Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas & Bryce



I'm happy to say that Bryce got a new home for Christmas!!!  But all those other kitties are still in need homes - anyone????

Christmas went very well this year.  I got:  a remote starter for my car, a laptop lap desk, 7th Season of "Smallville", clothes, coffee grinder and money - which I used to buy a new coffee pot and dishes.  So things went well - I'll get pictures up tomorrow.

Mickey left Christmas Eve, BUT he is at the old house, they just haven't caught him yet!



 


Comments





    • Sunday, December 28. 2008 Polt wrote:
      A remote car starter...sweet. and a laptop lap desk...I might need both of those soon. Glad Christmas went well.

      HUGS...


    Wednesday, December 24, 2008

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

    Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!!

    Merry Christmas!





    Sunday, December 21, 2008

    Shakes Head....

    I assume everyone is familiar with the reusable shopping bags being sold at practically all stores in hopes of eliminating the use of plastic bags...I'm a big fan of these bags and buy them from almost every store I come across.  I wish, however, the store logos weren't on them (congrats to The Dollar Tree stores for leaving their logos off).

    Anyway...I'm in Kmart today and come across their bags the size of everyone else's; but further back I come across much larger ones for 50 cents more.  I opted to buy one.

    So I have my bag...I have my purchases....I go to the register....and how do you think the girl bags me?  Yep, throws everything, including my reusable shopping bag, into a plastic bag!!!!  Wow - that's helping the earth now isn't it?

    As hubby tells me...."They do walk among us."  He's not kidding...



    P.S.   Mickey is home!



     



     


    Comments




      • Sunday, December 21. 2008 Barbara wrote:
        I like those bags too. Occasionally I even remember to take them out of the car and into the store. I do recycle the paper bags as kitchen garbage bags, however, so I don't feel too guilty. And the plastics, including the newspaper wrappers, can be returned to the store. When I remember!
        Reply to this





      Thursday, December 18, 2008

      Poop and Stuff

      Okay, I know you're thinking "WTF"????

      But dog and cat poop are part of my everyday life and thus....so is this blog.  I mention it because I've set a litterbox in my home office for Cooper, forgetting that Toby has access to that area of the house.  The other night Toby went running up the stairs first chance he got...a few minutes later he comes down running with something attached to a string.  I began to wonder - what was upstairs that he had?  So I track him down and low and behold, he has "poop on a string" - I'm not kidding, a big long string with poop on it like beads.  Cooper must have eaten string from somewhere - fortunately he passed it.  As I'm telling this story tonight to my Vet, she had a horrified look on her face that turned to relief when she knew he had passed it - it's apparently not a good thing.

      Thinking of the Vet visit, Cooper had to go to get his rabies shot.  It was there it was discovered he had ear mites.  Neat little things - they let me look in the microscope to view them.  They are very interesting little critters, you really have to see it to believe it.  Anyway, he got an ear cleaning and treatment for that as well.

      While having Keyser on his pee and poop walk last night, we had a rather interesting event.  When Strat was around, he would follow us on walks and aggrevate Keyser.  The normal running past him, running up trees...just about ANYTHING to prompt the dog to pull and try to chase him and of course, forget all about what the walk was for.  It was annoying.  Mickey does the same thing.  Anyway, Strat's gone, Mickey's gone...Keyser and I are walking.  Out of no where comes this gray cat...who insisted on walking with us doing exactly the same thing Strat and Mickey always did!!!  He almost followed us home, but stopped about 2 house short.  Don't know who he belongs to or where he came from......

      Speaking of Mickey, on the way home from work today, hubby had to drop off a shirt order to a business that's near the old house.  So I drove by the house first...and sitting on the side porch is Mickey!!  I pull over and hubby immediately goes into a "We have to deliver the order first."  So we go do that and of course, you know what happened, he wasn't there when we got back.  Hubby then decided that I had imagined him sitting there.  Oh please.........    But it is nice to know where he is!

      Maybe a more pleasant post tomorrow???




      Friday, December 12, 2008

      Cats Needing Homes

      The Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter in Chambersburg, PA is a very nice facility.  If you live within the area and are looking for a pet - please visit their website and have a look.

      My Christmas wish is for the following cats to have homes for Christmas:



      Snowcone is a very friendly male pure white cat.  He has an irritable stomach and can only have chicken & rice food. 




      Marcus is a very beautiful HUGE cat.  He's older and looking for someone to love him.



      Joe, another of the older ones.  He's also HUGE and declawed.



      Mimm - just a baby and a bobtail; such a sweetheart.



      Spice - absolutely gorgeous!!



      Bryce - he was Cooper's cagemate.  He has the orangest eyes I've ever seen.

       

      Viola and Viveka - sisters of Bryce.  Both very friendly.  Viveka actually lept out of the cage into my arms!!



      Now can you understand why we had such a hard time making a choice????




      Thursday, December 11, 2008

      Photos!!



      Excuse the messy floor - right outside the rabbit/guinea pig room!










       


      Comments






        Cooper


        He's a sweetheart!!!

        We're beginning to think that his head and legs just aren't growing as fast as his body and feet - once full grown he may look normal, but if he grows into those feet - he's going to be a BIG boy.

        He's extremely friendly and afraid of nothing.  He was under the Christmas Tree and Keyser was barking and jumping at him, and Cooper was like "What IS your problem?"  Toby is much calmer.

        He found his way to bed last night and slept at the top of my pillow - purring.

        He loves the upstairs, likes walking across the keyboard as I type, he likes batting at the cursor on the computer screen, he likes hiding and jumping at the other cats. 

        Spunky has no interest in him but has stopped hissing at him, I notice Sebastian somewhat playing with him this morning (until he noticed I was watching), Mickey.....well....we believe Mickey is on his way back to the other house AGAIN - I don't think it has anything to do with Cooper though, was just about that time; perhaps he'll be back in time for Christmas.

        He is underfoot alot, so we have to be careful (especially hubby); fortunately the shelter had put a collar on him with tags-so he jingles.  It amazes me that that doesn't bother him though, it's like it's not there.  I need to make a Vet appointment for a rabies shot and check-up, the shelter gives your 14 days to do that.  He has all other shots, has been tested for Feline Leukemia, flea treated and fixed....I find it odd that they don't do rabies as well, but I've notice most shelters do not.  Oh, and he also is microchipped.

        I'll put pictures up tonight - PROMISE!!!




         



         





        Comments






          Wednesday, December 10, 2008

          Yes, We're A Little Fickle


          "Dever" just didn't work - it just wasn't him, neither was any other name on my list.  But today, we found the PERFECT name - COOPER.

          So Cooper (or Coop for short) he will be!!!




           



           

          Comments






            Monday, December 8, 2008

            Dogs, Cats and Names

            Keyser was suppose to have a consultation for his surgery today, but the Vet was sick and we had to reschedule.  Keyser has what is called a luxating patella - which means that his kneecap is dislocated.  Not all Vet's do this surgery, mine don't.  They recommended a Vet in Frederick.  I called around to see if I could find someone closer - I could not, which I thought was rather odd.  But I did find a Vet in Emmitsburg (which is a little closer than Frederick) that can do it.  So that's who we will be seeing Friday.

            Tomorrow we go to the Humane Society to pick-up Bueller or Bryce.  We're unsure which one he is.  I gave a description to the girl but she seemed unsure herself....ummmmmm....have they never really looked at the cat?  Or is it just us?  The cat's head is smaller than the body, it has stubby legs and huge feet - he's not proportioned right; they haven't noticed that?  In all fairness though, until we took him to the "room", we didn't notice it either.  Maybe they are just too busy with so many that they never noticed.  Anyway, we sign paperwork tomorrow evening at 5:30.  I'm looking forward to it.  I am trying to come up with a new name though as I like neither Bueller or Bryce.  Anyone have any ideas?  Let me through a few by you:

            Dever (this is a family name of my husband's, though they spell it Devor).
            Aesop (as in the fables)
            Abbott
            Rufus
            Julian
            Mozart
            Hamlet
            Emmett
            Embrey
            Marcus
            Tybalt
            Merlin
            Stellan
            Dodger

            So you see, I'm not really sure what to name him!!!   Please Help!!!



             



            Comments










              Saturday, December 6, 2008

              God Works In Mysterious Ways

              Hubby and I went to Chambersburg today to have lunch at Red Robin and go to Petsmart.  The Humane Society also puts some of their cats in Petsmart, so we thought we'd check them out.  They *did* have some adorable kittens...but nothing that actually caught my eye.

              Anyway, we shopped and picked up some Whole Meals for the dogs and bought Feliway that the Vet recommended for the cats.  We're in line and the lady in front of me has a little kitten with her.  She's telling the clerk that it was 7 months old (it only looked about 6 weeks to me)...but then I hear her say that it was deformed in the face (hence the lack of it's size).  When I finally got to see it - it's eyes weren't in aline with each other, it's face was kind of off-keel - but it was ADORABLE!!  And I thought, what a great lady for giving a home to that cat - cause really, most people would pass it up - she's giving it a chance.

              It was then it hit me - I may had picked Freddie and Mac off the internet; but there was a reason they were both gone when I got there.  God's plan was different.  His plan crawled right up the cage to me.  He has short stubby legs, his feet are huge, his head is too small for his body.....soooooooooo.....come next week - I'll be tracking back to the Humane Society to get him.  I don't remember what his name is (he and his cagemate we're both orange tabbies and we didn't know which was which) but he does deserve a home!

              So I've emailed the Humane Society that **that** is the cat we want. 



               


               


              Comments



              • Saturday, December 06. 2008 Kim wrote:
                I am so glad you changed your mind about that cat! I was a little bummed out when you said you saw him and saw vet bills and now I am all happy that God showed you another way to see it! can't wait to see pictures!
                Reply to this


              Friday, December 5, 2008

              I Don't Quite Understand.....

              Spunky, Sebastian and Mickey are wonderful cats...BUT they aren't Strat.  Spunky & Sebastian are more of the "please leave me alone" breed and Mickey is the "let me out, let me in, let me out, let me in" type.  And they are all 10+ years now. 

              I miss Strat, I really do...so hubby and I decided to find another cat. 

              I find Freddie online at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter in Chambersburg, PA.  I fill out the online application and the next day, they call to tell me it's been approved HOWEVER....Freddie had already been approved for adoption by another applicant - but they have plenty of other cats available.  I ask about Mac, she tells me that he's a wonderful cat and happens to be Freddie's brother.  I tell her we'll be there between 3:00-4:00 p.m.

              We arrive about 3:15 p.m. and I check in.  The girl informs me that she's really sorry but the people that adopted Freddie decided to adopt Mac as well.  Now I know that it's wonderful the two siblings got to go together BUT....  I couldn't adopt Freddie because there was already an application on him BUT someone was able to adopt Mac even though I HAD placed an application on him?????  Does this make sense to anyone????

              Now, you know what happens......we have to go into the cat room and look around and EVERY cat wants your attention.  The girl directed us to a white male named Snowcone.  True he was a sweetheart, but he had digestive problems and could only eat certain foods...we leave an unlimited bowl out for our cats, so that wouldn't be good for Snowcone.  I stop to look at another cat and it's cagemate climbs up to me.  We take him to the "get to know you" room.  We notice his head is way too small for his body and he's very short and stubby and his feet are huge!!!  Cute, friendly, but odd looking....I see medical bills piling up.

              I stop at another cage to look at a gray cat, open it, and it's cage mate actually leaps into my arms.  She's purring, she's letting me hold her like a baby....I'm in awe.  But then we go to the room and she wants no more to do with us.

              We decided to do the process of elimination.....  Mickey is an orange tabby - so that deletes half the room; Spunky is a tortie - that's another half; Sebastian is black - that takes out a few more.  We have no interest in the kittens that are available, and decided that although giving a home to one of the older cats would be nice-we believe that will be a hard adjustment with our own cats.  That leaves the young adults.

              We came home empty handed, it was just too overwhelming.  We're told our application is good for 6 months; so I'll watch the internet to see what they get.  But I still think it's unfair that someone else was allowed to go home with my cat!




              Thursday, December 4, 2008

              Coming Soon

              Formerly Stratcat Online....

              Sunday, November 30, 2008

              So It Ends


              So this is the last day for the NaBloPoMo challenge of posting each day for a month - and I've done that (there was even a day or two I did more than one post).  So thus it ends for another year.

              I had an email from someone asking (or rather hoping) I just hadn't had the time to give a Strat update due to hubby's surgery.  I am sorry to say that Strat is still missing and though we will always hope for him to return; down deep we know that's probably not going to happen.  Around the first of the year there will be some changes with the blog, though still existing in Strat's honor, but moving on to something new.







              Saturday, November 29, 2008

              Sexiest Men Continue and Other Stuff


              Another sexiest man vote - John Cusack!!  Any more???





              *****UPDATE*****  I know I've been hanging low with the hubby updates.  He's doing fine.  He is home now and pretty much doing what he normally does.  He'll call the therapist this week to get Physical Therapy scheduled and as of now, I'm the chauffer!!!  So it's coming around.

              I put the Christmas Tree up last night - rather early for me, but I wasn't in the mood for TV.  Pictures coming.





              Friday, November 28, 2008

              Another Sexy Man


              Okay, I had a vote for Ed Norton to the Sexiest Men List, any more??





              Comments







                And I can't believe that dear cousin Chris hasn't requested this one:


                Johnny Depp








                Thursday, November 27, 2008

                Happy Holiday!


                Hope everyone is having a nice Thanksgiving!!

                A few posts back, I had mentioned that Extreme Home Makeover came to the area.  Here's the Before & After Shots:

                                                      

                                 I'm told one of the kids likes Godzilla, thus the fire breathing thingy helping destroy the old house.

                                                           
                                                                     The New One - NICE!!!!
                            

                                  And here's the shirts hubby made for Ty and crew:

                                        





                Wednesday, November 26, 2008

                The Flintstones


                Remember the cartoon "The Flintstones"?  I use to always watch it.  One of my favorite episodes was one where Fred had a dream that Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm could sing and they became famous singing the song "Let The Sunshine In".  I never really paid attention to the words of the song.

                I recently came across this episode on You Tube and realized that the song is actually religious and it's not "Let the SUNSHINE In" but more "Let The SON Shine In" (though they may have released it on record as sunshine).

                Here's the video and the words and don't ya think "sun" should be replaced with "Son"?:




                Mommy told me something
                A little kid should know
                It's all about the devil
                And I've learned to hate him so

                She said he causes trouble
                When you let him in the room
                He will never, ever leave you
                If your heart is filled with gloom.

                So let the sun shine in
                Face it with a grin
                Smilers never lose
                And frowners never win

                So let the sun shine in
                Face it with a grin
                Open up your heart
                and let the sun shine in

                When you are unhappy
                The devil wears a grin
                But oh he starts to running
                when the light comes pouring in

                I'll know he'll be unhappy
                'Cuz I'll never wear a frown
                Maybe if we keep on smilin'
                He'll get tired of hangin' 'round

                If I forget to say my prayers
                The devil jumps with glee
                But he feels so awful
                When he sees me on my knees

                So if you're full of trouble
                And you never seem to win
                Just open up your heart
                And let the sun shine in

                So let the sun shine in
                Face it withi a grin
                Smilers never lose
                Frowners never win

                So let the sun shine in
                Face it with a grin
                Open up your heart
                and let the sun shine in.

                (thanks to elsangrecaliente at youtube for supplying the lyrics for everyone).





                Comments






                  Tuesday, November 25, 2008

                  How Many Seconds To Mental Breakdown????


                  Okay - hubby came home today.  I went to the hospital early (7:00 a.m.) to get instructions on anything I needed to know.  Basically his incision staples need to be covered when he showers.  So they showed me how to do that....then prior to his "release" they removed the staples, so that training was all unnecessary.  Anyway, we go to CVS to drop off his prescriptions on the way home.  The one was written for 10mg pills - which they don't make.  When hubby looked at it he said to the Pharmacist "You're right, that prescription is wrong it should be 5mg."  In which the Pharmacist went into to "rant" (I'm not kidding) that he could not fill that prescription as it wasn't correct, etc.....      Customer service is really lacking in the world these days and I can remember the day a Pharmacist would of contacted the doctor for you to check on things rather than treat you like you were trying to steal drugs or something.  Anyway, we came home, called the doctor's office and well...waited.

                  Approximately 4 hours later, the office finally calls back and says hubby can pick up the prescription.  I ask if I can do it as he was sleeping.  I get a disgruntled "Yes, but next time he has to come himself".  I make the 20 minute drive to the office and back again and head to Wal-mart with all the prescriptions (we absolutely did not let CVS fill any of them after the attitude they had).  I'm told it will be an hour wait, which was fine as I could shop.

                  Go back to the Pharmacy, still have to wait.  After about another 20 minutes they call my name.  They've filled 3 of the 4 as they are out of the 4th until Tuesday.  They hand me that prescription back and send me on my way (I also remember the day a pharmacist would call around to find out which pharmacy had what you needed). 

                  So now I stop at Rite Aid on my way home, which is now my preferred pharmacy....why?  Well I walk in (no line) and the lady apologizes that it will take 15 minutes to fill the prescription.  Can't beat service like that!

                  Hubby is getting around well.  We solved the Keyser jumping problem like this:



                  No he doesn't have to be in it 24/7...but it does keep him out of the way, and yeah he does whine!!!!  And we've instructed visitors to use the side door as he's blocking the front one.





                  Comments









                    Monday, November 24, 2008

                    Whew.....


                    Well hubby WILL be coming home tomorrow!!!  The leg problem has resolved itself and I'm beginning to wonder if alot of that was due to medication and stress....  we still have a complaint pending, but at least he can come home.  So I've taken the rest of the week off (we get Thursday and Friday anyway) and told them I'd just take it on a day-to-day basis from there.  My office is pretty accomodating (especially when they know you want to work), so I can work split shifts, 1/2 days, whatever is necessary.

                    So we have a few more "nominations" for Sexiets Men:

                    2 more coming from "Mamma Mia" :

                         
                                            Dominic Cooper "Sky"                                                                     Philip Michael "Pepper"

                               
                                                 Rob Lowe                                                        Michael Rosenbaum


                    Any more????



                    Comments






                      Sunday, November 23, 2008

                      Alrighty Then


                      I was in pretty high spirits on Saturday.  When I got to the hospital, hubby was in the "parlor" area with his one sister.  He looked great, was in good spirits himself and I wasn't have as worried as I had been in having him come home on Tuesday.....

                      Saturday night he calls me and says that his legs aren't as well as they had been, but no one will believe him.  Today he calls me in a rant, because not only have they changed his medications AGAIN (it's any every day thing) they basically have told him he can come up with his own drug regimen (?????).  Rather than the Patient Advocate contacting hubby in regards to his complaint....the PA chose to call the on-duty nurse to let her know that he wouldn't be able to see hubby until after the weekend.  Needless to say, now that a complaint is pending....they want him out.  It is rather odd that the minute they knew about a complaint, they contacted me letting me know he'll be released on Tuesday.  He knew nothing about it when I told him, and with the decline in his legs-doesn't think he should come home.

                      Let's see....  he's only allowed to walk unassisted in his room.  To walk anywhere else he must have someone with him and have a waist gait on him.  They never use the gait unless he insists it be used.  They can't get a drug regimen worked out.  They refuse to call and talk to the doctors at Johns Hopkins - claiming they are hard to work with.  And no, he's not the only patient with these complaints, he's just the only one willing to speak up.

                      So I've loaded myself with insurance information, the Maryland Attorney General,  Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization....and a ton of other stuff.  It's going to be interesting.





                    • Sunday, November 23. 2008 Pamela wrote:
                      This is outrageous! I'm so sorry you have to go through this.
                      Reply to this








                    • Sexiest Man Alive 2008


                      Okay, People Magazine has named Hugh Jackman ast Sexiest Man Alive for 2008; though I *do* like Hugh Jackman, he just doesn't top my list......So who are the Sexiest Men for 2008.......        

                                                                              
                                                                                          
                                                                                          KEVIN SPACEY - okay, so this one is no surprise!!


                                                          
                                                           STELLAN SKARSGARD - loved him since seeing Mamma Mia!!


                      Alright ladies & gents - who do you want added to the list????





                      Comments








                        Saturday, November 22, 2008

                        The Day Before The Holiday

                        So it's been a cold and dreary day.  I've done a little bit of nothing and just want to continue to do so.  Okay, first thing this morning I went and bought the turkey, baked the pies (frozen) and chopped up bread, onion and celery for the stuffing; I also did a little bit of dusting but that got boring.........

                        Hubby told me this morning that Thanksgiving Dinner is around 1:00 p.m.  So glad it's early rather than later.  I'm hoping to be able to eat, clean up and then hibernate in the bedroom with the laptop.  Hubby's family likes to watch football - I find it extremely boring, as I do most sports.  So it gives me an excuse for some alone time.  Course I'm sure the dog and cats will prefer my company.





                        Another Day


                        I went to see "Twilight" last night and really enjoyed it!  Another good vampire thing to watch, if you have HBO, is "True Blood".

                        If all goes well hubby will be coming home on Tuesday.  This has me somewhat  pleased and displeased both at the same time.  Pleased because he'll finally be home; displeased because he may not be ready too.  This Hospital has been a far cry from Johns Hopkins.  The staff are very unprofessional and talk to the patients as if they are 5 years old.  One of hubby's main problems is pain - which is being made worse by the stress of being there.  He finally complained to his physical therapist and she sent the Patient Advacate up to see him.  Needless to say, with a complaint filed, it hasn't helped the situation.  Now, all of a sudden, they claim the insurance wants him out.....funny, I checked my insurance paperwork and it says in-patient rehab is unlimited.   Think the complaint may be rushing them along?

                        Anyway, he is able to walk, feed himself, shower and such...so we're good there!!!  But he still has pain; hopefully they'll get the medication cocktail right for that.

                        Keep those prayers coming!





                        Friday, November 21, 2008

                        So Looking Forward To The Weekend


                        Hubby is now able to move around without the help of an assistant.  There's still the arm issue, but there also is still months of therapy to complete; so time will tell.

                        It's been an exhausting week.  I'm looking forward to a little relaxing this week.  Off to see "Twilight" tonight with Chris & Josh....hope it's as good as it's suppose to be!!!





                        Thursday, November 20, 2008

                        Not A Bad Day


                        It was nice to visit hubby today and see him in normal clothing.  Plus his son, sister and mother were visiting when I got there.

                        Prayers are doing very well.  Please continue to prayer for healing and fast recovery.  The left arm is still an issue and no one can give us a straight answer if full recovery or paritial, or whatever is possible.  But may I suggest some more things to prayer about??  Hubby needs prayer for patience - not just for the recovery but also with the medical staff; he needs prayer to keep a positive attitude and he needs prayer to not judge one hospital with another.  I think these things can help with the recovery.

                        They are saying he may be there longer than a week...he's saying no way.  Yes, we need prayer that God will guide him to do what is necessary to come home.





                        Wednesday, November 19, 2008

                        Another Long Day


                        Yesterday was a long day....

                        I worked all day, went home walked dogs, packed clothes for hubby, picked up my mother, went to hospital to visit hubby.  He's in good spirits, though he did mention that the staff at the local hospital is not nearly as nice as the staff at Johns Hopkins (that is so true), took mom home, came home and walked dogs, took bath....

                        I was so ready to fall over and hubby isn't even home yet.

                        So I'm going to leave you with a cute photo someone had emailed me:







                        Tuesday, November 18, 2008

                        Not To Often You Get Two Posts In One Day...


                        Well I just heard from Hubby and they have found him a bed in a Rehab Center in Hagerstown (we both work in that area and live just right across the state line from there).  He's doing VERY well.  Right arm is getting stronger, he's able to lift his left arm up a little higher than before...and he walked the 9th floor at Johns Hopkins twice last night (with assistance, of course).  So things are moving along very well!!

                        As long as the insurance approval goes through....he should be in Hagerstown tonight!!


                         

                        Comments





                          • Tuesday, November 18. 2008 Pamela wrote:
                            Oh, Laura, I am SO glad to hear this good news! So now you can visit him after work during the week he is in the Rehab center. Good luck getting the comp time as he will need you when he comes home. I will keep praying for you both!
                            Reply to this





                          A Much Better Day


                          Despite having to go to work and explain WHY I was back....and then having to get a "note" from the doctor's office for the 3 days of Family Sick Leave I used (it's only FMLA at the 4t day and work wouldn't accept that paperwork as proof that I needed off <rolls eyes>.....the day went fairly well.

                          I just got off the phone with hubby about an hour ago.  During his therapy session today, he was able to lift his right arm much higher than he had been and he was able to lift his left elbow up about 1/2 an inch - which had him very excited.  I guess the swelling is starting to subside and the healing starting.  He's still got a way to go, but he's been so depressed lately that this was very uplifting.

                          Upon release from Johns Hopkins, he'll go to an in-patient rehab facility for about a week prior to coming home.  Though all the doctors are not in agreement with the in-patient rehab, hubby said he feels more comfortable doing that first - as do I.  The rehab facility will be closer to home relieving the stress of *that* drive.  I was somewhat upset that the kids did not go down to visit today as planned due to my stepson being AWOL for most of the day.....they just don't see the seriousness of this situation <shakes head>.

                          Anyway, this gives me a little more time to possibly accumulate some comp. time and come up with a solution to keep Keyser from jumping on hubby and knocking him over!!

                          Keep those prayers coming..... <smiles>!





                          Monday, November 17, 2008

                          "HOPE"


                                                                                  





                          I read the above book "The Last Lecture" on Saturday while Paul slept on and off.  I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.  It's by Randy Pausch and it deals with the last lecture he gave after finding out he had cancer and only a few months left to live.  He chose to title the lecture "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams".  The book is small and an easy read.

                          �We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.�
                          �Randy Pausch

                          In the Gift Shop at Johns Hopkins, I found a candle.  I debated buying it, but after reading the book - I decided to:

                                                                    

                          The candle itself isn't really what caught my eye, but more of the verse that came with it:

                          Hope is like a candle flame,
                          It flickers now and then.
                          Sometimes we all need help to see,
                          The strength that lies within.

                          For life's not always easy,
                          We're bound to have some sorrow.
                          But hope can keep us going,
                          For a better day tomorrow.

                          So when you light this candle,
                          And the flame is burning bright.
                          May the angels bring you hope,
                          And turn the darkness into light.


                          How did the book help me decide?  Well in it he mentions that one of his favorite stories was "Pandora's Box"....and "Hope" was what was left after she opened the box.







                          Sunday, November 16, 2008

                          The 2 - 3 %


                          We all know about the 97-98%.  That's because, for the most part, we fall within that percentage.  When you're told there's a 97-98% success rate, you don't even consider the 2-3%.  The 2-3% happens to other people.  You never even think about the 2-3%.  Until you become one of them.....

                          Paul's surgery had a 97-98% success rate.  Good odds.  The surgeon is one of the best; working at one of the best hospitals in the country.  So how did we end up in the 2-3%?

                          It just happens.  Part of the problem that leaves you so depressed is that they prepare you for the success.  Oh, they mention the 2-3%, but it's so marginal, it's not worth an extensive talk.

                          We're the success of the 2-3% (betcha' didn't know there was such a thing)....Paul can feel pain, his legs are strong, and hopefully, with physical therapy, his arms will become stronger.  I know, it could of been worse.  "Maybe, Possibly, Perhaps, Probably" - all words that have become part of our world.

                          I'm very sad as I had to come home and leave Paul there putting a 1-1/2 hour drive between us.  We just didn't have the money to continue with the hotel and dog boarding.  We decided that it was best for me to return to work on Monday and save my leave days for when he does come home.  However, I *did* leave him with one concrete fact (not a maybe, not a perhaps, not a probably, not a possibly) - "GOD HAS A PLAN".



                           

                           

                          Comments





                            • Sunday, November 16. 2008 Kim wrote:
                              Yup, God does have a plan and Paul is young and strong and healthy and he will focus on making a full recovery. Does lose hope as I have complete faith that this will all be FINE when it is all over!
                              Reply to this

                            • Sunday, November 16. 2008 Pamela wrote:
                              Yes, I believe in God's plan too. I know it's so hard to patiently wait for that plan to be revealed. I know it was hard for you to leave him, but you'll be together again soon. Take care of yourself, Laura!
                              Reply to this







                            Saturday, November 15, 2008

                            Another Long Day


                            Yesterday was a long day.  Hubby is now on a regular floor.  He's getting better with the left arm as far as from the elbow down.  It's the shoulder area that seems to have the problem.  He hasn't slept since Monday night, so I told him to tell them to give him something.  I leave today for home and I'm kind of stressed as to leaving him...but I can't stay forever. 

                            I'm becoming concerned with my work leave.  The original plan was to be home by Monday and back to work by December 1st.  But with the set back, we don't know when he'll be coming home.  I can take off past December 1st but it will be without pay.  The only paid leave I have left, I can only use for myself (sick leave) and there's no way I can go without pay.

                            STRESS, STRESS, STRESS..........





                            Friday, November 14, 2008

                            A Better Day


                            Things are much better today.  He has had a little movement in the left arm which is a good sign.  It means something is working in there or at least trying to.  The one person (I've lost track of the titles and positions of these people) said that we'll probably see more movement as the swelling from the surgery goes down.  That doesn't rule out physical therapy-that will still be needed but after 2 days of the arm being totally useless, it's nice to finally see something positive.  He did finally eat solid food today, swallowing is hard but that's due to swelling from the surgery.

                             

                            He's actually ready to be moved from Critical Care to a regular room but there are no beds available.  Actually there's 8 in the unit that could be moved but are just waiting on beds. Once he's there they'll be getting him up and doing some therapy and then hopefully home!!!






                            Thursday, November 13, 2008

                            A Slight Set Back


                            Well the weakness in his left arm didn't go away and then the right arm started to have weakness, so they went back in to check everything out.  Another long day with surgery.  They didn't find anything but they repositioned the hardware they put in slightly and open the nerve endings more.  This helped with the right arm, but the left is no better.  Basically he can use the hand, but he can't lift the arm (so it's more a shoulder type issue I believe).  They think physical therapy will help with this as they have seen this before and it's just something they have to wait and see with.  No guarantees...but hubby is in good spirits, I'm hanging in there.  My sister has come down to stay with me.

                            As of now, the other surgery scheduled for Friday is off.





                            Comments






                              Wednesday, November 12, 2008

                              Some Relief


                              Well last night was a better visit.  He didn't even remember me being there earlier in the day.  His left arm has weakness but the nurse told me that is due to swelling.  They were giving him muscle relaxers to hopefully help that out.  One of the doctors came in and did the routine tests of move this, move that, push here, push there.....  hubby was still complaining about the pain and that prior to surgery his right side was weaker, now it's the left side.  There also seems to be some coordination issues.  However, the doctor explained that the surgery requires cutting through tissue, moving muscle around and even moving the spinal cord.... so I guess it does take time for the stuff to get back in track.  So I feel better knowing that.  The nurse changed his pain medicine and he said that was working better than the last.  So I'm hoping for more improvement when I get there. 




                              Comments





                                • Wednesday, November 12. 2008 Su wrote:
                                  Just to let you know I'm thinking of you and wishing your husband well.
                                  Reply to this

                                • Wednesday, November 12. 2008 Pamel wrote:
                                  Well, it sounds like they're doing everything they can to find a way to help manage his pain. I guess healing will just take time, and then he has another surgery coming up, right? I'll continue to pray for both of you. He's very lucky to have such a loving supportive wife! You're doing great, Laura! Hang in there!
                                  Reply to this



                                Tuesday, November 11, 2008

                                A Long Day


                                Well I've been up since 3:00 a.m. this morning - very long day.  I'm at the hotel right now (very nice and fancy, but lacks FREE internet) and will be returning to Johns Hopkins about 6:00 p.m.

                                The stupid local doctor's office NEVER sent the results of all the pre-op tests even after being contacted yesterday and saying they'd take care of it ASAP.  So they had to do the testing first thing this morning.  This pushed everything back.  The surgery didn't start until 9:45 a.m. (instead of 7:30) and took about 2 1/2 hours (the doctor originally said 4 hours, so this was a good thing).  It was almost 2:00 until I was able to see him.  He's in pain, he's miserable, he doesn't understand why he doesn't feel 100% better immediately....  they  *did* increase his pain medicine for him while I was there and did some testing as far as having him lift arms and legs, how many fingers do I have up, etc...  They said it's improving since surgery - which is good.  I hope he can get a really good night's sleep, but perhaps they'll give him something for that. 

                                I'm still scared, but trying not to show it.  And hope he's in better spirits tomorrow when the kids come down.  I know it's serious surgery and it's going to be a process; and it's good he can move, feel pain and understand everything...but it's still hard.





                                Comments






                                  Monday, November 10, 2008

                                  Just What I Needed To Brighten The Day


                                  Remember this post:

                                  http://stratcatonline.com/2007/09/08/what-a-guy.aspx


                                  Well things have been rough as you all know.  Strat's still missing, Mickey is on his way back to the old house again, I didn't nearly get done what I wanted to before leaving work for 3 weeks and John Hopkins called to say they never received the results from the pre-op tests that are needed prior to surgery - apparently the transcriptionist at the local office is off sick.  Ummmm.....yeah, they know he's having surgery, they know it's needed, but WTF - she's sick so nothing gets done.  So there was a mad rush to get that taken care of as surgery is TOMORRROW.  Then there was the guilt of dropping Toby and Keyser off at the kennel..... so it was a nice surprise to come home today - and what is in the mailbox???  A note from Kevin Spacey!!!  What a bit of sunshine in a stressful day!!!  It's like he knew!!!

                                  Thanks Kevin!!!





                                  Sunday, November 9, 2008

                                  Just A Quicky!!


                                  Too much to do before leaving for Johns Hopkins...so just a quicky to keep up with NaBloPoMo this month!!!





                                  Comments






                                    Saturday, November 8, 2008

                                    More Extreme Makeover Home Edition


                                    Well Chris drove to the house where this is to take place..unfortunately everything was blocked off so she didn't get anywhere near it.

                                    Today hubby got a call at work.  Apparently Ty Pennigton and crew will be doing a small segment with one of the local little leagues (the family is involved with this league) and needed t-shirts printed for that segment.  So hubby was more than happy to oblige.

                                    It doesn't get Chris and I anywhere near Ty - but hey, it's neat to be this close and involved at the same time!!





                                    Friday, November 7, 2008

                                    How Very Exciting


                                    For the past month, the newspaper has been saying Extreme Makeover Home Edition was coming to our area.  "Our Area" could of meant just about anything - 100 miles away.  Today the exact location was announced - Mont Alto, Pennsylvania!!!  That's only a 10-minute drive from where I live and it happens to be where my cousin (and movie buddy) Chris lives!!  How very exciting!  It looks as though they will be doing the construction all next week while we're in Baltimore; so I'm depending on Chris - NOT to forget her promise to take care of my cats, guinea pigs and rabbits - but to also keep me updated on the happenings and take photos!!!


                                    More info:   http://www.drbextreme.com/family.html


                                    So see - today I *did* have something to share  .






                                    Thursday, November 6, 2008

                                    A Fast One


                                    Well...I have absolutely nothing to share, perhaps tomorrow???





                                    Wednesday, November 5, 2008

                                    Almost Ready...


                                    Well we're almost completely ready for Johns Hopkins next week.  The dogs are set for boarding and my hotel is booked.  JH offers a service to families that need to stay in the area - and that is discounted hotel rooms.  You just call that office and they set you up.  They have me booked at the Sheraton at the Inner Harbor.  The hotel will provide me with taxi vouchers to get back and forth.  They really got me a good deal on it.  Now I just need to spring on my Dad that he has cat/guinea pig/rabbit duty next week.

                                    Strat is still missing and I really think someone has him.  Not in a bad way, but he is a friendly cat and would go to anyone.  Strat is just not the type of cat to just leave home....no he's in a house somewhere.

                                    As for Mickey.....he's on his way back to the old house AGAIN!!!





                                    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

                                    Life Is So Bothersome


                                    Life is so complicated sometimes.  As I've mentioned, I need to be off about 3 weeks with hubby's surgery and the office wasn't happy.  I'll take some of that back....

                                    Employee A came into my office and asked about what she could do when I was off, Employee B came into my office and did some filing to allow me to catch some other things up before my leave starts.....then there's Employee C...the one that's not speaking to me or talking to me unless she has to.  Employee C does excellent work but hates taken on new tasks and responsibilities.  She's not very dependable when someone is off as she has the "that's not my job" mentality.

                                    So yes, Employee C.....my husband is intentionally have surgery on his neck and back to inconvenience you at work!! <sarcasm>





                                    Monday, November 3, 2008

                                    Let's All Vote


                                    No - I'm not going to list a bunch of lies about your candidate....No - I'm not going to tell you why my candidate is the right person to vote for.....instead I'm just going to ask you to please vote responsibly.

                                    One - please do not base your opinion on ANY candidate based on the stuff you receive in emails.  These are half-truths and downright lies.  Always check these emails at www.snopes.com for what it's really about.  Allot of these emails are now including that "this information has already been verified at snopes.com"....it may even encourage you to go check yourself.  Make sure you do - as this is just a way for you not to check and thus believe the lies within the email.

                                    Two - are you really so insecure that you can't choose your own candidate?  Do you really need your spouse, parent, etc... to TELL you who to vote for??  Think of what is important to you and then investigate to see which candidate is supporting your issues.

                                    But use YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!!  This is the future of our Country we're talking about, why wouldn't you want to be involved???

                                    VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!!!





                                    Comments








                                      Sunday, November 2, 2008

                                      Keyser


                                      I failed to mention yesterday, that Keyser is also in need of surgery.  His knee slips out of place and surgery is needed to correct it.  Luxating patella is what the condition is caused and seems to be common in puggles.  My Vet does not do the surgery, so I'm looking for one that will.  Despite the fact that my vet recommended another in Frederick...with hubby's surgery and all - I can't be running all over the State!!



                                      Still no Strat  .





                                      Saturday, November 1, 2008

                                      UPDATES*UPDATES*UPDATES


                                      Well.....

                                      Strat is still in the land of the missing.  We did get a call from someone that had found a cat meeting his description, and thus got our hopes us....but it wasn't him .  I cry a lot - Mickey lays with me and purrs.....

                                      Hubby on the other hand is FINALLY scheduled for surgery.  First surgery is November 11th and the next is November 14th.  He'll remain in the hospital the whole time possibly coming home November 17th (if all goes well).  I'm now thinking of boarding the dogs and staying down there.  I figure I'm going to need off about 3 weeks and I have this Family Medical Leave paperwork that needs filled out.  Really going to put the office in a bad mood, but what can I do???

                                      I think it's going to be a long month.........






                                      Comments





                                        • Saturday, November 01. 2008 Pamela wrote:
                                          Laura,
                                          My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband that all goes well with his surgery - and that he has a speedy recovery! And that Strat comes home too!
                                          Keep us posted on your husband's progress.
                                          Reply to this

                                        • Saturday, November 01. 2008 Kim wrote:
                                          You're right...you do what you have to do. I'm a believer in God first, then family and friends and then work.

                                          Really hope you find Strat. Maybe he just took a little vacation or something.
                                          Reply to this

                                        • Sunday, November 02. 2008 Su Jackson wrote:
                                          You are never going to regret you didn't spent more time at work ! Thoughts are with you and your family - human and animal.
                                          Reply to this





                                        Friday, October 31, 2008

                                        Let's Get It Straight


                                        I saw this at another blog - so I copied it over:




                                        I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this
                                        straight.....

                                        * If you grow up in Hawaii , raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."

                                        * Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.

                                        *If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

                                        * Name your kids Willow, Bristol, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

                                        * Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

                                        * Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

                                        * If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor,
                                        spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

                                        * If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

                                        * If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

                                        * If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

                                        * If you teach teach children about sexual predators, you are irresponsible and eroding the fiber of society.

                                        * If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up
                                        pregnant, you're very responsible.

                                        * If your wife is a Harvard graduate laywer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to
                                        raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.

                                        * If you're husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that hates America and advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

                                        OK, much clearer now.








                                        Wednesday, October 29, 2008

                                        Still Searching


                                        Yes, Strat is still missing.  I'm extremely worried.....

                                        There's been construction on one of the neighboring streets and the detour is down the alley next to the house.  Seems that everyone that drives down it thinks it's a local speedway.  So last night I spent quite a bit of time walking up and down it, looking in all the bushes and shrubbery along there.  I thought maybe with the increased traffic, he may have been hit and was laying in the area somewhere (yes, I was prepared to find the worst - I'd rather know than not ever know).  Fortunately, I didn't find him hurt or dead; unfortunately he's still missing.  I have placed a newspaper ad, contacted the local Humane Society and hubby and I are hanging flyers through the neighborhood tonight.  Keyser goes to the Vet's for X-rays tomorrow and I'll hang a flyer there as well.  He's never been gone this long before.

                                        I really don't know what else to do.....what will I do without my Strat??????





                                        Sunday, October 26, 2008

                                        Today I'm Not Happy....




                                        As my stratcat has been missing since Friday........









                                        Saturday, October 25, 2008

                                        This, That, These and Those


                                        Well, Brian Regan (as expected) was FABULOUS.  And my seats were really front row center (I kept thinking maybe I read the chart wrong-lol!!).  He did allot of new things and then encored with some older stuff.  I was laughing the whole time.  The one thing about him is that he is so hysterically funny without the bad language and sexual content.  He's clean and talks about every normal day things!!

                                        We're heading back down to John Hopkins on Friday for a meeting with the surgeon - FINALLY!!  This is a different one that takes insurance (our's being among them).  After the last call, when they called back they had a surgeon that could see us on November 20th.  It was then that hubby had had enough.  He told them that wouldn't do, and then proceeded with what all we've been through since June.  They said they'd call back.  Dr. Timothy Witham reviewed his tests and decided that hubby didn't "have to" have the surgery - he NEEDED to have the surgery.  So we're scheduled to meet with him on October 31st and they've told us the surgery would be between that point and mid-December.  Finally, we're getting somewhere.  Hubby will have two surgeries.  One for the problem in the neck and 3 days later they'll take care of the problem in the middle back.  He'll remain in the hospital that whole time.  I'll be so glad when all this is over.  One good thing though - a friend of hubby's did some research and came up with a listing of the top 15 neuro surgeons in Maryland and Dr. Whitham is on the list..so that's good news.

                                        My one turtle died!!  They had been doing so well.  Apparently sometime yesterday the electric went out (I came home to flashing VCR, alarm clock) and apparently the aquarium heater didn't come back on when the electric did.  They really need temperature control...now why it affected the one and not the other - I don't know; but I need to find a back up solution for that.

                                        Keyser hurt his leg last week at hubby's shop.  It doesn't seem to bother him, but sometimes he walks on it and other times he holds it up.  I took him to the Vet (and that was a nightmare as he isn't a good patient) and they concluded that his kneecap had popped out..and they popped it back in (yeah, I know).  So he's on medication, but things don't seem to be getting better, so we may have to go to Plan B - which is X-rays and $$$$$.  Oh well, what's a pet owner to do?  Hubby and I were in Petsmart last night and found a Puggle book; while flipping through it, we discovered that the knee cap thing is quite common in Puggles - as well as hip problems.  Keyser, I'm sure, is the product of a puppy mill....so his genetics are probably more so.  We'll have to wait and see.

                                        Since Keyser's at work with hubby on Saturdays...that's family time for me and Toby and Toby says it is walk time - so off I go.....








                                        Monday, October 20, 2008

                                        I'm So Very Excited!!!


                                        A few posts back I mentioned that I liked the comedian Brian Regan.  Well he's due to be in Frederick, MD this Wednesday and Thursday.  Though I had checked for tickets the shows were sold out.  Well just out of curiousity, I checked again tonight and was able to get 2 for Thursday night.  The minute they popped up, I just grabbed them and didn't really pay much attention to them (in case you're wondering, it's not unusual for some tickets to be held back for sale closer to an event).

                                        Well when I viewed the seating chart - I realized I had front row center seats!!!  I'm like on cloud 9 right now!!!  I can hardly believe it!!!  







                                        Sunday, October 19, 2008

                                        Even After A Meltdown, Sometimes Life Just Gets Funny!!!


                                        So as usual, I head to my parent's house for Sunday dinner today.  Hubby chose to stay home and well when I was leaving, I noticed family togetherness:

                                                                                           
                                        Guess there was no room for Keyser on the lap, as Toby and Strat had that covered!!

                                        Anyway, when I come back home I give my cousin Chris a call and we decided to go see the movie "Quarantine".  I went to her house early to give her, her birthday gift (she's now in the OVER 40 crowed) and so we could chat (cause people tend to frown on chatting at the movies).  Upon leaving her house to get into the car, she had to go to her mailbox and then said "I really don't like what my one ghost is doing."  This is where everything gets funny.....

                                        She has this blow up Halloween decoration in her yard that is 3 ghosts, and apparently the wind had the middle one all twisted around:

                                                                        

                                        Okay from this angle you may be wondering..."Where is the third ghost?"  (This is where it gets funny); well he's kind of busy with the ghost in the back:

                                                                           

                                        Naturally, this was indeed a Kodak Moment (or in my case an Olympus one) and always glad I carry my camera with me - well....who could resist????  Definately not something you see everyday!


                                        The movie "Quarantine" was very good.  It's done "Blair Witch" style - where someone is filming the going ons.  Once it gets started, it's pretty action packed and really draws you in.  We had lots of questions at first, but the movie answered them as it went on (which is unusual) and we both really liked it.







                                        Saturday, October 18, 2008

                                        A Little Brightness In The Day


                                        Today I got to do my first babysitting duties with Colton.  He slept most of the time and he's growing so very fast: