Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer of Changes

We are finally free of breeding female felines. I had to send Pinky Lee to the shelter; she hated humans even after 3 years of effort and passed her distaste for us on to many of her progeny (who usually died, something wrong with that cat).
We are also missing two beloved feline family members - Cabrillo and Trixie. This is Cab:
He is so smart that I almost expect him to speak English to me when he has stored up enough to say. In the meantime he purrs and meows at the same time when he sings to me. He has been gone since Monday and it is killing me.
Monday morning before I left for work I put out food on the back deck, let in all who wanted in, and saw him playing with his twin brother George on the patio. George's differences are eye color and back paw sock length - yellow eyes and tube socks on his hind feet.
Then Trixie, aka velcro kitty, went missing Tuesday. Trix is a medium length hair fluffy black and white cat and I didn't have any pictures of her to use for flyers. My niece took a picture of Trixie's twin, Pixie, who lives 2 1/2 hours away with her. I used them to make the posters.
I have posted color flyers of both cats on stop signs and street signs on my block and one block over and will do the block south of us tomorrow. I'll go a little further with black and white flyers into mailboxes, too.
I am afraid that George may have chased them away. Even though Trix is spayed and Cab and George both neutered, George has always been aggressive with them (all siblings) but I thought he was just asserting his authority as first born.
Now I think he was clearing the decks of cats old enough to challenge his authority. I saw him threaten Fang today. Fang is in line to be neutered and is just shy of one year old (I know, I should have done it sooner, but I had other obligations).
My heart hurts for my Kitty Boy - I went through all of the awful what ifs earlier in the week, have called the shelter daily, and now think they are in the neighborhood and if I knock on enough doors I'll find them.

I went out hunting and gathering today and bought a few new kitchen rugs.
I like the ones that are made from gel padding. These things are usually $20 or more; I got them for $5.99 each.
The one above is in front of my oven.
I can hardly look at pictures of Cab without wanting to sniffle so I have to end this now.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Play Day

Last weekend was work-work-work in Tampa but at least the food was good:)
This weekend is about laundry and play time for me.
Lynn Haven is a little town attached to a big town and things are often aranged with extreme informality. One of those things was scheduled for today - a fund raiser for people with head injuries. T  here is a "clubhouse" program that lets them have a place to go every day like a work site and do something useful. They were set up in a small local park and had music, food, junk and craft vendors.
I bought a hamburger from an older lady who was operating the front end of the set-up with a handsome young man sitting at the cash box. After a few minutes it was clear that he was a clubhouse client.
I sat with my burger and water bottle and watched the world. It seemed to be mostly parents and siblings manning the booths and the attendees were sparse. There was a dad calling for cake-walkers, "Come on, step up, win a cake for your girl! The song goes around, some sit down, last one in takes the win!"
There was a table of yard sale stuff that caught my eye. A young couple, likely siblings of a client, were on duty behind the table.They looked tired and it looked like nothing much had been bought from the table. A small doll caught my eye and as I reached for it the young woman reached to and said "The price tag is wrong." It was a hand-written tag tied to the doll's arm and read, in pencil, $3.
I shrugged and said "Cool. How much?" thinking she'd  ask for five or ten. it was hot and I was ready to walk away if the price exceeded my charitable mood.
She sold it for a quarter and I gave her some future yard sale advice -if you have souvenir ashtrays, try to sell them on line to collectors first to get the best dollar. People don't smoke much anymore so that type of memorabilia is no longer common.
The doll above is my twenty-five cent prize. The red string on the right side is part of the actual "purse strings" so little Miss Roma can hang from a young girl's wrist. The fabric is mostly felt with some ribbon trim.
I love these souvenirs from days gone by. The quality is often very good. This one makes me think of an early 60's movie like those with Haley Mills and Rosalind Russell running around Europe and having madcap adventures. Buses drive by colorful local men will break down, boys will chase girls, and adults will be exhausted by adolescents. An imaginary more innocent time.
I was also on a mission in area Goodwill Stores today - our summer program is a "go" and we want to give the kids fun books to read and take home if they like. I love Goodwill; the work they do for others, the little pieces of other people's lives I see. I collect glass items; clear cut glass and bas relief glass dishes, pottery dishes from California. My everyday china is Franciscan Apple, all of it "antique" with the made in California stamp. The stuff made after the English firm bought Franciscan is crap.
I encountered a lovely new pattern today - Metlox Poppytrail California Ivy.

Look at the handle - see how it is shaped like a rough, thick old rope of ivy? Everything is hand-painted and then each piece is fired, like old Franciscan. This line also includes bas relief patterns of grapes, berries, daisies and zinnias.
Today I found the gravy boat, large platter and vegetable serving bowl. I like this kind of thing just because it suits me. For people who need to make an impression on others, though, using these old patterns as tableware looks expensive (it can be, if you don't hunt it down yourself) and chic. 
I carefully washed my new treasures, water hot but not too hot and using Mrs. Myers' Basil dish liquid (gentle on me, dishes and the environment).
All in all, a good day:)

Friday, May 6, 2011

"The heart is a lonely hunter"

That's a Carson McCullers book title. She wrote it in North Carolina in the late 1930's and it was published to great acclaim in 1940.
I like the phrase because of its essential adolescent melodrama, among other things. The misunderstood loner, aloof, watching, with a deeply hidden heart that yearns for connection. The heart as a leader in the body's reaction to love, loss, elation, satisfaction, stress...Unfortuately it is just the title of another damned depressing Carson McCullers story. She either needed to drink more and play more or just write less. Gah!
My heart has been acting peculiarly for a little while. I think that's what it is, and the doctor seems to think that is what it is. I'll have a test Monday to start sorting it out.
For the past year or so, without warning, I get a heavy and painful feeling in the middle of my chest that sometimes radiates right up into my jaw. This is such a painful thing that while it lasts all I can think about is pressing my fist against my chest to try, somehow, to get the pain to move to the outside. I've never made notes about it or talked to the doctor about it because I have always been afraid it was some psychosomatic mystery pain or yet another example of my neurological misfires. I spent a few hours connected to electrodes when I was in my late teens because I had started smelling things that weren't there, feeling an odd heaviness in my head and other things that I didn't take drugs to cause. The tests came up empty.

Wednesday night I had a long and painful session with the fat hatchet in my chest and a jaw that felt like it had hit a wall. It finally eased off and I slept but in the morning I woke up to something new - the pains were still present but at a much lower level.
Mystery chest pain usually completely disappears after it has inflicted its torture.
With the pain still playing a frightening back-beat behind my sternum I decided it was time to chat about the feeling to see if I needed to see a doctor.
Mother and husband both voted for a doctor visit so I called my GP to see about being worked in. The receptionist spoke to the nurse who suggested that I go to the Emergency Room.
Really? REALLY? The EMERGENCY ROOM, where I could grow old before being seen? Fuck that!
I controlled myself nicely, however, and said "Well, suppose I don't go to the emergency room. When can I be seen?"
Then I called a walk in to see what the wait was and went to see them. EKG was fine but the PA was concerned about the situation and I now have an apointment Monday for a stress test and echocardiogram. I also have an appointment with my GP that day at 2 which I am not sure I am going to make.
I think it is just my body's reaction to stress. Last year I had a stabbing pain every 8 minutes in the back of my head for 2 days solid. It was stress. I have broken a tooth from grinding. Stress (I got it fixed!). My shoulders are so tense that I have to conciously remind myself to relax them. So having subverted my body's attempts to express stress in other ways I am being attacked by my own heart.
Dammit, man!