Monday, October 31, 2011

Almost Halloween 2011

Pretty Fall evening in Ohio.

Kenny & I got up at noon on Sunday. We went directly to a movie, and saw the new Justin Timberlake disaster, something about running out of time. Wow. Bad. Really really really bad.

Then, we had tickets to a fundraiser at the chain restaurant next to the theater. We supported St. Jude's Children's Hospital by eating Subway sammichs, hotwings and cookies. That's my kinda charity work, frankly.

We were watching the football game. And suddenly I had to leave. I was just itchy, jumpy - restless. I hadn't seen daylight, or not much of it anyway.

So I ditched the party. I was going to go home and get some Sunday Things done around the house, but I drove right by the towpath trail and decided to turn in. The sun was shining, the air was crisp. I was going for a walk. I happened to have my camera in my purse and captured some of the scenery.

I had forgotten how nice it is to spend time on the towpath. I used to go there a lot, back in my old married life. I had a bike rack and would bike along the path, or walk my dog. Nowadays, it's more difficult as Kenny is NOT Mr. Outdoorsman. But I decided that while he may not be, I like a little communing with nature in the form of a walk along the trail.

It did a lot to restore balance in my mood. I hope to do more of it before the snow flies. But no pressure on myself, I don't want to take away the pure enjoyment of it by setting guidelines and timetables.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Itsy Bitsy

Tracye: "I think a spider crawled on my face at night and laid eggs under my skin. Look at this lump I have right by my hairline."

Shows Kenny lump.

Kenny: "Yep, it sure does look like a spider bite."

Tracye, freaking out: "I didn't really THINK it was a spider bite, now I'm freaked the fuck out that a spider was crawling around on my face at night!!! Do you think it laid eggs??"

Later that evening:

Tracye: "You know, those cats should really keep those spiders offa my face at night. That's the least they can do, right? Those cats are lazy fuckers."

Now I'm mad at the cats. And if my face hatches spiders, I'm going to be REALLY mad at Kenny, too.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

With a Capital "D"

The new cat went missing on Wednesday. She had done exactly what I had told her not to do: messed with Girlie.

Girlie don't play that shit.

Girlie is the Queen of the Castle.

And Girlie got her in her cross-hairs, and it was Game Over for the little one. We awoke Wednesday morning to caterwauling and fur flying. I spanked Girlie, loved the little one, and calmed her down, leaving her high on a table when I went to work.

And that was the last we saw of her.

At first we thought she was just back under the bed hiding. But nope, she was not. We figured wherever she was, she'd come out sooner rather than later. By Thursday evening, I'm starting to get worried, because we haven't seen hide nor hair.

I pestered My Mister until he started searching around for her with me. He had kept assuring me she'd come out eventually, but I wasn't sure she hadn't had a heart attack from fear and we'd find her by the eventual stink.

We turned over every square inch of our house. We have a small house. It's 2 -bedrooms. We looked in every probable and improbable place. Kitchen cupboards. In the 1-inch of space between fridge and wall. Under every piece of furniture. Every nook & cranny, until it was determined that she just wasn't here. Houdini Cat.

And then, I panicked as I thought of the one place she could have possibly gotten that we hadn't checked. We have a vent, where the vent cover just rests against the wall, and some cables come out of it that run from somewhere into our house and operates Things. I don't really know, but I think it's running phone lines and television lines from the upstairs (our house) to the downstairs house, as we split stuff.

Thanks to Mr. Non-HandyMan, the cover just rests against the wall.

It was knocked over.

You see where I'm going with this? Is the cat stuffed between the floor/walls of our two houses?? Dear Garth, that would be a nightmare. We wouldn't be able to get her out. My little black one was helping me investigate, sticking her nose into the hole while we were meowing into it to see if we elicited a response, and checking into spaces too difficult to see with a little hand-held mirror.

Friday nights at my house are really Dream Date nights.

Eventually we decided to move our efforts to the basement. The door to our kitchen had been opened for a while, as Toby went exploring, but we didn't think the new cat would be so bold as to take a big leap out into the Great Unknown. We had half-heartedly checked the basement anyway between Wednesday & Friday, but it's really too difficult to tackle all the nooks & crannies down there, especially with all of Kenny's business shit down there. There's just too much stuff, despite the cleaning out we embarked on thanks to our summer flood.

We looked again down there. Calling and meowing and shining flashlights, as we had no other options, she clearly was not in the house.

And finally we heard something. A bump in the night. The faintest of faint "me-ows". Coming from what could have been the ceiling, or a vent in the ceiling, or the wall.

We narrowed down our search to a corner of the basement, which was piled high with stuff we store down there.

We shined the light everywhere. No little pair of eyes glowing back at us.

And then, I heard it again. Mew. She has a weird mew-er to begin with, kind of deep and raspy and hard to hear under the best circumstances.

We determined she was under the stairwell, which is of course where we have a ton of shit/boxes stored. Heavy stuff that we need one day, but not anytime soon. It was an obstacle course to get back there, and Kenny started just chucking heavy boxes all over the room, and then shit started falling and it was a disaster. But then he finally caught a glimpse of shining eyes.

In the farthest back corner underneath the stairs a cat could possible get. We're not sure if she got back there and got stuck, because it was a pretty tight squeeze, or if she was just that much of an asshole that she wasn't helping us on purpose. He cleared some space and she gained some footing and ran like a shot out of that hidey-hole.

Directly into the part of the basement that's my storage and laundry area. Which by the way is where we had the majority of flooded items and it's relatively cleaned up back there.

Still couldn't find her.

So we said, "Fuck this shit!" and left for drinks. Several drinks.

Checked again when we came home, after she'd had a chance to calm down. We were vewy-vewy quiet. I mewed a few times, kitty-style. But I tried to keep it sounding like Friendly Kitty instead of like a big mean bitchy Girlie kitty.

I heard a mew. She finally peeped her little head out from the 2 inches of space between the furnace and the floor. She is an exceptional hider, we would have never found her there.

She did a good job of dusting.

The cobwebs blend in with her fur, but she had a little veil on over her face. I was kind of scared to touch her as webs frighten me, but in the interest of the Greater Good (getting that cat located and hauled back into the house), I did it. And then we took a picture, because at that point we needed to find some humor in the situation.

She came upstairs and had a good meal and a lot of pets, and stayed on the bed with us for a good long while. She pooped in the litter box (I don't even want to think about where she pooped/peed from Wednesday-Friday, but I'm sure one day we'll discover it). And all was right in the world.

Until 6:00 a.m., when I heard more hissing & running around the house. I jumped out of bed but didn't see anything.

She's been under the spare bed since. I fed her there, she's been through a lot.

She may have to go back to her original mama, despite original mama's allergies. I can't have a distressed, picked-on cat who hides under the bed. That's no good life. For her or us.

Timmy (downstairs) said he'd try her out, he only has 1 cat and a dog. He's not sure the cat will like it, but he'll try her out on Sunday when he's home, see how she does.

If that doesn't work, she'll have to go back. We really like her, she's a good girl, and I wanted to help her allergic mama out, but it may not be a good solution.

The upside? She was NOT in the walls. Because that would have spelled D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Here she is, our newest addition. She's pretty enough. She was out today, the other cats were on the back porch soaking up the last of a sunshiny day that October gratuitously offered.

She was rolling around in a little bit of catnip. Figure I should mellow her ass out a little bit, maybe she'll be more friendly to the other cats.

Kenny renamed her Ash, short for Ashley, since she's ash-colored. Sort of cute. Her name was/is Shaun. So far I just call her the new kitty.

Reality Bites

Discussing the symptoms of iron deficiency with my friend, Mimi, trying to come up with a rational reason why I'm just so tired all the time. Some reason other than laziness.

Me: "Maybe I have an iron deficiency. I can sleep 12 hours and still be tired when I get up - no exaggeration."
Mimi: "Take an iron pill, that'll fix it if that's the problem."
Me: "I wonder what foods I need to eat to get more iron?"
Mimi: "Just take a pill. We don't need to find reasons to eat more food."

She has a point.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more

So here's the boobie update. Good news, I get to keep 'em both! No cancer growing around in there - thank Garth, because that would have sucked and then this blog would have been even more detailed about the color of my poop and other stuff that you'd rather not know about. So shew, you're SAFE, Reader!

The thing is, I still have to have surgery. I'm still scratching my head about how NO CANCER can mean, "Well, get yourself some surgery anyway." Preventative surgery. There's one little spot, in the boobie calcification part, that they just don't like the looks of, so they're going to put me under, get out the melon baller and scoop it out.


I guess.

Better to scoop now than chemo later. And the lump was nothing, too, by the way. Two separate spots, one boobie. But it was sure much ado about nothing.

Then? They think I'm going to get mammograms every 6 months. I don't think so, no-siree. Once a year, max. I'm not getting extra radiation for what turned out to be nothing, so they can stress me the fuck out every 6 months.

I was perfectly happy (and healthy-boobied) prior to any mammograms. I don't think that sticking needles around in there and extracting parts of my body have done it any favors. I kept reminding the doctor, and my boobs, that they are for fun-and-games only, and are NOT to be taken seriously. I'm proud of my boobs for holding up their end of the bargain.

Monday, October 17, 2011


On to other things, Real Life Things, that aren't nearly as much fun as Vacation Things.

I endured my 2nd boobie biopsy today. This one was a joy, oh joy. I had to lie on a table, facedown, with my titty in a hole. Then they put a clamp on my nipple, pulled it taut (or so it felt like anyway), and advised me to stay perfectly still while they finagled the spot. Then they drilled in a hole, extracted some of my body parts, took it to x-ray to test and ensure they had enough of my body parts, and then I had to go and get a mammogram so they could note where the metal pieces are currently located for future boobie exams, which I was informed now has to occur every 6 months. Piece of shit news that is, and I'm not sure I am even buying into it, especially if all this is NOTHING. Why do we have to continually test a bunch of nothing and expose me to more radiation? But we'll jump off that bridge when we come to it.

So that's that. I'll know in a week. And now that the numbing stuff is wearing off, my boobie has some sharp and pangy-pangs shooting around in it, and I don't like it.

They advised me not to do any aerobic activities for 5 days, or do anything to bounce them around. I'll do my best to curb my exhaustive workout routine, although it will be difficult to just sit in the recliner for a few days and relax, you know how I'm a bundle of go-go-go all the time, huh.

I advised Mr. A that the doctor ordered me to have Popeye's chicken and a biscuit with honey today, and some Oreos and milk, to help me heal. He obliged on the Popeye's, but we didn't make it to the Oreos. Yet. The more my boobie pangs me, the more I think we'll follow Dr.'s orders and get those cookies tonight.

And the worst of it? I have to sleep in a bra and can't shower until tomorrow evening. I'm going to be a Stinky Pete tomorrow. And probably cranky to boot.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Good Life

Where were we? Well, right here! My toes were in that sand and they were happy feet.

We took a catamaran sail over from St. Thomas to St. Johns island, where we did some snorkeling and lollygagging around. We had a lot of this in our view, and it was good:

I was in this position. A LOT.

And sometimes, we canoodled on the balcony. Canoodle is a word that doesn't get nearly enough play, and should because it's fun to say and type.

Actually, I was on the balcony A LOT. Naked. I like to make that my goal on each cruise, to be naked on the balcony at least once, but I found myself out there every day naked for a little while. You couldn't see over unless you really craned your head around, and if you're that interested believe you me, you'll probably only want to look once. I'm - ahem - not 18 any longer. It's nice to get sun on things that never see the sun.

And we had really pretty nights, too, like this one in St. Maarten:

You can see the island lit up with life for the night, a cruise ship sails off, and the moon casts a beautiful glow over it all.

Because of the weather, we flopped our itinerary a bit and ended up in the Bahamas on the last day instead of the 2nd day of the trip. We went in during the afternoon, 2pm-7pm, instead of the 7am.-1pm crazy times we had originally scheduled. That stop is normally planned so early (not going to happen for me) and doesn't stay long enough, that we never get off the ship.

Since we were leaving during the nighttime for a change we got to see Atlantis lit up:

And we saw the Disney Dream leaving just before us, and it was lit up like a party:

The end.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Saddle Up & Ride

So I came home after dark (from getting my manicure) and did some looky-looing in the window. Could see that lights were on, but everything looked obscured - somewhat. Like you were looking through a gauzy curtain into our life, which I guess is what you're doing (should anyone be so inclined).

One side-affect I hadn't considered: The sheer gauziness of them makes for prime Cat-Peek-A-Boo-Get-Each-Other shenanigans. I just had to use a Stern Voice with Toby & the baby to get them to knock their cat games off. At least knock them off in the curtains.

It won't surprise me if I come home and the curtains are pulled down onto the floor. It will irk me, but not surprise me.

Okay, I just got back from picking up my packing assistant (bottle of Moscato, all for Me Me Me!), and now my packing games must commence. Yes, I saved it til the last minute, late in the evening. Once again. But whatever, I'm relaxed about it (for a change) and know it will all get done. I chose to spend the glorious afternoon while the sun was shining on the back porch with the cats, finishing up the Hunger Games trilogy. Sad. :( That the story's over, that is. And I'm not sure I loved the outcome, but it was okay enough.

Now I hope that the book I've downloaded for vacation doesn't stink because I'm not sure what my download capabilities will be out at sea. If I chose wrong, it'll be one big sad face from me. I don't even know what I picked - I think Freedom by Jonathan Franz or something, it was a recommendation from someone, somewhere...there was a little yellow post-it-note reminder on my desk. Wait, that's not what I downloaded at all! I downloaded What is the What. No wonder I have Reader Reservations, it seems a little deep for vacation pleasures. I fear I'm going to have to succumb to the best sellers list and get a back-up plan in place. Stat. I'm going to throw a couple Harlequinn Romances in my suitcase for backup. And they'll guarantee Mr. A a little role-playing, which he won't object to. The one I bought involves a cowboy. I think he'll be up for a rodeo.

You're Soaking In It

I survived the boobie biopsy today. I cried. Even before they did anything, my eyes started puddling up when I saw the lump looking so Big and Scary on the ultrasound machine. But the actual procedure didn't hurt, it was just the thought that they're checking you for CANCER that hurts. That blows.

But we go on vacation in the morning. I shall have wine tonight while I finish up around the house.

So what did I do last night, to prepare for vacation? Well, all practical things, naturally. I decided that was the night I just had to hang up the new curtains I purchased back in JUNE. JUNE. They've sat in the Target bag on a living room chair for 3 months, and the night I should have been packing for vacation? That was the night they had to get hung up. Now, to shed a little light on why they sat in a bag for so long, remember that bad back I had? Well, I wasn't really up to climbing around on chairs. And while I could have had Kenny do it, let's be real here. He doesn't excel at household activities.

They are very sheer. Much more appropriate for when I purchased them over the summer than as we head into winter. A really pretty gauzy linen, but I do need a couple more panels to fill them out, and they probably aren't still selling linen curtains in October. I hope they are, though. The room does look a lot more airy and bright, which we both like, but I do wonder how much of us walking around the neighbors can see. Because I tend to walk through the house naked every morning, after I've taken a shower, as I'm getting ready for work. It's my alone time, Reader. No one's up but me and the cats, and the cat's don't judge. But now the neighbors might. We're going to have to do some reconnaissance and see what they can see.

I really need to plan more vacations, they motivate me to get shit done around the house. I actually have the can of paint out to do some light touch up work that's been neglected for the past 3 years or so. No sense rushing around to do it.

I think the reason I get all motivated to do stuff before vacation is that I want to have something pleasant to look forward to when we come home. We stay in really nice places, I don't want to come home to a dumpy mess. Maybe we should switch our travels to camping. That way, the house in it's natural state of duress would be just fine.

Cats are out on the patio today, soaking up some sunshine. I think I will go join them and read for a half hour or so, before I get busy packing up. I need to get that done, so I can enjoy the evening with a manicure as the hardest thing I have to do.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Know When To Hold "Em

I'm just so tired lately. I know, everyone's tired, but I'm tired!-tired. I can't get enough sleep, even when I should have more than enough sleep. The least little activity has me pausing for a little break (like now, I just carried up some laundry and fed the cats, needed a break). I think I'm abnormally tired and I fear it has something to do with the abnormality going on in my boobie area. Yes, that still hasn't been resolved. Tomorrow. I get Test 1 tomorrow. Then Test 2 on the 18th. So we'll know by Birthday Month if I am troubled & worried or celebratory & carefree.

And I hope to find out that I'm tired because I've just been so lazy for the past year(s) and it's finally caught up with me. Sitting leads to Sit-some-more syndrome, so I've been told. I've got that for sure.

Okay, I'm hauling up to go and do some things on my To-Do list, which involves more laundry (pre-vacation laundry, hooray, I love that), and tidying up the homestead.

I'd love a glass (or three) of wine, but can't have alcohol before the boobie probe.

In other, much much much more exciting news, Kenny was selected out of the 4000 people who applied for the new casino!! VERY EXCITING! They loved his exuberant personality. I figured it would either work for or against him, but luckily it was FOR. He starts 240 hours of unpaid training in December. But I think he's going to love it. And really? He needs to work at the new casino so he won't be able to gamble there. That'll be the only thing standing between him and 1-800-Gambler.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What's Cookin'

Nothing much to say to round out the weekend activities here. I was tired this weekend. Slept til noon on Sunday, and had to make an effort to get myself out of bed at that. Sluggish all day, but made some food. Whipped up a pot of chili that was an experiment of sorts. We are low on groceries and not stocking up prior to our trip next week (hooray!). I added pumpkin to the chili per The Healthy Hoff. It's tasty.

I also roasted beets. Lookout, blood-red poop!

And I roasted some red-skinned potatoes with garlic cloves. They are okay. I was just using up stuff in the fridge.

I've got a big pimple on the tip of my nose. Kenny said it's starting to make requests. Tonight it requested Oreos and milk, so I guess he's right.

More later...I know, I know, you can hardly wait.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Party Animals

Kenny: "How is it that we can have a sink full of dishes, and we haven't eaten one meal at home all week?"

Good question. I have no idea. But we do, and we didn't. The only thing I've "cooked" all week was my morning smoothies, which accounts for the dirty Vitamix sitting in the sink, that I hadn't rinsed out yet. Other than that, nothing was concocted here. Yet? A sink full of dirty dishes sits in the kitchen, awaiting to be addressed.

Kenny thinks the cats must host parties when we're not home. I'm not so sure he's wrong.