Mark came across this cute sign today while out biking, and he actually saw a black cat use it. Well, okay, the cat walked like two feet in front of it, but still!

Mark came across this cute sign today while out biking


July 9, 2018 | View Comments

Mark and I high-five after successfully (!!!) putting a collar on the neighbor’s cat:

We live verrrry close to Bill Cosby in Pennsylvania (a five minute walk or a forty-five second drive), though that’s not exactly a great claim to fame to have anymore. Sometimes I wonder if that house is really his. I mean it’s gorgeous, but it’s not in a gated community. I could literally hop his wooded fence, even with my back issues. Could that be electric or something? Like if I tried to throw a stick over the fence, would it get zapped backwards? Or is that only in the movies? I mean, there are never any reporters or paparazzi around either. But the day the verdict came down, I did have helicopters flying overhead. Should I try to electrocute myself in an attempt to know for sure? Scratch that. I’ll just ask Mark to check.

Since Mark’s parents are coming to visit this week (lord help me), I decided the weekend before would be a fine time to get my hair done (cut and colored) and to get a mini pedicure (just cut, filed, and painted). I arrived at the hair salon about fifteen minutes early at 11:45, and my stylist took me right away. I was sitting in my colorist’s chair at 12:01. She said she had a client at 12:15. As I was her 12:30, I had to wait. Well, her client didn’t show up until 12:23, so my hair didn’t even get started until about 12:54. I was super annoyed. I know there was no way of knowing that chick would be late, but sitting for an hour also really irritated my back, though I got up to walk and stretch a bit. In my selfish mind, she could have done me and had her 12:15 wait ten minutes. But, yeah, that didn’t happen. Afterwards, I went to the nail salon where a teen boy did my toes. I had never seen him there before, and I thought he was horrible and kinda rude. I mean, he was doing one of my big toes and asked if it was okay to which I said it was. Then I determined I wanted it shorter, and he said, “but you said it was okay” like I wasn’t allowed to change my goddamned mind.

After that, we went to the medical marijuana dispensary. The super chatty security guard said it was empty thirty-five minutes earlier, but it was packed when we arrived. Since it was my first visit, I had to meet with a counselor. Then I had to go back to the lobby to wait before I could go into the store area. I think we waited maybe thirty minutes total, so it wasn’t too bad. The counselor advised me on what I should start with and how much of it to take, and then he told us that there is no limit on how often you can stop by (just once a day, but you could go every single day of the week, if desired) or how much you can buy. In fact, when we were checking out, the guy next to me was placing a huuuuge order – five of this, four of that, three of that, etc. And this shit is expensive! At first I thought he must be selling it. It’s medical grade, so it’s stronger than what you can get on the street, but I can’t believe anyone would pay that much where this guy could make any kind of profit. But what the hell do I know? And, because I am a giant asshole, I was wondering how many people in there really needed it. I get the whole “invisible illness” thing as that is totally what I have, but I still couldn’t help but be my judge-y self. What’s also cool is that after Mark fills out some paperwork that he will be able to get stuff for me without me even having to be there. So here’s hoping it works. I’d like to be able to get rid of one of my daily oxycodone pills, if possible. I’d like to build up a little stash for a rainy day. We will see how it goes.

One of the last things we did was get a collar for our neighbor’s cat (a post about her is forthcoming). I know, I know. She’s had two pink collars since we’ve lived here. The last one didn’t fit her correctly, and it didn’t last. We are surprised that they didn’t replace it, and we want to make sure everyone knows she’s someone’s pet. So we got a reflective/breakaway pink collar for her. She’s tough as nails, so I don’t know how we are going to get this on her. I’m certainly not picking her up because I know she will gut me alive. I told Mark to let me know when he attempts it so that I can have an ambulance on standby.

So I have eleven posts mapped out, and then I’ll feel like I’m mostly caught up with the things that need to be here. These kinds of updates are separate from that. It just feels good to have them organized on paper, though.

more blather

July 3, 2018 | Comments Off

The other day I planned on taking a shower after I woke up from my afternoon nap. I knew Mark would take one before me after he came home from his baseball game, so I asked him the night before not to use my shower. Did he listen to me? Of course not. I heard him get in my bathroom, and I jumped out of bed to tell him to get the fuck out. Then, of course, I couldn’t go back to sleep. After I launched myself out of bed, my back pain got crazy intense and hasn’t gone away since. Yay me. But, anyway, he always chooses my bathroom over his. We designed one for each of us, but he loves my bench and sitting on it while the water falls over him. The point is that used shower water irks me. I don’t like to shower right after someone else does while their leftover water is on the floor, walls, and such. I think it’s gross.

Anyway, that same day I had on the sound machine that I always use when Mark is home to block out the noises he makes. It’s not always enough, so I’ve started to use my neck pillow to cover my ears as well. It’s so long that it covers my eyes too. The cats don’t like the neck pillow very much. This time Oliver (cautiously) and Lulu (not-so cautiously) ducked down to peer in at me. Once I opened my eyes and smiled, they were content once again. It was very cute. Speaking of cats and cuteness, there is nothing better than bedtime around here. I now have a king-sized bed, but all three cats cram onto the same half of the bed I’m using. It’s fantastic and makes me feel so loved!

So last year we got matching red pillows, lanterns, umbrella, and gazing ball for the outdoor furniture. The umbrella and lanterns have faded, so next year we will need to replace them. I’m over the color red because it’s too close to orange, and we have various shades of orange in the inside of our house. So, yeah, I am already obsessing over what color to do next. I want yellow, but matching the yellow of the lanterns to the rest of the stuff is proving impossible. Then I was thinking kiwi green might be fun, but I’m now thinking it might clash with nature’s greenery. I’d like to maybe do blue, but I can’t find blue lanterns. If I could remove the glass in the current ones I have, I could paint them myself, but the glass doesn’t come out. I’ve probably spent two hours so far looking this shit up and bookmarking possibilities that I won’t even need for almost a full year. Sigh.

missing our daddy’s girl

June 30, 2018 | Comments Off

We lost Basia to bladder cancer on April 10th, 2016, basically two years after we lost Spenser and Eva. We think she was about eight years-old when we adopted her (we were her fourth home), so we estimate she was right around the age of twenty when she joined her siblings already in Furbaby Heaven.

I noticed that she was peeing more frequently. I watched her in the litter box and saw that she was peeing very small amounts as well. After she peed the couch twice, we were really alarmed and knew it was time to bring in the vet. During that exam, even before the X-ray, he said he felt a mass. I immediately started crying because we had lost four furbabies previously, and I just assumed the worst. And I was right to, as she was soon diagnosed with bladder cancer – a type of cancer that is rare, according to my vet. She didn’t see the great oncologist we used for Kip because she was booked solid (she later told us she would have squeezed us in if she had been told we were trying to schedule with her), so we went with our second recommended oncologist. This sucked because their facility was quite a distance away, and who really wants to make a sick cat travel often to a place far away? It just wasn’t ideal. So the chemotherapy didn’t help her. She ended up tinkling in all the spots she napped in. We had her favorite blanket and favorite round bed cover in the wash constantly. We bathed her a lot too in an attempt to keep her clean and to combat the smell, and thankfully she didn’t seem to mind the baths at all. She was just peeing constantly since there was no more room in her bladder due to the mass increasing in size. Towards the end, her numbers were so bad, and they kept her overnight. That didn’t sit right with us because we didn’t want her away from us when we knew we didn’t have much time left with her. Mark didn’t think she’d come home; however, her numbers improved enough for her to come back home. She was with us for about ten more days until she passed away. On that day, she seemed to be doing fine until after her bath. That was when she started shaking, and we could see she was in pain. Mark did the same thing that he did with Spenser – he made me be the bad guy. He couldn’t accept that she needed to be euthanized at that moment; he wanted to wait until the next day when the vet could come to the house. He just didn’t want to let go, and I understand that. But I said we had to take her to our trusted 24/7 emergency vet, so we did. And, as with all situations like this, it was beyond heartbreaking and sad. Mark held her in his arms as we said goodbye.

Basia was definitely a quiet cat. She kept to herself and didn’t really want to associate with her other siblings. She also didn’t play very much. When she did, she was such a slow, uncoordinated player – and that was so very cute to watch! She did enjoy playing with her tail and chasing bugs, though. She also would stop doing that immediately as soon as one of us tried to get video of it. The fact that we succeeded in recording her chasing her tail once or twice was a total fluke! She didn’t like getting her bum rubbed, so much so that she’d smack, hiss, and throw a kitty hissy fit if we tried. She was very dramatic and would scream if her brothers just walked past her. Speaking of noises, she had the sweetest squeak that I miss hearing. I also miss her little pink nose (outlined in black) and her little pink bunny ears. She loved sleeping under the credenza, in the cat crib, and in her heated round bed! She also enjoyed drinking from the sink and from water fountains. Above all else, Basia loved her daddy and was the world’s best daddy’s girl. She was never happier and more content than when she was right next to him, whether it was sleeping on him, sleeping in his armpit, giving him headbutts, or rubbing her face onto his. She adored Mark. As for me? She didn’t care much about me. In fact, she slept with me maybe four times total. She did become more tolerant of me and became nicer to me in her last year or so which warmed my heart. In her last few months while ill, she started this thing where she’d come upstairs to sit on the green cat yoga mat and wait for me to see her so I’d give her treats. She started out by doing this once an afternoon, and sometimes it ended up happening three times an afternoon. Even though it was hard for me to get out of bed, I enjoyed sharing this little routine with her. It’s strange to not have her hanging out on the kitchen counters like she always would. It’s all so sad and strange when they’re not here anymore. But she’s with a bunch of her other siblings now, so I know she’s okay. She never had the chance to meet Becca, but I’m 100% positive that those two gentle, old ladies are hanging out together nonstop.

We will miss you always, girlie!

Her new nickname is Squeaks!

wild kingdom

June 28, 2018 | Comments Off

This is from our front door’s security camera, and it features a neighbor’s cat that looks just like our Sam (we call him “Sam’s twin” – original, huh?), a fox, and a raccoon:

wild kingdom (from one of our security cams)

good fences make good neighbors

June 26, 2018 | Comments Off

So when we moved here, there was an empty lot behind our house. The elderly couple who lived here before us told us that the house had burned down and that the owner moved on afterwards instead of rebuilding (I think that’s the story, iirc). So someone bought the land, and the rebuilding on the property started late last fall – and it’s still going on! At times it can be so freaking loud, and I just can’t wait for it to be over. It’s a nice sized lot, and we estimate the home built is around $600,000. I have been wanting to take a peek at the inside, but the wrought iron gates around it are padlocked when the workers aren’t there. There is a small section where you can enter the property, but it’s a big climb and then a steep hill after you make the initial climb up. So, yes, we ignored the “no trespassing” signs to look around. Needless to say, I have no upper body strength or lower body strength, so climbing up sucked some serious balls. Also, I had on the wrong kind of shoes – slip on sneakers that slipped right off and fell back to the road. I also fell at one point which is what happens when you don’t have any coordination. I was obviously totally winded after hiking this hill, and it was all for nothing. All the doors and windows had something on them (paper?) that blocked any kind of visibility. In other words, I couldn’t see shit. And while we were looking around, there was this other couple walking along the road who stopped to watch us. We hightailed it out of there in case the police were called. I was in a nightgown without underwear, and I didn’t think going to jail like that would be ideal. Anyway, there’s still a lot left for the workers to do, including paving and fixing our fence. I’m sure the fence won’t be fixed until after they move in and we have to mention that their contractors fucked it up. I’m sure that’ll go over well. “Hi. Nice to meet you. Welcome to the neighborhood. Now fix this fence.” In general, though, I hope they are quiet, nice, and kind to all the animals around (neighborhood cats, stray cats, deer, raccoons, etc…). In fact, it’d be great if they put in a pool and I could pretend to like them and be social enough to be able to use it. My pain management doctor is always on my ass to use a pool. I’d like for us to put in a pool, but our yard would need major leveling work done first in order for that to be possible. Mark isn’t totally on board with that, though. I loved pools when I was little, but I’m talking about pools in someone’s yard. I can’t get behind going to a facility or a YMCA where tons of people share the same one. And the overall smell of the pools and changing rooms in those places make me want to hurl. Besides, when I did do aquatic therapy, i never found relief like I was supposed to. Speaking of relief, I did get my medical marijuana card, so I’m able to go to a dispensary sometime soon (you get the card but can’t use it for like two weeks or some such). The timing is pretty decent as I’ve started doing my physical therapy exercises again here at home. This kicks up my pain, so having extra help after doing them would be rad – if my body responds to the marijuana. I’ve taken a loooooot of different medications that haven’t affected me at all, but there are many variations of this to try. So fingers crossed!

I think I mentioned that the house across the street is vacant because the owner is in the cia and just needs a physical address. We’ve also peeked inside this house, and it’s wildly outdated, obviously. But his brother and his wife stop by the property periodically to do some yard work. They are ancient and slow-moving, so I don’t know why they don’t hire someone to do that shit for them, especially since he’s a surgeon. Maybe they send all their money back to family in their country of origin, like they do on 90 day fiancé? Anyway, they stopped by here last year to introduce themselves, and they didn’t know I knew about the cia thing or that I had previously snooped because they claimed to live there. Haha what? I had to invite him inside as he kept talking to me, and I couldn’t have my door open because of the cats, obviously. When I told him I had cats, he proceeded to tell me that I had to get rid of them and to do that as a favor to my neighbor (him). See, he met this model who came into his emergency room and complained of stomach issues. I’m not sure I’m remembering this story correctly, but you’ll get the gist. I guess they didn’t find anything wrong or she got better for a bit of time or something. Anyway, he and his wife had dinner at her apartment, and there were cats everywhere. A few months later she showed back up at the hospital with stomach pain again. It turns out she has lymphoma, and this doctor is convinced that she caught it from her cats. What the ever living fuck? What bullshit! I wonder how many people he has convinced to give up their cats based on that nonsense. I told my vet, and she says she hears shit like this all the time. For instance, someone sees a dermatologist for a rash, and the dermatologist says it could be from the cat and that she should get rid of the cat to see if the rash improves. But, like, she’s had the cat for eight years without any prior issue. WTF. Ugh.

So my hair has been thinning over the past few years, to my great dismay. I’m sure it’s due to my poor nutrition, but I’ve been taking keratin in an attempt to thwart the madness. I recently came across a recipe that’s supposed to help (and even reverse greying!), and it consists of honey, garlic, lemons, and flaxseed oil. Mark made it for me, and it’s godawful. I was hoping the honey would mask the garlic – but it does not at all; it’s like eating a spoonful of straight garlic. I gagged, and that was the end of that for me. No way anybody can have a tablespoon of that three times a day. No fucking way, dude. Actually, Mark and I got into a huge argument over this goddamned recipe. See, I showed him a recipe and then told him that one of the lemons had to have the rind on it. I saw the rind recommendation on a couple of other sites that contained the recipe, but it wasn’t on the one I sent him. He starts off by saying that there’s no way that could be right because nobody eats the rind. I said fine and let it go. I mean, I wasn’t in the mood to argue about it in that moment. Then later he comes back and said he read a different recipe that said to include it, so now he would. Now why can’t he understand how insulting that is to me? I told him to use the rind and that I had read it on a separate recipe – but that wasn’t good enough for him?! So basically it wasn’t on the original recipe, and he didn’t believe me. He had to see it written out on a different one with his own goddamned eyes. He does that kind of shit all the time – he doesn’t take what I say at face value and has to read it for himself. It’s beyond infuriating. And I brought this all up to him, and he had the nerve to get mad at me! I still don’t even know why he got all bent out of shape with me over it when he was in the wrong. Again, ugh.

Lulu turned sixteen years-old, so here’s the story, pics, and videos from my sweet cat’s sweet 16 birthday party! Forget the royal wedding! This was the event of the year!

I was torn between a few party dresses for Lulu for a bit of time. There was one woman in London I was messaging with on Etsy, and I swear she is missing some brain cells. We went back and forth on sizing, and she never answered the question I was asking, no matter how many different ways I worded it. It was beyond super frustrating! Anyway, I found a super adorable party dress for her with matching tuxedos for the boys at The Dog Squad! They were so wonderful to work with and dealt with my manic craziness without flinching. I obviously had a zillion questions because I wanted Lulu’s party to be just perfect. In addition, we got all the sweet 16 party decorations from Party City and the picture cake from Wegmans – and I think it all came together exactly how I wanted it to. We also made homemade tuna cookies that Sam and Oliver liked. And we may have played the theme song from MTV’s My Super Sweet 16 show once or twice or thirty billion times. I really think Lulu had fun. Sam ate everything in sight. Oliver, unfortunately, was terrified of the balloons.

Here are a few pictures of the party:

Lulu’s Sweet 16 party!

Lulu’s Sweet 16 party!

Lulu’s Sweet 16 party!

Lulu’s Sweet 16 party!

Lulu’s Sweet 16 party!

Lulu’s Sweet 16 party!

Lulu’s Sweet 16 party!

Lulu’s Sweet 16 party!

Lulu’s Sweet 16 party!

Lulu’s Sweet 16 party!

Lulu’s Sweet 16 party!

For the full photo album (58 photos!) click here!

And here are a few videos:

To watch all 13 videos (I made a playlist for them), click here!

living his best life

June 13, 2018 | Comments Off

never happier than in an open window

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