Thursday, February 28, 2013


Storm Rocky started Tuesday 2pm.  It went on until Wednesday midnight.
The weathermen predicted 4 -6 inches of new snow for our area.
We got around 17 inches.
We live on a small side road so we always seem to be last to be ploughed.  So our road was not ploughed Wednesday morning.  It had disappeared completely....can you see a road in this picture?
Nobody could get out so all the guys down the street were at home.
This is the best thing about our wicked weather.  It makes for some good old fashioned neighbourliness.
I loved seeing the guys out there with their snowblowers and shovels, all helping each other and chatting.
We never see each other much during the winter.  The summer is different as people are outside more.
So, there is always a plus side to any situation.
When asked if he could have used Alan yesterday, Philip replied that he could have used at least 3 Alans.  We always joke that the biggest snows always wait for Alan to go home.
Alan must be starting work again soon.  I bet he feels like he has never been away now.  I always do that when I get back from a trip.
On to more important things :-

It wasn't long before Merv was out in search of his hole.
Oh doesn't he look forlorn?
"Merv's Epic Quest To Find His Orifice"
I did feel sorry for him.
He spent ages trying to locate his hole and made an attempt at digging it out again.
But,  "The Snow Plough Monster"  appeared from the arctic depths and covered it with a couple more tons of snow again.
Our Merv is made of stern stuff though.
I was awoken early this morning by the sounds of scraping.   A shovel scraping on something.
I knew immediately what it was. When I got up I peeked out of the window.
And there, in all its glory, as if it had never been away......

was Merv's hole.
Now I know that all is well with the world.

I popped outside last night to check the birdie feeder (oh they struggle so at this time of year) and to put some grub out for Arnie the possum.  It was really strange out there.
The moonlight on the vastness of the snow seemed to change the whole street into an almost alien landscape.
It was actually eerily beautiful.
I know snow can be a nuisance but even so, there is something almost bewitching about it too.
Well...I think so anyway.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Had a fab meal out on Saturday.
One of Philip's work mates had given him a $25 gift card for Christmas.
It was good for a couple of different restaurants and we decided to use it on Saturday.
We chose one of the restaurants that we haven't been to very often.  It is always packed but we found we could actually make a reservation.
So we did.
Bloody good job too because when we arrived we overheard people asking how long the wait was and being told 2 hours.
It is an Italian restaurant and does do wonderful food.....very large portions too !!
As we perused the menu we noticed they had a special offer on.
For $39.95 (about 20 pounds) you could get...for two people.

A starter for two.
Two main courses to eat in the restaurant AND two more to take home.
A dessert.

So, we went for this.
First they brought lovely crunchy bread, olive oil and parmesan cheese.

We had Bruschetta to start. We could only eat the waiter boxed it to take home.
Philip then had Italian sausage and lots of other stuff in a tomato based sauce with pasta.
I had bow tie pasta with sun dried tomatoes, brocollini etc in a butter garlic sauce.

We could only eat half of these the waiter boxed it to take home.

The main courses we ordered to take home were, a lasagna for Philip and egg plant parmiggano with spaghetti for me.

We then had cake, with caramelised bananas, ice cream and chocolate sauce.

So, after having a whopping meal we left the restaurant stuffed and armed with two dinners each (the halves of the meals we couldn't eat) plus Bruschetta for Sunday and two more dinners (the lasagna and egg plant spaghetti)  for tonight.

We couldn't believe we had got that much food ( three days worth) and the whole bill was $39.95 !!!!
Plus it was absolutely delish.
We could see why it was so popular and will certainly go there again.
I don't have to cook again tonight.......brilliant.  I am still amazed.  20 quid for 3 days worth of food for two people.  Well, when you factor in that we also had a  $25 gift came to $15 total.  Cosmic.

Friday, February 22, 2013

It evented.

Philip had to dig out the drive again this morning before going to work.
He wouldn't have got the car out of the garage if he hadn't.
I looked out expecting to see no sign of Merv's hole....but that little bugger must have been out very early to dig it out.
There it is.  Like a beacon in the snow.  Announcing to everyone that Merv's Hole is safe and all is well with the world.
Trouble is since this was taken, it has still been snowing and ....the blooming snowplough has been along and ploughed our drive back in again.
So, logically, Merv's hole must have been ploughed in too.  But I expect he was out there like a rat up a drainpipe to dig it out again.
OR....maybe he threw himself over his hole to shield it from the snowplough's evil intentions.
I would have liked to see that.
One day I should ask what his hole is actually for.  Trouble is you must be prepared to waste a couple of hours if you engage Merv in conversation.
Maybe not then.  It shall remain one of life's mysteries.

I wonder if our thermometer gives accurate readings when it looks like this?
It has been out there for years now.

Meanwhile in another place and time -  Gary is still having problems with his knob.
More problems it seems.
He wrote to me about you would.
This is what he said :-

I was in the grocery store parking lot, pulling on my knob, but it just wouldn't get up. It seems I need to get a better handle on it, and then it will relieve the tension that is preventing my knob releasing.

I do hope he finds someone to help him soon.  Poor soul.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Poor Merv

This was Merv guarding his hole yesterday.
Lookitt, can see his hole....lookitt !!!!
As you can see, we had a little bit of a thaw yesterday.  You can see the paths, and roads.
There is even a little bit of grass showing.
Well, there ain't no more.
The temperature dropped extremely low overnight.
The bit of snow that had melted has now turned to solid ice.  Then we had more snow on top of it today.
Merv's hole is in real danger of filling up.
It might have already filled up as I haven't been outside at all today.   And, this wasn't even our predicted "snow event".
That "snow event" isn't meant to start until Thursday night and go on all through Friday.
That "snow event" mallarky is a joke.
What about all the other snow that has been eventing all over the place since November?
We never get rid of one "event" before another comes and "events" right on top of it.
We should live in Las Vegas, the only events they have are in the casinos.

I was going to venture out to the mall this morning but it was just too cold.  I can't wait for the weather to warm up enough so that just going to the shops is not a major, antartic expedition.
I miss daffodils.  I expect in England the daffs are getting ready to open.
Such beautiful flowers I think.
I have a few tulips in the front garden but they never appear until about July.
In fact, now I think about it, we don't have any Spring flowers at all.   The ground is probably frozen solid for a couple of feet down so I suppose it is impossible for them to grow.
When we lived in Kent I used to like riding our pony, Rupert, in the woods when all the bluebells were out.  Oh they looked so wonderful.
The only thing blue here right now is probably Merv's bum.....and I don't think that would look very wonderful.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Face at the window...

Lolly seems to be doing well so far.
We brought her home on Wednesday and it was lovely to see her taking an interest in things and looking so happy to be back.
She woke me with her little, tippy tap paw on Thursday morning.   Bliss.
She continues to eat.
She is on steroids for the time being and the vet will gradually start to reduce the dose to see how she does.
I can't tell you how happy we are to have her back with us.

Alan has arrived safely in Whitstable.  I am sure he will be having a lovely time now.  I think they are going to France on Sunday.
We seem to be getting some snow every day at the moment.  Just small amounts (well small amounts by our standards)  - to keep us topped up I suppose.
But, I saw on the news last night that we should start preparing for another "major snow event" for Thursday next week.....and we haven't even got our Captain Shovel now!
I am hoping to be able to get to work on long as they don't bring the 'event' forward a day.   We pedestrians and bus travellers have a hard time you know.

I was awoken this morning at 6am, by the sounds of Merv merrily scraping his hole.
We had had more snow and the temperature was around minus 10C.
What is he thinking?
It could be a sort of signal to me that we have had more snow, but he seems to be out there scraping away at his orifice even if we haven't had fresh snow.
I think Merv takes better care of that hole than he does of Mrs Merv.
Mind you, I think she must love getting him out of the house for a while.
I bet he can't wait for Thursday's 'snow event'.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

And There's More......

Monday Lollipop was taken into the vet's hospital.
Our own vet.  She had stopped eating entirely and I was at my wit's end.  She was literally wasting away before our eyes.
So, we saw our vet who took a good look at her and said he thinks it may be FIP.  This is a fatal disease.
We were devastated.  He said there is no test for it and it is still something of a mystery to animal medicine.  He said most cats carry it from the time they are kittens.  Most will never have a symptom and it will not affect them at all.
In a few others, for some reason the virus mutates and then they become very ill and eventually die.
They do not know what triggers the virus to mutate.
So, as he put it, he could tell us what it wasn't but he could not definitely tell us what it was.  The most important thing was to get her eating so that if it is just an infection, she would have the strength to fight it off.
We were very upset.  She is Philip's special girl.
She has been there since Monday.  They force fed her twice on Monday and again on Tuesday.m They also gave her steroids and an appetite stimulant.  I have been phoning every day - of course.
Then a miracle happened. 
She started eating..... ON HER OWN.
Her temperature is down and she is back to being a bit feisty with the vet.  He says this is good as before she had no strength to fight.
He phoned me today and said as long as the temp stays down she can come home this evening.
We must not get carried away though.
One of two things will happen.  If it is FIP then she will have another episode like this.
If it was just a nasty infection it should be over and done with and not happen again.
So, we shall take a day at a time and hope for the best.  If it is FIP then we will not let her suffer.  We shall make a decision when we think she has little quality of life left.
But, it may just be an infection that has now gone.   Keep hoping with me.

Alan has just left in a taxi to go to Milwaukee airport.   I was sad to see him go.  I have had people staying here since before Christmas so the house already seems rather quiet.
He said he enjoyed his stay and I enjoyed having him around.  He was a great help through various illnesses (Philip) and other trials and tribulations.  He is going to be staying in Whitstable for a few days and also is meeting up with Ashford chums next week.  I wish him a safe trip and hope he makes his connection in Newark for the flight back to England.  The timing is a bit tight from what he tells me.  He will have to get a wiggle on when he lands in Newark airport to catch that next flight.

Lastly my good chum Tracey has nominated me for a Liebster award.

ABOUT THE AWARD - this award was designed to be a blog award in the pay it forward fashion. Once you've been nominated you in turn award it to blogs that you like to visit that have fewer than 200 followers.  This is to encourage new visitors to visit these blogs - isn't this a fabulous idea?!
RULES FOR ACCEPTANCE - you must thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog. Post the award on your blog. Give the award to 5 bloggers who you appreciate that have less than 200 followers.  Leave a comment on their blog letting them know that you have given them this awesome award. 
PAY IT FORWARD - Listed below are five blogs that I think you should visit:
Tracey Anne Designs 
 Newsless News
 Andy's World - The Home of the Bizarre Rant
I am not sure if I have done this correctly as my mind is a bit useless at the moment.  So, apologies if I did it wrong.......but I expect it is near enough.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A whole week of it.

Another poxy week.
Firstly Philip was unwell.  Really poorly and had to go to the urgent care.
It turned out he had, what they call over here, 'walking pneumonia'.
He hadn't felt good for some time and since he had pneumonia a few years ago it does seem to have left him with a weakness.
These winters don't help him at all......I shall come back to that.
Then we noticed Lollipop was off her food.
She didn't seem her usual self either.
Tuesday she totally stopped eating and was hiding herself away.  Our vet, once again, could not fit her in and we finished up at the animal hospital.
They did x rays, blood and urine tests and sent her home with 3 weeks worth of antibiotics.
The vet was not very nice either.   He tried to suggest we had been neglecting her and it had been going on for weeks.   NEGLECTED....ONE OF OUR CATS....RIDICULOUS.
He also insisted she is older than 6.
He had to give up on that when told we have had her since she was a tiny kitten and know exactly how old she is.
To suggest we neglected her in some way makes me so angry.  Lollipop has cost us more than any of the other cats.
We had only had her 5 days when she got an intestinal blockage, had to go to the emergency vet and cost us $800 + for treatment.
Then, at around 18 months old she suddenly got a big belly.  Off to the vet, with worries of tumours etc going through our heads, x rays, tests and $200  later the vet said...."I am very sorry to tell you this......but you have a fat cat."
Glenn thought this was hilarious.  He said he would have told us she is fat for only $100.
Anyway, this later trip to the vet cost $406.
Neglected indeed.
But she didn't pick up.  After a couple of days still not eating and looking to be wasting away, I phoned the vet again and asked for stronger antibiotics.
He said she is on the best ones and the tests show she has high globulin levels in her blood which means either an infection or cancer.   I wasn't prepared for that.  But, I wasn't prepared to give up either.
So, we bought her baby food.  Not kitten food food.  I have been spoon feeding her the last two days and she is taking a little at a time.  She has come out from hiding too.  I even gave her some of Bubba's fluids one day as she looked dehydrated.  We are not out of the woods yet but I think we may have found a path.  Alan has been as upset as we are over her.  She loves him and is always sitting with him.  Please send all your best healing thoughts to Lollipop that it is an infection and nothing else.

 Thursday we had another spot of snow.  It does look pretty.

Captain Shovel was out the back tackling our very own Narnia.

While Philip wielded the snow blower in the front.
He could have done without that as he was still poorly.

Friday I had to have the oral surgery.
I had twilight sleep which means you don't know anything about it and the surgeon was lovely.
Still horrid thing to have done though.   I was out of it for much of the day and my face hurt like buggery.
Yesterday, my face was hot and red and I was a bit worried about it but it seems to have calmed down today.
With all this going on I was still spoon feeding Lollipop every couple of hours.
The surgeon phoned me yesterday to see how I was doing.  Wasn't that nice?

Today is Alan's Birthday.  He seemed to like all his pressies.
We took him out to brekkie. I still can't eat very well so I just had a little scrambled egg and cottage cheese.  It was the first sort of solid food I have been able to eat since Thursday so to me it was yummy.
Philip is taking him to the Harley Davidson Museum this afternoon and then they are having dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  No point me going as I wouldn't be able to eat anything.
Not done yet.
It has been a very stressful week.  Philip being ill, Lollipop being ill and the oral surgery.
So, this afternoon ....I had an angina attack......just to round things off........sigh.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

It's The Woluffs.....

What a pants weekend.
Friday night we were off to Ice Hockey to see The Milwaukee Admirals play The Chicago Wolves.
Firstly, the temperature was ridiculous.
My jaw has been really hurting again lately and I didn't feel that great.  I didn't relish the idea of going out at all but tickets had been bought so off we went.
Philip hadn't mentioned that he felt rough too.
We met up with Gary and settled down to watch the worst game of hockey I have seen in a very long time.
The Wolves made our lot look like Hamsters.
The Admirals were soon 5 - 0 down although they did grab a couple of goals towards the end.
There was a college band playing, who were very good, but they also had a large following of college students - who were not.
We had a whole tribe of them behind us and it was a nightmare.
The interval entertainment was awful too.
So, what with my gob hurting, dreadful hockey, shrieking students, boring entertainment and the thought of going back out into frozen tundra,  I didn't have a great time.

Saturday I awoke to the sound of snowblowers.
This makes your heart sink.
Philip and Alan were out before 9am clearing the snow from paths, driveways and sidewalks, but it was still snowing.
Philip was on support for work AGAIN and if it could go wrong, it did. 
He was feeling more poorly with his chest problems again and finished up having to go to Urgent Care to get some meds prescribed.

Today, Sunday, work issues meant every time we tried to go out we had to come back because something had failed and Philip had to sort it out again.
We did manage to pop into The Domes where they are currently having the train exhibition.  The theme this year is Circus.

This was fun but we had to, once again, cut short the visit so that Philip could sort work issues out.
Apart from the Exhibition Dome there are the Tropical and Dessert domes.
Here Alan is in the Dessert one.   It really reminded me of our Phoenix Trip plus, it was lovely to be warm.

I loved this cactus.  It has little baby ones growing on the leaves.

Right now Alan is watching the Super Bowl, with Bubba.
It doesn't look very super to me.   My jaw is still hurting and I think I shall have to see the dentist again.  I am fast approaching the end of my tether with it.