Sunday, April 28, 2013

Milwaukee Madness

I took this photo of the thermometer on our window today.
Considering it snowed a few days ago it is somewhat amazing.   Off with the heating on with the air conditioning.
Actually, we haven't put the air con on yet.  As a native Wisconsinite is only too pleased to tell has been known to snow in June.
I bloody hope it doesn't.
I don't want to be sitting in the park for River Rhythms, dressed in my thermals and wrapped in a blankie.
It has felt very good to be warm for the last couple of days.  I hope it continues.

One of our Erics was quite cross with me this morning.
I hadn't replaced the corn cob quickly enough.
He sat there looking at the empty cob and then looking at me through the kitchen window.
Of course he guilted me into going out and putting a fresh one out for him....little bugger.
I haven't seen Boderic since.  I hope she hasn't been chased away by our lecherous Erics.

Philip and I bought new trainers yesterday.
Of course this meant a new shoe box.
I love this photo of Lollipop, she was first to grab the box...there was a queue, although it also makes me quite sad.
A couple of months ago she would not have been able to fit in it.   Now she seems to be getting thinner all the time even though she is eating.
It is all rather worrying.

These are my new trainers.
Oh aren't they fab!!!!
I did look in the grown ups section first....honest guvnor.....but the trainers there were all boring.
So, I sneaked off to the children's department.
Fortunately I have little feet.  I love being able to buy kids stuff.
I got these snazzy trainers.  I was yearning for the ones that light up but I know that Philip would disown me totally if I got those.

I popped into our local cat rescue where I made a donation in memory of my friend Deanna.
She was a kind and caring lady who loved animals.  I know she would have approved of me doing that rather than sending flowers.  A kitten was being adopted while I was there.  It was lovely to see and I am sure Deanna would have been thrilled. it has been sometime since I have seen celebs when I have been out and about.  OK....some might say they are just look-a-likes but to me they are the real deal.
Anyway, in the mall on Saturday as I was eating my chips I looked over Philip's shoulder and there was Jean Luc Picard eating a Dairy Queen ice cream.   I made Philip look and he said it didn't look anything like him.......but it did.  It was him.
I then wondered if when he ordered his ice cream he said........"D Q cold."
I suppose you have to be a bit of a trekkie to get this last bit.
Yes....yes...I know I should say trekker.....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


It has been a bit of a poopy week.
On Sunday I heard that a friend had died unexpectedly.
It has upset me for most of the week.

She was one of a group of friends involved with various animal rescue/shelter etc activities.
In January she was very excited because she was going to have one of these stomach surgeries that enable people to lose weight.
She was overweight, not really grossly ( I see many bigger than her in the mall all the time) but she was a big girl.
She had looked into it carefully, weighed up all the pros and cons, and with her husband's blessing she had decided to go ahead with it.
She said what an exciting year she and her husband were looking forward to.

She had a few problems with vomiting after the procedure, but was home and pleased to be shedding some pounds.
She did go back into hospital once but was soon out again.
Then on Sunday morning she died.
We haven't had a full explanation as to what exactly happened or why they couldn't save her, but if she hadn't had this surgery then she would still be here.
She might have been fat but she would have been alive.
I have been so shocked.

It has made me think about the pressure put on people (particularly women) to be slim.  Deanna was a lovely, kind person, with a wonderful family who will now have to struggle on without her because she felt she needed to be slim.
I have other friends who fight a constant battle to lose weight and it really is constant.   The thing is that if you are genetically programmed to be large (look at your parents) then a diet will only work if you stay on it.........forever.
Because, if you lose weight then as soon as you relax and eat a bit more, then the weight will creep back.  It has to.
It would be like starving a shire horse to look like a racehorse.  You could make it thin all the time you deprived it of food but as soon as it started eating normally again it would revert to its type.
Diets will only work if you can accept that this is the way you must eat for the rest of your life.   You can lose a few pounds by not stuffing yourself with rubbish all day but if you want to continue to enjoy life, food and a few drinky poos then you will have to be content with being a bit heavier than you would like.
I just wish we were not all so fixated on weight.  We are what we are.  My mum was five feet 1 inch and so am I.   I would love to be 5 feet 10in and elegant......ain't never going to happen.
My dear friend would still be here with her family and friends if she hadn't felt that her life would be better minus some weight.
It makes me so sad.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mad Day

Today has been a mad day.
The wind was howling and rattling the windows all night.  Someone should have got up and let it in I suppose but until it learns to ring the bell like everyone else, it can stay out there.
When I got up it was snowing.
Blowing and snowing.........sigh.
Wisconsinites are made of stern stuff, (shame I am from London), so my mate, June, still arrived to go on our swimming expedition.
She wasn't bothered too much by the weather and we did our laps.

Yesterday we took Bubba to the vet.  We were going to take Lolly as she is back up to a whole steroid every day and I wanted to ask the vet if that was ok or too much.
But, she had settled on one pill so we took Bubba who still has the "back door trots."
Bubba hates going to the vet's but is a joy to take.
As soon as we get the cat carrier out ........he goes and sits in it.
We can never quite work out his motivation as any of the others, who have had nasty vet stuff done, hide under the bed as soon as they hear the cat carrier.
Not big ole Bubba.  No sir.  He likes to sit in that thar cat carrier.  As soon as you get him in the car he starts complaining though.
I got a bit upset in the waiting room when the lady beside me told us she was there to have her cat put to sleep.  I asked her why and she said she had kidney problems and had lost weight.  I asked how old the cat was and she said "Over 10 years!".
Bubba is over 15 years, has kidney problems, has lost a lot of weight but apart from the 'squits' is fine now he is on his Zoomie Juice (fluids).
I will not judge the lady, as we don't know her personal financial situation - (but Bubba's Zoomie Juice supplies cost us jut $15 for 5 weeks supply)  and maybe her kitty was much worse than he is.
I just felt she was giving up too quickly.  It upset me to look at the kitty who was like Bubba's double too.
So sad.
The vet thinks Bubba could benefit from some steroids and vitamin b injections.
He is going to try it for a couple of weeks.  If there is no improvement he has a couple of other things to try.  We love this vet.  He charges a fraction of what our last vet charged and always seems apologetic for taking money at all.
I am giving the injections to Bubba.  He will have just one once a week while he takes the steroids.
The last vet did all sorts of tests that were negative ...and cost us a lot of money.  They then wanted to do an endoscopy at the cost of $1200 +    ....this vet has said that would not be necessary at all.
We got home and I poked Bubba with the needle.  Bless him, he is so good.  He sat on Philip's lap and didn't even flinch.  A little while ago I would not have believed I could give injections or fluids to anything.  Amazing what you can do when you have to.
He also said to leave Lolly on one pill a day if that is what it takes.  She is a lot better but I might try just half again soon.  If she stops eating then it can go back to one a day.

A couple of new kids on the block.
Here we have "White Eared Eric."
He is a little sod and keeps chasing the others away from "HIS" birdie feeder.
We also have a squirrel with a really blonde tail.
I did get a photo but it isn't a good one.  I will try again when White Eared Eric isn't chasing her away.
I have named her ......."Boderic".....Bo Dereck.........did you see what I did there?

Her tail is much blonder looking than this.
I will try to get another when I can.

Whilst the snow was snowing this afternoon we had the Tornado Siren go off.
Now it has been windy.........
I put the telly on to see if there was anything on there and there was.
Another siren going off and text going across the screen which said "Tornado Warning for Milwaukee...etc"
After this had been going for some minutes an announcer said "This is a test of the tornado warning system. Do not take any action."
Oh really.   He could have said that in the first place. heart sank when I saw the Rolf Harris is the latest celeb to have been interviewed re child molestation.   That is what it is called.....Child Molestation....Sexual Abuse.  To call it anything less than that is abhorrent.  I was a social worker, many years ago, and I saw too many children who's lives had been totally ruined by being subjected to child abuse.  It is totally heartbreaking.
I have no time for anyone involved in this stuff.
I really hope they are wrong about Rolf.  I loved him as an artist and a fun performer.
It got me to wondering.
Why are so many of these criminals entertainers?   I wonder if being celebs makes children more malleable.
Children look up to and are in awe of so called 'stars'.
Maybe there are so many perverts in these professions because fame gives them access to children and makes them more trusting.
Maybe they chose their career because of this. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

They are back......

At last.
I saw our first Chippy Chipmunk this morning.
I was really beginning to get worried about them.  They hibernate through the winter tunnels under our lawn.
I have always wondered how they survive when the temps drop so low here.  The ground freezes solid, just like a block of ice, for a couple of feet down.  This is why no one has fish ponds.  Well, I suppose you could if you put a very heavy duty heater in it but then who wants one more thing to worry about during the winter.  Will the fish pond heater give up?
Back to the we are halfway through April, the chippies have normally been raiding my bird feeder for about a month by now.
They can empty a bird feeder in an hour, filling their little gobs up and dashing off to feed their babies.
By now they are usually amusing the cats and driving me nuts...(Nuts!...did you see what I did there?).
I mentioned the lack of chipmunkery to Philip at the weekend.  I wondered as this winter and the cold weather (ground was covered in snow again yesterday morning) is dragging on so long that maybe their food reserves had run out.
Maybe, the poor little things hadn't woken up but died of starvation in their sleep.
Not a nice thought.
But then..........TA DA........this morning there was a chippy, bold as brass, raiding the birdie feeder.......little sod.

Philip had made tentative arrangements to have his first round of golf on Sunday.
Snow etc soon put paid to that.  Golf course was closed.
We did stop at the second hand or 'gently used' golf shop and he got a couple of new bats.
The driving range was open so he tested them out over there.  Doesn't look to be too much improvement in the weather this week so who knows when he will actually get out on the golf course.

The gluten free thing is proceeding.  Like most things, it gets easier as you go along.
Philip says he has less to say this........'windy pops' than he used to, which is always a good thing.
I am having to be slightly more inventive with meals but I really don't mind.  It is something of a challenge and I sometimes like that.
I can't say I have noticed anything astounding healthwise but there was a segment on the news the other day about gluten and how people who are allergic obviously have to really avoid it, but it also said that most of us could do with eating less of the stuff as it isn't very good for us. 
I found this quite interesting.

Friday, April 12, 2013


It has been raining in Milwaukee this week.
Every day.
I think it is going to be dry tomorrow then more rain again.   Oh well, makes a change from snow.  I see there are still no leaves on the trees though.

The new cat sitter lady came on Wednesday.
She is lovely.  She is quite happy to give Bubba his Zoomie Juice and to give Lollipop her pills. This, of course, is provided we ever manage to have a holiday.

I am worried about Lolly though.
She isn't doing so well.  She is going back to the vet next Thursday.  I have been giving her a whole pill a day again but, although she is eating again, she isn't eating as much as she should be and she is definitely out of sorts.
I hope we are not going to lose her.

Facebook continues to entertain.

A 'share' today told me how the angels had been watching over me and had seen me struggling.
It also said that if I 'like' and 'share' it they will sort everything out for me and give me a blessing or something.  I had to do this quickly as I was 'being tested'.

I am surprised the angels are so up to date with all this internet mallarky.
I truly never expected angels to be testing me via facebook.

A friend of mine said these 'pass it on' shares are just modern day chain letters.   I do believe I know what he means now..........and he is right.

Glenn's birthday today.   I hope he is having a good one.
I have sent his card and gift via Donna as I am not sure of his new address.
I do hope he opens the card in front of is rather special.....heh heh heh.
I am so looking forward to seeing them later this year.  Plus, I will have Lauren over here for the summer so that will be fun.
I miss my old mates.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Smaug....dragon from The Hobbit etc.

It doesn't show up that well in this photo so I may have to take some more.
It is a lot more sparkly than it looks here.
I have been working on this for weeks.  I didn't think I would ever finish it.
I went through the "I hate this poxy thing and I should throw it out the window" phase....several times.
But, I know I do this, so I persevered and I am reasonably happy with it now.
It is for Glenn.
I shall take it with me when I visit next time.

I have the new cat sitter lady coming tomorrow to meet us and kitties.
We have to have this new one as Bubba will need his 'Zoomie Juice'  -  fluids - while we are away so I had to find someone who was experienced in administering them.
That is if we ever get away.
Philip's project, which needs to be finished, up and running, before we can go - is proving problematical.
We could both really do with a break so I just have to hope that things move along a bit more smoothly and we can go, hopefully, next month.

Lollipop is still on steroids.  She is something of a worry.  We have to find the correct balance to keep her well.
This means finding the lowest dose of steroid that will work.   Too high a dose can cause diabetes in cats and that would open up a whole new can of worms......blood testing....insulin injections etc.
We thought we had it down to half a tablet every other day....but she stopped eating again today, so that is obviously too low.
We shall see if half a tablet every day is going to work.

My gob has been a bit pants the last couple of days.  I had a few good days so I was hopeful that it might just fade away.  I was wrong.
I am thinking this is going to be a pattern. 
Oh well.  Nothing I can do about it.

Facebook has been getting on my nerves lately.   Too much of this "Share" status stuff.  Autism Awareness, Cancer Awareness, Depression Awareness, Pimple on Your Bum Awareness.   I get so mad when it says "People should be aware that.....".
We are all bloody aware.  Sharing a status will make no difference to the poor buggers suffering from these conditions.  If people really care about these things then maybe they should think about donating their time and money to the cause instead of clicking 'share'.
I even got one the other day that said..."People should be aware that children with autism grow into adults with autism!!!"
How amazing is that??   I almost posted a comment saying "REALLY you do surprise me.  I always thought the grew into pretty fairies and flew away."
I have deleted one person who took this too far..........I wonder if I shall have to delete any more?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Whoops....there I go again............

I had a "Major Tom" moment today.
Those who know me will guess the sort of thing that's coming.
Well, as it was another nice day - sun shining but a bit chilly - I decided to go for another walk.
This time I set off in a different direction.
I had a vague idea of reaching a chemist a little way away and looking to see if they had anything for 'Burning Mouth Syndrome.'
It was quite a hike but I got there and actually found they did have some stuff.
They had some gel to put on your tongue and some lozenges.
Wow....our local chemist had nothing like that.
Of course I then got carried away in the 'half price Easter chocolate' section. But after the walk I thought I deserved it.  I bought Philip some too.
I decided to come back via a different route.
As I wandered along looking at the houses on the way, in the distance I could see something in the front garden of one of the houses.
It looked like a small cage.
In my innocence, I wondered if they had put their guinea pig or rabbit out on the lawn, as it was a nice day.
We used to do that when we had them.
As I drew closer I could see it wasn't a cage as was a trap.  It was a trap with a squirrel inside it.
It was a trap with a poor, terrified squirrel inside it.
I stopped to look closer as I couldn't believe someone would actually trap a squirrel.
I marched up to the front door and rang the bell.   A dog barked.  A big dog from the sound of it.
No one came to the door.
What to do?
Well, there was no way I would ever have been able to live with myself if I had carried on and left that squirrel in the trap.
So, I decided to let him out.   This was easier said than done.  I had no idea how to open the trap.  The poor frantic squirrel was going bonkers.  I tried lifting the bit at the end that looked like a door ...but it didn't want to move.
After a bit more tugging and pulling came up.  The squirrel shot out like a bullet and was gone.
I put the door of the trap down so no others could go in, calmly picked up my shopping and continued on my way.
I sort of felt a bit guilty for interfering but I would not have been happy if I had left him there.
I don't know if they are in the habit of trapping squirrels and in some ways you could say my actions might not have made much difference.
But, it made a difference to that squirrel.

When I got in I found a letter from my doctor re blood tests.
All was normal apart from elevated vitamin B12.
I had just started taking extra B12 because one of the reports I read suggested a lack of it could be a cause of Burning Mouth Syndrome.
I shall have to stop taking it now.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Could it be.......Spring?

Our cardinals are back.
Could it be a sign of Spring?
There is no sign yet of the chipmunks.  They must still be snoozing in their little tunnels under our lawn.
I hesitate to say this but, we have had no snow for a few days now and most of the accumulated snow has now gone.
So, I am living in hopes that we shall not get any more.  Well....ok...we will probably get snow flurries etc as it is still blooming cold but I hope we don't get any more measurable snow.   As in huge great lumps of it all over the place.
I have even been out for a walk. 
I haven't done this since November so it is quite an occasion to celebrate.  I didn't go all that far as the wind was biting, but it was nice not to have to climb snow mountains to cross a road.
So, with all this talk of Spring and disappearing snow, I was surprised to hear scraping and chipping again yesterday.
What did I see when I looked out of the window?

Merv out there scraping away at his hole again.
Look there is hardly any poxy snow there.  What does he think it will do?
If that melted there would be barely a bucket of water.   It isn't going to cause a flood.
I could not believe it.
Poor Merv.
He has had a good winter as far as his hole is concerned.
We have had quite a lot of snow and ice.  Well, we really haven't been without it for months so he has had plenty of digging and shovelling to do.
He must be getting pretty desperate though to be out there fiddling with that little lot.
Spring must be very dull for Merv.  In the Summer he is often to be seen on his hands and knees with a penknife, digging weeds out of his lawn and from in between the pavement slabs.
Autumn he has fun with the leaves.  I have even seen him pick up leaves from his garden, walk across the neighbours garden and dump them on his doorstep.
I don't know what that is about.  The neighbour doesn't sweep his leaves much so Merv probably thinks they are blowing over from there.
Winter.....he is back to the snow.
So, Spring....what is he to do?  He must drive Mrs Merv nuts in the Spring.

I went to the doctor on Friday about my gob.
She sent me for blood tests.  Tests for just about everything you can think of.
I should have the results soon.    She did offer me powerful drugs which can sometimes help a bit.
The side effects of these drugs are awful and they aren't even that successful.
Apparently, some fatalities can occur.
Won't be bothering with those then.