Sunday, September 15, 2019

Tilly on Tap – a Bittersweet Update

Her breathing once more labored, our loveable silly cat returned to the veterinary clinic yesterday. Before our appointment I lay across the mattress by her and Tilly gave up the heating pad to crawl onto my arms. She didn’t seem to mind the tears dripped onto her fur as a result.

When the appointment time neared my considerate husband offered to drive. But I preferred my usual role behind the wheel; that sort of focus helps keep my emotions under better control. Meanwhile, not expecting to bring her home, we agreed to hear out the doctor’s opinion and try another thoracic tap if the attempt seemed worthwhile.

Well, as you’ve no doubt guessed, she survived the procedure. Despite successful removal of a lot more fluid, however, today each inhalation appears a strain. There is no way to guess if she will last a day or a week. We do not want her to suffocate to death and hope her arrhythmic little heart will give out in her sleep as opposed to euthanasia.

It is rewarding to see her go into a deep dreaming state, muscles twitching nose to toes. Sometimes she appears to be playing pinball. Watching her reminds me of this short video clip of an adorable kitten.

Don’t you wish you could sleep that well?


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Health, Humor, & Hoaxes

Laughter, so the old saying goes, is the best medicine. In this current first world climate of trigger warnings and safe spaces, I cling to my juvenile sense of humor like a life raft. During Tuesday’s brief hospital stay I made a point of engaging with anyone around me in (usually) the most irreverent manner possible.

Warning: My mind tends to work like that of a seventeen year old boy. Heh…

Take the ER nurse and her efforts to enter an expiration date off a plasma unit into the computer. Nobody knew how to help her, she just fiddled with the touch screen until something worked, and said, “You just have to massage it until something happens.”

“I’ve heard that before,” I said to her bark of amusement and my husband’s feigned disgust.


So-called gallows humor can also help keep one sane in grim situations. I’ve heard that over and over again including from the EMT who attended my 4am ambulance ride. He offered to share what he considers his funniest job related incident with the advisory warning it was “inappropriate”.

“I’m all ears,” I replied.

Warning: the following anecdote is both bawdy and a bit gory (NSFW)

Called to the aid of a middle aged woman who fell and cut the back of her head on a concrete step, EMT Matthew found her blood covered and inebriated to the point she felt no pain. Of course, she also refused to cooperate.

“Please don’t take me to the hospital,” she implored several times. “I don’t want to go with you.”

“Fine with me,” he replied, “but you’re going one way or the other. If not with me, then the men with the steel bracelets.”

“But I’ll give you a [use your imagination] if you let me go.”

“Nah… I’m good,” he answered, eyebrows no doubt shooting toward his hairline.


Considering our senses of humor imperative to a strong bond, my husband and I appreciate whatever amuses us be it a spontaneous quip, unique circumstance, or a contrived marketing campaign. A recent late night prank involved a bit of all three.

With apologies, I need to share some back story. The long past incident inspiring my latest hoax involved a short trip and an archaic GPS device. We expected directions to our hotel. Instead the Magellan model announced, “You have reached your destination” – outside an open cemetery gate.

In an instant my witty husband observed, “Yeah. Our final destination.”

And we crack up over the Allstate Insurance ‘mayhem’ commercials, especially when the actor portrays a global positioning device that causes an accident and announces, “Recalculating” with a mischievous grin. You can see I incorporated these elements in setting up this campy, Halloween themed scene.
That's 'Mayhem' Escaping
~shakes head~
I'm Silly
Can You See the Zombie Rising from my Miniature Cemetery?
And here is that inspirational, hilarious commercial:

Do you enjoy the occasional prank?


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Another First, Room Service, & a Room With a View

I experienced quite an adventure half of Tuesday. It began around 2am yesterday, a rude wakeup in the form of peculiar oral swelling. At first I thought to go back to sleep and call my dentist come daylight. Perhaps an irregular canker sore formed on the right underside of my tongue, so I took my daily supplement that suppresses and helps heal them.

The lump didn’t hurt, though, and seemed to be expanding.

Soon awakened, my groggy husband made the wise suggestion I take a Benadryl allergy pill and proceeded to research possible causes on the Internet. None fit my situation, which worsened to the point I developed a colossal stifled lisp. Since my coping mechanism of choice is to joke, I made light of the fact my voice sounded like that of facially deformed character Eugene cast in the black comedy series “Preacher”. I will spare you the image of his disturbing visage.


Within minutes we decided to visit the nearby Emergency Hospital. In a shocking development, the receptionist guessed my diagnosis with two simple questions.

Did I take blood pressure medication? “Yeth...” (muffled) Was it Lisinopril? “Yeth...”

A rare 0.01% to 0.1% of prescribed patients develop angioneurotic edema in one body part or another.

Where My Adventure Began
I expected a steroid shot and to be back home in a few hours. Staff soon made clear the unlikelihood. As it happens, regardless of their charge’s irreverent banter, medical professionals take throat blockage very serious.

Who knew?

Blood tested and steroids injected on the spot, my doctor ordered intravenous blood plasma. The nurse, registered for ten years now, never before saw this condition yet warned these treatments might not work.

Fortunate for me, I soon felt quite normal. Could I be released?

No. I could neither stay there nor go home. Hospital admittance was non-negotiable.

Only two facilities, one located in an unfamiliar city (?!), could spare a bed (!) despite there being no major public health concerns. Once my ambulance arrived I sent my sleepy husband home.

My slumber did not resume. Night nurses stationed across the hall laughed and chatted their shift away. My music left at home, television didn’t interest me in the slightest. At least I had my Kindle Fire, those ER stepdown room accommodations were comfortable, and a nice ceiling fan kept me cool.

Come sunrise I enjoyed a partially blocked but colorful spectacle. Full daylight revealed verdant woods hiding the nearby Little Miami River. Flocking birds exposed the waterway’s course.

Around 7:30 I set aside my now abandoned first draft of this sketched on the back of a redundant medical form, ordered breakfast, and called my husband.

That facility’s food, by the way, is quite good. I knew this from my husband’s 2011 heart surgery. A fruity yogurt parfait with granola and two strips of turkey bacon satisfied my hunger until lunchtime.

Apprised of my uncertain status, he agreed to stay home. Within hours I would either need a ride or more personal items for comfort and mental distraction.

Near noon Nurse Reba gave her disappointing opinion my incarceration stay would continue. In an ironic twist, my blood pressure concerned them. A later evaluation by the floor’s head daytime physician made my day. He agreed lack of rest compounded by emotional distress heightened my hypertension. He prescribed a different pill and registered me for discharge.


Delighted professionals of every ilk expressed their fondness wishing me well. Apparently my irreverent sense of humor amused them. I’ll share more on that later (including anecdotes from my attending EMT in the ambulance) as this is getting wordy.

~shakes head~

Meanwhile, you might find funny the fact I spotted our Blue Meanie pulling into the parking lot from the building’s fifth floor about a city block away. The 2017 Volt’s distinctive laser blue color, shape, and of course my colorful “Yellow Submarine” stickers depicted my husband’s arrival, confirmed by his departure from the vehicle.

Is there any place you would rather be than (healthy) at home?


Friday, September 6, 2019

Checked Out, Not Checking Out

One Cozy Cat

I meant for days to give an update on geriatric Tilly the cat. So here it is – good news (!) – she acts comfortable and happy. We have a checklist to monitor her quality of life.

Items include:
bright eyes
perky ears
consistent and healthy looking litter box use
interest in food
drinking plenty of water
moving well
actively engaged in her surroundings
smooth, even breathing

That last pleases us no end considering the veterinarian’s assessment that she retains some fluid beneath her lungs. We declined more X-rays for now. There seemed little point stressing her.

She’s quite the sweetheart about taking her thyroid pill, vitamin C supplement (both twice daily), and noontime diuretic. I know Tilly would be happy to know tonight is her final round of chilly medicated ear drops to clear up a simple yeast infection. It’s too bad the liquid needs refrigeration.

Yesterday my wise husband surmised why she demands desires near constant physical contact – extra warmth. Nearing twenty (we’re guessing close to nineteen now if not already), the old gal is almost certain to suffer arthritis.

However precious, hours lying prostrate on the bed with Tilly tucked on, against, or under my arm(s) began taking a toll on my neck, shoulders, and especially lumbar region. My husband’s clever follow-on suggestion to turn on his heating pad didn’t work. She sat up and pawed my face when unsuccessful in getting me prone. This afternoon she cried for me from the bedroom and I found her seated on the heating pad as if within a box.


Turning on the heater’s lowest setting, I let it heat a few moments before sitting beside her. Sure enough, she settled down and slept for over an hour. Now she is begging for food.

Would you buy a heated bed for an aging pet?

I should join lovely Sandee and friends for the Feline Friday blog hop, but alas lack time to reciprocate visiting other participants
blogs. Have a great weekend, my dears!


Thursday, August 29, 2019

A Novel Suggestion

While nitpicking editing today, I discovered I’d overused forms of the word ‘amused’ in this particular short story. So I accessed the Microsoft Word thesaurus.

Midway through the listed options, one phrase baffled me. Detective novel? Seriously? I saved visual proof.

Meanwhile, Tilly the cat is breathing easy and demanding snuggle time. Right now the old gal is against my knee. She returns to the veterinary clinic tomorrow. I hope the doctor(s) will be pleasantly shocked.

Can you imagine how someone might have come up with detective novel?


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Hour by Hour, Day By Day, Month by Month, Year by Year

I have intended to post an update regarding the recent ‘excitement’ in our household, especially the wellbeing of our geriatric cat, Miss Silly Tilly Willy. I am ecstatic to report that she rebounded from lung congestion better than we dared hope.
Snuggly Kitty
Of course cats can be deceptive, perhaps hiding illness (and vulnerability) because they are both predator and prey in the wild. So, she returns to the veterinarian on Friday. For now we’re keeping a close eye on her as the first half of the blog post title indicates.

She’s currently tucked against my thigh, having accepted the fact I’m not going to lie across the bed again for more snuggles. The old gal’s increased neediness is putting kinks in my neck and shoulders. Who am I to complain? Her ‘daddy’ accepts lap duty every afternoon for hours.

Meanwhile, I am expected to undergo follow-up health screenings sooner than usual. A benign cyst will be monitored six months after its springtime discovery and four removed polyps (also likely noncancerous) suggest a revisit to the gastroenterologist in three years rather than a decade. Ugh… Fingers crossed, our current blessings of excellent healthcare provision and insurance will continue throughout.

Considering how this year has gone, I nicknamed my new nemeses the Four Polyps of the Apocalypse before leaving the Digestive Health clinic. Thus my increased dietary fiber is meant to stave off said ‘Polypacolypse’. My husband just shakes his head.


Can you say polypacolypse five times fast?


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Change in Plans – Precious Time with Tilly – & – My Latest Little Adventure

Yesterday we decided to stay home from the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival. A great family friend met up with my middle brother, his wife, their eldest granddaughter, and their youngest adult offspring along with her husband. Sorry we missed the old hometown family fun but enjoyed time with Tilly (and the more elusive Jezebel) in our air conditioned environment.

The guys sent some fun pictures, at least. And my husband suggested we take a trip farther north to see family/friends sometime this autumn, which we rather doubt our old kitty will survive. While looking good on the outside Tilly has some sort of mass on or near her heart, which has an irregular beat, so she might go at anytime.

We’ll keep her as long as she wants to stick around and remains comfortable. Thank heaven she’s such a sweet girl because I’m administering seven medicinal doses daily (!) including the ear drops, felimazole, and now rutin morning and night, plus her diuretic around mid afternoon. She continues acting spry and has an excellent appetite.

As for me, I turned fifty years old last February, meaning a particular health screening is advised. Everyone tells me the preparation will be worse than the scope, which I don’t doubt. It’s been a bit tricky figuring out what’s best to eat this weekend before my clear liquid diet starts on Monday.


But I’ve got it handled. And I am so blessed to have access to excellent healthcare. In addition, our health insurance will cover everything as long as the procedure doesn’t go beyond diagnostic. With fingers crossed I expect a positive outcome.

Oddly, the administrator gave me a precise dollar figure down to the penny if something irregular does need treated/removed.

Has anyone, medical practitioner or not, ever given you more than a cost estimate, let alone stuck to it?


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Tilly Wins the Day

Just a brief note, here, as life moves on. Tilly brightened the day of all around her. Our attending veterinarians were thrilled by her X-rays showing little fluid in her lungs. The biggest concern was an ear infection. We've dealt with that before, she and I, so we will continue taking things day by day.

She takes her multiple pills and ear drops well, considering. We love this old girl and hope to give her weeks or months more of contentment. Since she is doing so well, we plant to meet family at a festival for an upcoming day. Best wishes to all, and thank you for the ongoing well wishes.

Do you have any big late summer plans?


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Another Day in the Life

"Hi! What's up, Mom?"
Last week, our eldest cat Tilly started breathing heavy. We have spent a good thousand dollars on the two cats so far this year. ~sigh~ But we knew something wasn’t right and just couldn’t let this continue.

Besides, Tilly is doing so much better after her E. coli infection was finally cleared up. She jumps in laps, beds, wherever she wants. Her old mysterious warts have even disappeared, we think due to that last successful antibiotic.

Her pattern baldness is a lot like a hyena pelt with that long ridge along her spine.
So, I called the clinic yesterday and (as often happens) they saw her the same day. Upon evaluation of her breathing rate, the veterinarian recommended X-rays. Sounded good to us.

Not so good, I heard doctors convene by the monitor right outside the closed exam room door and someone speaking the word ‘heart’. My husband and I half expected that. Not surprising, the images showed fluid built up around her lungs.

At that news the vet gave us options.

We ruled out seeing a specialist after the fruitless efforts to cure Luna’s cancer in 2014. Younger than Tilly, she lasted three months at the cost of thousands of dollars and a traumatic surgery that almost took her life. I would never again subject an animal to a radical mastectomy.  ~shakes head~ She sure did fight to the end, though, my little sweetheart.

At any rate, darling Tilly’s third option involved discussing euthanasia. Ugh… Not yet.

We opted for the second suggestion, having the doctor attempt a thoracic tap to remove excess fluid. Depending upon the outcome, she suggested administering heart medication and a diuretic. Sounded like a plan.

Our cooperative kitty ended up having around 238 mL total removed from her chest! Unfortunately the fluid was chylous, or milky, not indicative of heart failure. Cancer being one of the main suspects decided us not to have the $120 test done on the fluids. There seemed little point.

Prepared to take it day by day, we brought her home where she is comfortable and content this morning. She and I snuggled on the bed for a while. After meowing at my husband for attention, Tilly is now sound asleep in a favorite cat bed by his desk.

We shall see what her checkup shows in a week. Meanwhile I’ll give her a daily diuretic and a supplement to reduce effusion in her chest. And we’ll pay close attention to signs of failing health and/or poor quality of life. I would consider other fluid taps down the road, but not to excess. We don’t want to be selfish and put her through unnecessary stress and misery.

Have you heard of the supplement called rutin?


Friday, August 9, 2019

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

This year has been strange, for sure. I (mostly) recovered from loss of my cherished fish, though dealing with the burgeoning snail population without clown loaches to control them with diet is another matter.


And I refuse to purchase more such long-lived, expensive, and delicate freshwater creatures at this stage in my life. To date, on the bad front my best friend’s father had a minor stroke a few months ago. I'm happy to report he’s recovering with the wife whose healthcare he’s managed for decades.

But ‘Dad’ is on a growing list of concerns, as is his spouse. Thank heaven, ‘Mom and Dad R’ have lots of nearby family to aid the care of both. But my same longtime pal’s father-in-law, who is very elderly, requires quintuple heart surgery. We keep praying. What else can you do? Sometimes, I feel it’s more like one step forward and two steps back

I will share a more mixed update soon. Blessed be, all.

How fare thee?


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Finding Balance in a Crazy World

It’s no secret my life has been tumultuous these many last months. I am happy to report continuing improvement in my little corner of the world.

It’s a shame much of the globe seems to have gone insane. In fact, we live several miles from one of the latest US mass murders.

While I refuse to let hatred snuff my daily gratitude and consider our peaceful neighbors another blessing, it’s tempting to just lock myself away in an ivory tower of escapism.

But my husband deserves a partner with whom to share the burden of harsh reality, especially considering his support through all my worst anxiety. For days on end I spent hours upon hours hiding within my fictional characters’ lives.

I decided to take it a step beyond following current events and engage in his activities. Thus, teamwork has become this summer’s motto.

He appreciates my gardening assistance, handling hoses while he controls the faucets, picking any ripe vegetables while he holds open a bag for me. And I have helped him preserve cucumbers like never before. He marvels at how many spears I can squeak into a jar and praises me over what he calls a string of very clever ideas.

For example, weeds in the strawberry patch grew out of control while high temperatures, blazing sunshine, and miserable humidity kept us indoors. But the plot is in plain view to the public, so I grabbed my beach umbrella and went to work. Twenty minutes later I had cleared out the invasive plants, moving my bit of shade as I went.

Another day we took our car to the car wash and, instead of stepping out of the way as he sprayed soapy water, I grabbed the brush attachment. Following behind him scrubbing where he’d soaped the vehicle sped the process and saved us a few quarters. We only paused once or twice to untangle hoses.

To end on a still lighter note, do you have any time saving tips?


Monday, July 22, 2019

Going Batty

Tonight’s visit to a blog I’ve enjoyed for countless months turned up something peculiar, to say the least. This talented blogger receives interesting comments addressing her many formidable crafting talents, substitute teaching endeavors, and wry humor. You may well know who she is, but I will leave out her identity due to the odd nature of the comment wrought upon her.

Its lengthy verbiage caught my attention first and foremost. The poster identifies as ‘Lord Mark’, and may have left the strangest blog comment ever. I doubt this is anything other than some click bait scam from a foreign bot account. But wow. Just wow.

Disclaimer: the following commentary is shared here for entertainment purposes only, not validated by this or any other human to my knowledge as Darla M. Sands, and all language/grammatical errors are those of the initial author:

Are you tired of being human, having talented brain turning to a vampire in a good posture in ten minutes, Do you want to have power and influence over others, To be charming and desirable, To have wealth, health, without delaying in a good human posture and becoming an immortal? If yes, these your chance. It's a world of vampire where life get easier,We have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich, You will assured long life and prosperity, You shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness, Stronger and also very fast, You will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk, This is an opportunity to have the human vampire virus to perform in a good posture. If you are interested contact us on …

Post Script: I have to ask you dear readers, are you tired of being human?


Monday, July 15, 2019

Brassiere Review for Those Interested and – Spoiler Alert – a Scam

Sad to admit, I’m not being subtle or untruthful with my title. As my age and weight have progressed, finding proper fitting lingerie has become more and more an issue.

Then I saw this Facebook advertisement for a sort of wonder bra. No need for some uncomfortable underwire, it reported, with lots of support and a relaxed feel. Falling for the promise of something soft, flexible, and adjustable, I purchased two at a supposed discount.

What garbage!

Not My Vendor, But Same Product
And Brra? Hmmm...
The cloth is cheap to the point of being see-through with padded cups that wouldn’t serve as gerbil hammocks. And the forgivable sizing is a joke in itself. Here’s another kick, too, I tried to leave a review on their website and got denied.
Unbelievable. For someone who hates interacting with folks in the real world, I must do so to find serviceable undergarments, it seems.

Any product recommendations, my dears?


Friday, July 5, 2019

The Sweet Things in Life

Day by day I feel more at ease in my own skin, absurd anxiety levels slipping and joy of existence rising. We continue facing unexpected expenses and frustrations. For one thing, we just handed over a few hundred dollars (US) for plumbing work. And damaging insects are breeding in records numbers, forcing me to target them with stinky poisons while trying to protect the pollinators and birds.

But the toilets are working great and its important to remember the excellent support my husband provides. We make a great team, and his patience through my downward spiral and slow recovery are well worth another mention.

Now, as to the title, here are a few photographs of sweet things in and around my home.
A Decent Cucumber Harvest = 3 Jars of Sweet Pickles!

Sweet Jezebel Defying Her Age

Monarch (or Viceroy?) Sipping that Sweet, Sweet Coneflower Nectar
Does warm weather bring butterflies to your yard?


Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Review of “Poisoned by the Pier” by Ellen Jacobson

Amateur sleuth Mollie McGhie is back! This third cozy mystery installment by Ellen Jacobson delighted me yet again. I thank her for a free e-book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

While our plucky Mollie stumbles upon another dead body, she continues trying the patience of Coconut Cove’s Chief of Police with her intrepid investigations. Their interactions might be my favorite among all the quirky characters. And I appreciated how his persona gained a new dimension.

Add in the feline antics of Mrs. Moto, Mollie’s adoring husband Scooter with his little eccentricities, plus all her other inventive personalities from the first two books, and it’s an amusing read.

Ms. Jacobson draws from some personal nautical experiences I’ve read on her blog, The Cynical Sailor &His Salty Sidekick. Knowing this, as well as that she injects her brilliant sense of humor into Mollie’s personality, multiplies the fun. Household chores got neglected the day I started reading, and bedtime that night was delayed, as well.

It’s not often contemporary stories hold my attention to that degree, supplanting my own writing time. And Ms. Jacobson’s are among the best edited one can find today, with nary a typographical error. That is always appreciated.

Well done, Ellen!

You, dear reader, can find her book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as most anywhere quality titles are sold.

What would you do if a significant other gifted you a boat as an anniversary present?


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Pickled Pink

The title is a terrible pun, I know. You’ll understand how it fits in a moment.

First off, staffers working for his physician gave my husband the nickname “Mr. Pickles” due to all the jarred dills he has taken since last season’s boon. I, of course, thought immediately of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”.

Though the mythical Hyde is the insane one, and my husband the more emotionally stable partner, I suggested calling ourselves “Mr. Pickles and Dr. Gherkin”. Amused, he embraced this occasional joke.

Fast forward to our anniversary last week.

He went grocery shopping alone, bless his heart, and decided to peruse the greeting card aisle. We have long followed a feline theme for all holidays, so he sought a change. He went so far as to look outside the anniversary section, which he found limited thanks to the United States celebrating Fathers today.

No doubt you can imagine where this is going…

A Clear Forwarning
He indeed discovered one featuring a pickle. And it's hilarious inside and out.

I almost choked upon seeing this...
The inside surprised me again. This dude is so cute...

The use of his first initial references "Bram Stoker's Dracula"
(Gary Oldman's vampire signed documents this way)
Even the back of the card is cheeky. I had to point this out to my SO.

It's the Little Touches that Enhance the Fun
Do you think I should follow this new trend, perhaps seek a general food theme to broaden the opportunities?


Friday, June 14, 2019

Having Your Cake and Eating it, Too

Driving about running errands the other day, I listened with my husband to  a podcast he discovered. We enjoyed the banter between those hosts and laughed an inordinate amount over the thirty plus minutes of hilarity.

One story stood out. The mother of a young lady went to pick up the graduation cake arranged with their local Walmart. For some reason, that order was proclaimed lost.

Employees offered a much discounted, ready replacement. Confection decorated, they sent the contented lady on her way.

Fast forward to the party and cutting of said cake. The dessert turned out to be a sort of floor sample, if you will, the graduate slicing into a Styrofoam slab!

I would have found the mix-up hilarious.

Not these prima donnas. Mother and daughter burst into tears, the party proclaimed a disaster.


Now, let me tell you that promised story about my wedding day.

The historical local home turned bed and breakfast sported a lovely, deep and wide stone porch. That was where I arranged an intimate catered reception for attendees. I instructed my kind, elderly baker to set up her creation on the designated table outside.

She feared ants would be a problem and instead delivered our cake to the B&B owners’ kitchen. My well meaning father offered to carry the cake out following the ceremony. He had to traverse a long way through the entire large first floor, a daunting task. Our dear friend Phoenix thought it would be funny to jump out in front of him as a surprise.

Yes, Dad was surprised.

Phoenix startled him to the point he almost dropped the cake. It got smashed against his tuxedo sleeve and the nearby wall. My two dear sisters-in-law acted fast. One thought to empty some of my homemade satin roses of the birdseed meant for well wishers to shower us newlyweds. Together, the women camouflaged the worst damage.

Following the Ceremony; Still Smiling After Seeing the Cake
If I’d spoken to the cake maker, I would have pleaded that she discount the unfounded fear of insect invasion. We could have stationed one of our nieces or nephews to keep watch, for that matter. Oh, well.

My new mother-in-law advised her youngest son not to inform his new wife of the minor disaster before our portraits were taken. And nobody fingered the culprit until decades later. They should have known I would not be angry. Life is too short.

And it’s a funny memory now if a bit disappointing on the day.

I’m happy to report our photographer thought to capture a photo inside that sunny back room. The image turned out better than hoped, cluttered countertops somehow kept in shadow. Good thing, too, because my husband never got a look at the cake until after the ceremony.

That photographer, by the way, was the dear man who I announced as having been recently hospitalized. I’m delighted to report he is now rehabilitating at home after diagnosis of a minor stroke.

Would you cry over a Styrofoam cake? And how did that woman not realize it didn’t weigh enough to be edible?


Monday, June 10, 2019

Mirror, Mirror

My husband and I often joke that I live the life of a housecat. The fact Jezebel has become almost a Voodoo doll for my existence takes this to the next level.

Case in point, she developed that aforementioned limp in her right front leg about the same time my right shoulder became painful. Fortunately, we both recovered. She must have landed wrong following a jump. While my injury is a mystery, a doctor’s recommended painkiller and exercise regimens healed me.

Meanwhile, I also related a false cancer scare caused by the well meaning vet technician who left a message regarding her blood test results. Guess what happened last week following my latest mammogram?

Yup. I got a surprise, dreaded call to come back for further examination.

No worries, though.

A complicated cyst was diagnosed during my follow-up ultrasound. Unsurprised, the doctor advised more scans in six months just to make certain the abnormality is stable.

That last bit of news left me much calmer. Things are looking up! Heck, last week we got our initial shingles vaccinations after being on the waiting list for almost a year. We’ll get the secondary booster sometime within the next six months.

My arm still hurts and itches a bit around the injection sight, but that’s preferable to the agonizing condition it’s meant to prevent. The Christian reverend I engaged to perform our 1997 wedding suffered a shingles outbreak before our big day. Fortunately, that considerate man got us into contact with a surrogate.

That fellow showed up late to the B&B I booked, late enough to make some folks nervous, but did a fine job. For me, it just meant we’d enjoy yet another engagement party before eloping.  To my groom’s chagrin, my promise of an intimate service didn’t pan out like he expected. Both our mother’s hosted large pre-parties in Northeast Ohio and the wedding guest list doubled over what he expected. How could I have turned away friends’ and coworkers’ spouses?

As for the big day, those memories remain the favorite out of all my five decades. Nothing upset me, not even when my father smashed my three tiered cake against the wall. I’ll save that story for another post. The tell fits nicely with a strange bit of recent news.

Do you know the tradition of freezing a portion of wedding cake for the couple to share on their first anniversary? How about washing it down with sparkling wine for breakfast?

We did. Heh… What yummy decadence.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Salad Days

Time has really gotten away from me. I find myself missing favorite bloggers’ posts for days and am shocked how long since I put up something myself. It seemed a good day to rectify that.

In short, things are looking up. Strawberry plants I didn’t expect to survive winter are producing some sweet fruits. And insects are leaving many of the berries alone! Today I enjoyed a particularly big, juicy one. Given the choice, my dear husband took the two smaller ones.

Besides that little consideration, he has been super throughout my difficulties with anxiety.

We went out today to do a little gardening together. Lettuce planted in our square Earth Box is doing great!

A tender, tasty blend from the garden center.

Most every trial turned out at least okay. We adore our 2017 Volt, my cat Jezebel has stopped limping, and Tilly acts half her age despite a frail appearance. It seems her infection has at long last been defeated. This bright eyed girl is jumping into bed again! Jezzy got sort of supplanted as a result, but receives attention when she wants.
Silly Tilly has lost the guard hairs on her flanks.
Looking like a cat/hyena doesn't bother her.
She just wonders what I'm doing
My one major worry regards my best friend’s father. ‘Dad’, as I’ve called him longer than I can recall, is in hospital following a stroke. Thank heaven, he is stable and hasn’t displayed any serious side effects from what medical professionals are calling a minor brain bleed. The family is awaiting further test results to make a plan for his future.

I feel for them as they keep encountering delays. At the same time, however, I consider it a good sign that other patients are in more urgent need of equipment. Prayers for Dale in Northeast Ohio are appreciated.

On the bright side, my flowering cactus are especially beautiful. We should get lots more into mid summer.

Prickly pears are aggressive in my Southwest Ohio beds.
Dragon's blood sedum here helps control them.
Also, another friend delighted my husband and me by finding this old photograph of us. He used to whirl me around the dance floor in a Texas two-step back in the day.
Friend Lars (aka 'Phoenix') and me circa 1997. Who was I looking at?
Do you grow any of your own fruits and vegetables? If so, what kinds of crop(s) do you grow?