it, so I’m going with it.)

It was really nice to get all that stuff out again after so many years without it. I was feeling so silly about the bells that I decided to get audio/video of the decorations. I forgot to mention during the video that the star for the top of the Christmas tree is on top of the vase with the lights in it.

I really, really really, love being a dork, if you didn’t know that already.

Topics include:

*Steve and Carin’s blog that inspired the need for bells

*Drunken angel singing. No I’m not drunk

* Video of the areas with the decorations

*Quick shot of Jayden

*Naturally, Evan Longoria comes up. I couldn’t believe it as I listened to the audio. Really? Will there ever be one of these things without his name mentioned?

Direct youtube link

PS – No I’m not on pain killers. That’s just me. =D

PPS – Now that I’m not active, the pain in my head is screaming.

PPPS – When you do multiple PS’s, is it PPS or PSS?

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, cats, evan longoria, fellowship, hanging with ro, holiday, Jayden, mom, plugs, silly girl, twitter me this, video, youtube

#NaBloPoMo – A plea to the future me

Dear Ro of the future,

This is a plea to you, yep a plea. Take a sip of coffee. Ready? Ok.

Now, I’ve forgiven the past me for the stupid way I packed the last two times I moved. I was so anxious to get into my new places that I thought I’d save time by just shoving everything I owned into boxes and big plastic Rubbermaid containers. Or coffee cans. Or plastic cat litter containers. Sure, I got rid of a lot of stuff but why did I keep all the pens?

Future self, I can tell you with the utmost certainty that slacking at the time does not save time. Sure, you might think it saves time in the moment, but you know that law of conservation of energy? Well, that applies to packing and storing and cleaning. Whatever time you push forward remains and collects dust. Yes, time collects dust. Just remember your sinuses and itchy eyes and all the sneezing.

In case you don’t believe this post, which knowing me, you will but just in case, and because you’ll probably do some slacking between now and whatever chunk of time might collect dust if you’re not on top of things, here are a couple reminders. Here is how it all started. Don’t let all of Carol’s hard work go to waste. Just don’t. Here’s a post about the cats’ room. That room has been the hardest of all. today’s work on that room is why I’m writing this letter to you, future self. It’s awesome in there. It really is. Everything is dusted and now covered with old sheets. The window is actually open. You emptied a bottle of Febreeze and a bottle of Lysol in there today. You vacuumed the heck out of that room, moving everything in there. It’s amazing. Do not, I repeat, do not, let that room go. Seriously.

It hasn’t happened yet, but it most likely will have by the time you read this post in the future. Carol will be coming over to help me go through the stuff that didn’t get tossed. She’s going to be putting more hard work into this house. Don’t let that be in vain. I’m not sure what to threaten you with. Just remember this sense of accomplishment. Remember forgiving your past past self for the stupid packing because how were you to know that you’d go blind and leave all that stuff for way too long? Will you be in that forgiving of a mood six months from now? A year? I don’t think so.

You haven’t always been the best at keeping clean and organized, but you’re damn good at it now. Don’t forget that. It’s ok if you have some bad spoon weeks when you can’t do it, but pick it up as soon as you’re able. Remember, you live with four animals and a boy. Remember that. Keeping this kind of house hold clean is a full time job.

Ok, finish your coffee and go clean something.

Love,

The November 2011 Ro

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Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, cats, coffeeholic, fellowship, gratitude, letters, NaBloPoMo 2011, spoons

#NaBloPoMo – The Cats’ Room

I had another post in mind for today but I got busy and then I got a link on Twitter that I want to write about but I’m too fatigued for that either so I’m just going to write about why I was busy and this will be fairly pointless except for my own memories in a year when I look back on cleaning the cats’ room. How’s that for a run-on? Future self, I want you to ask yourself a question right now. How’s the cats’ room? Have you been keeping up on it? Please, oh please, tell me you have.

I might have mentioned the spare room here recently since it is included in all the cleaning I’ve been doing. Basically it’s been the catch all room since B and I moved in here February of ’08. I haven’t tackled that room since going blind. You can imagine the clutter and dust, I’m sure. Add to that the fact that before I got Jayden, we moved the litter boxes in there so I could put a baby gate up. It was already pretty much the cats’ room, since there was an old chair from B’s old apartment in the corner, with an old comforter over it which created a nice little cave behind it. Spinelli had also enjoyed an old robe on top of a cabinet thing in the closet for a long time.

When L gave me a couch to replace the old and battered one I’d had forever, I decided to put that in the cats’ room as well, since they had already clawed it to high heaven and well, I spoil my animal kids. It had just gone into the room in front of the growing pile of clutter and eventually, there was just enough space in there to get to the litter boxes for cleaning. The closet wasn’t arranged in a way most conducive to space. Old clothes and scrubs from my days in medicine hung there, collecting dust and providing a medium for smells to cling to.

In a word, the room was gross. I was mortified at the thought of anyone seeing it and when B’s dad visited here the first time, I couldn’t believe B actually showed him the room. Why, oh why, would you purposely point out that room?

Now that I’ve begun work on it, and made a huge dent, I think what that room symbolized for me was the last of my sighted world. I put things in there when I could see, when I had plans for the room. Combine that with my tendency for pack rathood and what’s left is oh no, don’t go in there. Close the door. Don’t let anyone see.

It’s been liberating to clean out that room. Carol has been offering to help me with it for over a year now. I decided to make a start on it on my own though, to decrease what dust and clutter I could before allowing her to inhale that air. I’ve thrown out so much stuff. So much had been ruined by being left untouched and so much junk had been kept by the old sighted and sentimental me. I wish I had counted how many pens I threw away. Pens? Why did I keep so many pens?

The last time I worked in there I managed to move the couch along the wall to get it out of the way so I could get at what was behind it. I knew I needed to move the chair in the corner over a bit so the couch could move towards the corner and give us more than a six inch path between it and the wall so that was my goal today.

I found the Harry Potter braille book Georgie got me when I was about four months blind. That, along with a braille labeler, extra tape I had lost, which I also found today, and my white cane, was how she pushed me into action and put me on the road to learning how to live blind.

The book was in a cardboard box, the top volume covered in dust. I retrieved a plastic zipper bag, the one my bum cushion came in. It was perfect to store the book just in case I ever learn contracted braille. Maybe that will be a project after the room is done, to sign up for Grade 2 braille at Hadley.

Long story short, I had to kill Spinelli’s den behind the chair so I could vacuum. I hope she forgives me; it had to be done. I’m vacuuming every bit of carpet I end up freeing. There’s only one more corner left to tackle in the room, and then I can have Carol go through the stuff I’ve set aside. Most of it for possible donation, some of it because I can’t quite remember what it is. I had moved the bookcase that was taking up room into the closet, so now it’s perfectly set up for storage once I clear out the “Carol pile”, as we’ve been calling it.

Today I was able to reach the window. It was like a long awaited destination, to be able to straighten the blinds and scrub the glass. The room hardly even smells dusty now. What a hard job, but it’s leaving me with such an incredible feeling of accomplishment and liberation that I’m not even embarrassed to write the details of just how bad it was anymore. Look all you want! I think we might even be able to do away with the baby gate once I’m done. B found an igloo style litter box that seems pretty impossible for a dog to get to the contents.

After I met the goal for today I showered off the muck and finished reading ‘Carri’. That might be another post. It’s amazing how much I related to that book. I had to finish it because since I listened to music on the iPhone while cleaning, I lost my place in the book and it was just easier to find my place on the laptop. The book had been burned from CDs, so the iPhone doesn’t hold the place like it does an Audible book. Such a luxury problem. 🙂

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Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, Audio books, braille, cats, fellowship, gratitude, iPhone, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2011, Spinelli, white cane