Monday, November 26, 2012

It's My Turn #7, by Nora T. Cat

It's my turn.  Jennifer seems healed.  She is wearing shoes and running around the city.  I have finished my nursing duties.  It's my turn.  Two weeks of nursing is exhausting, and I am due for some serious scratching.  Yes, there have been treats.  Today there was leftover turkey.  Yum.  But really, appreciation should be shown through real attention!  I'm putting myself out there for a scratch.

Ah... that's they way.  Yes.  I love having my ears scratched.  I can never get enough!  Ahhhhh.

Sleep now.

The Joy of Shoes

I am not a shoe person.  I do not buy lots of shoes.  Weather permitting, I do not like to wear shoes.  However, after 2 weeks of not being able to put on a shoe, I was thrilled to put my left foot back into a shoe.

My chosen shoes- Ugg style boots.  They are comfortable and warm, like slippers I can wear outside.  They cushion the scab from the incision, and protect my foot.  I had forgotten the joy of comfortable shoes.  I have never understood wearing shoes that contort the foot into unreasonable shapes, nor the desire to have different shoes for every day of the year.  However, good shoes cannot be beat.  They are worth the price you must pay, and save your feet from the elements and children who don't watch where they are walking.

For those who are interested, the stitches came out today.  There is soreness.  It still hurts to walk up and down steps or to e on my feet for too long.  When I asked the doctor about kick boxing he laughed at me.  I'm supposed to give the healing 4 more weeks.

In the meantime...

I'm enjoying my shoes.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Of Blogging, Followers, & Comments

Blogging is a strange experience.  Am I writing for me?  Am I writing for you?  Am I just writing?

I have followers.  Not many, but some.  But when I look at the stats clearly more than my followers read my blog.  Why does one person follow and another read but not follow?  Why do people read this blog, and what do they want to hear?  My readers are all around the world, from Indonesia to Brazil, from Canada to Egypt.  How did they find me?  Why did they click?  What makes this a piece you want to read?

And then there are the comments.  Few and far between, but there.  It's a sometimes intimate conversation with some people I know and others I have never met.  Isn't that odd?  Can I have an intimate conversation with someone I've never met?

No answers, just questions.

Good night.  Pleasant dreams to all, and peace.

It's My Turn #6, by Nora T. Cat

Tomorrow Jen's stitches come out.  I can't wait.  It's been a lot of work caring for her.  I'm exhausted.  I'm looking forward to the time off.  Plus I'm tired of getting after Gandalf.  He simply does not understand the true nature of nursing.  It's an honorable profession for any cat, but he has so much to learn.

Added into my responsibilities is Gandalf's diet.  I don't know what the cat is eating, but I'd swear he's getting larger.  I think he's got a stash hidden somewhere.  I'm searching, but I haven't found it yet.  In the meantime, I'm marking his food so he knows it's mine.  I don't want it.  My food is so much better, but maybe he'll think twice before he takes that extra bite.  I've tried to tell Jen and Sean, but I'm not sure they're listening.  If he's not careful he'll explode like that girl in Willy Wonka who blue up like a giant blueberry.  Not a pretty sight.

He should use me as a role model.  I am thin, svelte, beautiful.  I am graceful and agile.  I am everything any cat could want to be.  Yes, they all want to be me.  You know it's true.

Good night.

Kitty Blog 6, by Gandalf the Grey

I am worried.  I have been on this ridiculous diet for about a month, and there's been no change.  I heard Jen & Sean talking about giving me even less food.  How will I survive?  They may not think I've lost weight, but I know.  I'm wasting away.  Don't they understand that I'm just big boned.  Really!  It's true!  I will never be skinny.  It's who I am.  Next thing they'll be talking about that stomach stapling thing.  I'll never survive.

Maybe I can sneak some food when Jen goes back to work.  It's time already.  She's not the only one whose style is cramped by this surgery.  She's always here.  I can never get away with anything?  I can't wait until she's back at work, and I can go back to my normal schedule.  It's been exhausting.

Maybe that's the reason I'm not losing weight.  It's the stress.  I must be retaining water.  Yeah, that's it. When we go back to a normal schedule all will be well.  Yeah.  That's it.

Rabbinic Voyeurism

Get your mind out of the gutter.

Voyeurism is the practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors.  What could be more intimate than mourning a loved one, and yet, I am frequently invited to be a bystander, a fly on the wall, watching.  At times I direct, but rarely do I participate. 

Today I presided at a funeral.  Evelyn Sher was not a young woman.  She lived a long, full life.  I did not know her.  

As a rabbi I get to participate in many, many life cycle events.  Births, deaths, weddings, special birthdays and anniversaries, and even more.  Through these special, emotional events I get to know people.  From some of these people I have years to learn, but for others, like Mrs. Sher, their lives are done.  I get to know them only posthumously.  On Friday I met Evelyn's children.  Today I met her daughter-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  From them I learned that Evelyn was a strong woman.  She loved music.  She was kind, and thankful for everything in her life.  She was ahead of her years.  And she was much more.

Not only did I learn from the words they spoke, but I learned from what I saw.  I saw a tight-knit family.  I saw a great-grandchild slide closer to his cousin, Evelyn's grandson.  I saw Evelyn's grandson place his arm around his younger cousin passing on love and comfort.  I saw the lessons of family, so important to Evelyn, passed on to her descendants.  The love and connection was clear in their touch and their looks.  It is a lesson that is not spoken of, but learned in every moment.

As a rabbi I am honored and humbled to stand on the sidelines and watch these families.  I learn from them; I am awed by them.  I said today, that when I bless my own daughter every Friday night I think of our matriarchs, of Sara and Rebekah, or of Rachel and of Leah, but over time I also think of the amazing strong women I meet in these moments.  The women who raised their families and taught them the lessons of our people throughout history.

Tonight I think of Evelyn, and I am happy to have been able to know her even that little bit.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kids Say the Strangest Things

So tonight we went out after Shabbat to a Camp Ramah event.

As an aside, if you want your child(ren) to truly absorb your hashkafah in things, find a camp that promotes your ideals.  Have them live this day and night for a month, and you won't believe the impact.
Preaching aside, we left shortly after Shabbat, and so missed dinner.  With Shabbat ending so early, seudah shlishit is more of a snack than a meal.  We generally eat Saturday night.  There was food (this was a Jewish event after all), but it was nosherei- carrots, oranges, hummus, and smores.  (What's camp without smores?)  So, we returned home with some of us hungry.

Since only some of us were hungry, I expect a lot of smores were consumed.  (Well that and the fact that Gavi's shirt was covered in marshmallow, as was Keren's face.)

Sean and I ate a relatively healthy snack since it was so late.  Jesse, however, opened a drawer in the kitchen, and pulled out a pot.  When I asked him what he was doing he replied, "Hungry; must bask in ability to cook."

Kids say the strangest things.

Kitty Blog 5- by Gandalf the Grey

What is up with the snow?  I go out.  My paws get cold.  I come in.  I warm up.  I go out.  My paws get cold, and there is no one at the door to let me in!  I need my exercise.  In just 10-12 short months I hope to be able to jump to the top of the fence like Nora can.  I need to exercise to do that.  Of course I won't let the people know.  Then they'd keep in inside or insist on human supervision, but still.  How will I ever reach that goal if I do not have full yard access?

This snow is cramping my style.  I need to be able to come in frequently, but the people refuse to sit by the door.  How hard is it really?  Bring a book.  Sit at the dining room table.  I'll knock.  Today I had to climb to the kitchen window.  It's not hard to get up too, but that ledge is much too narrow.  Turning around is a nightmare.  I don't know how Nora and those squirrels do it.  Today I executed a feat of acrobatics as I leapt mid-turn to the deck railing.  It was beautiful.  Unfortunately the people (Sean & Jesse) were so enthralled they missed the point... OPEN THE DOOR; IT'S COLD OUT HERE!)

Jen seems better.  I have reclaimed by sleeping position on her feet, and she doesn't flinch.  Nora still insists following her everywhere (even getting upset when Jen went to bathe.  I understood her desire for just a little privacy).  Each day she improves.  It's not a lack of vigilance to allow her space.

In the meantime, Jen's renewed mobility means she's feeding me.  Yum, and thanks.

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's My Turn, by Nora T. Cat

Typing with paws is easy, but someone needs to tell me where the darn power button on the computer is located.  I can do nothing if she leaves the computer closed and off.  Luckily it's moments before Shabbat, and they're busy.  I know the laptop will be shut soon.

Anyway, now that it's on, I can speak my mind.  Thankfully Jen had the sense to avoid a repeat of Monday.  She left for some meeting, but returned after only a few hours.  Thursday was the same.  Of course I'm not sure preparing full Thanksgiving and Shabbat dinners was a great choice, but oh, that turkey is so juicy and tender that I can forgive her.  Jen's chicken soup is quite refreshing as well.

As nurse cat I had to make sure she didn't overdo it.  Jen was made to sit most of the time.  I was there to watch her.  She had the sense to keep her foot elevated.  Turkey, squash, pumpkin, brussel sprouts, stuffing, cauliflower, zucchini, chicken soup and kneidel.  I don't know why they bother with all those vegetables.  The stuffing is good mixed with chicken broth, but squash?  Why would anyone eat squash?  Of course Gandalf had to try it, but in the end he agreed with me.

I ended my Thanksgiving with much for which I am thankful.  Jen cooks.  She also feeds me from the table.  I got treats while Gandalf was outside (the treat source has dried up a bit since Gandalf's diet), and a wonderful new pink and yellow sock filled with catnip.  It's mine, all mine.  I love it.  I will rub it, and lick it, and call it Little Pink Sock.  I love it so!  I have hidden it in my kitty tower where Gandalf cannot jump, but I don't have to worry.  It's mine, all mine!

Shabbat shalom.  Time for soup & chicken.  Yum.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kitty Blog 4- by Gandalf the Grey Cat

Today is tag-team nursing.  Jen overdid yesterday setting herself back a day, and so today she's back in bed.  I took the night shift, not leaving the bed until Sean took pity on me, and gave me my morning pittance of food.  When I began my shift, I knew Jen wasn't going to move, so I didn't have to live on her, and took up the position at the foot of the bed.  Unfortunately I did lie on top of Nora, who wasn't too happy with me, and hissed and jumped up.  Wow she's touchy.  A little thing like landing on her, and she gets all huffy.

It was an uneventful night.  Jen was so tired she didn't even turn the 3-4 times she normally does, waking in almost the exact same position as when she fell asleep.  She also fell asleep about 1 1/2 hours before the light goes out, which is especially rare.

At 6:37 AM Sean finally fed me.  Really, I can't understand what took so long.  He'd been up almost 30 minutes.  I don't know how I am to survive this diet.  He left with the kids this morning, and didn't return to feed me until 1:04 PM.  I hope we're not returning to the days when Jen couldn't feed me.  I'll never survive.  I've learned to pace myself, taking a few bites here and there to ensure the food lasts the hours of the day.  There's nothing sadder than an empty food bowl.

Today we are using zones to guard Jen.  I've got the main floor.  Jen made three trips down.  I told her not to load the dishwasher, but I think she thought I was asking for more food.  I heard Nora yell at her when she returned to the bed.  Ha, serves her right.

Time for a snack.  It's been 14 minutes.  Then maybe I'll spell Nora in the bedroom for a bit.  There's a great sunbeam coming in the window.

The Things I Do (or) Do You Know Where My Mother-figure Is?

A household is a balance of responsibilities to ensure that things get done.  When one person cannot or is not fulfilling his/her role, others must step up to complete the jobs lest problems ensue.

Sometimes that person, who cannot play his/her part is the mother-figure.  I refer to this person as the "mother-figure" because it is a role and not a gender designation.  It is a role that may be played by many or rotated amongst family or roommates.  The mother-figure traditionally manages the house, and keeps it running smoothly.

I am the mother-figure in our home.  It has it's ups and downs.  Both children and grandmothers, with Sean in the room, have been known to yell to me in another part of the house questions about food prep.  Sean is an excellent cook, and can certainly answer those questions, and provide help and direction where needed.  On the flip side, I can find things even when I'm not at home.  My most spectacular find was to locate an object in our home in Hawaii after Sean had moved us, while I was still in New York.  Yes, I knew where it was even in a house in which I had not entered since Sean began the move.

For eight days now, this mother-figure has been out of commission.  I have wonderfully capable kids and a fully capable husband.  When I have traveled, even for a week or two at a time, the house runs.  However, the presence of the mother-figure, no matter how incapacitated, seems to negate the need for others to fill the role.

Here are the things I do:

1. Laundry- I am in charge of laundry. I do not do all of it, but I am the organizer.  I direct others.  I ensure it has been picked from the floor and placed in the hampers.  Although rarely leaving my room this past week, I am still clearly in charge of the laundry.  We have six hampers in the house.  One Jesse has filled with old stuffed animals.  Three of the other five are in the laundry room at this time.  Clearly it is also my job to empty full hampers and return them to their proper locations.  The other two- still in their spots.  Gavi's and Keren's hampers are fuller than they have ever been.  Did I mention I do laundry three to four times weekly.  Ideally every day.

Jesse has run out of pants.  Luckily, wearing dirty pants is not like wearing dirty underwear.  Even after this, did Jesse think to put in a load?  Ha!  That's so funny.  No, he only did so when I said, "Jesse, before you play ping pong with Gavi, you may want to put in a load f your laundry so you can make sure it gets into the dryer before you go to bed.  You don't want to go to the dentist tomorrow only in your underwear."  BTW, Jesse's laundry is Jesse's responsibility, but he is usually reminded by my doing the laundry or he puts his clothes in one of the other hampers that I wash.

I fold the laundry.  This is the only job no one else does.  When I travel I know that upon my return all laundry will be clean and sitting in baskets, slowly wrinkling beyond repair.  Currently, I sit on my bed surrounded by baskets teeming with clean laundry.  There were baskets when I returned home from surgery.  Only when I said I could not maneuver the obstacle course they made did Sean make sure to get two of the three folded and out of the room.  The third is still here.  Since I am off crutches, it has been joined by three more.  I can't wait to see what's here tonight since I've said all laundry needs to be done today before we drown in it.

2. I organize the dishwasher- Rarely does the dishwasher run without my rearranging of dishes.  Yes, I am one of those annoying people.  Still, when Sean or the kids say, "There's no room," I can maneuver another sink-full of dishes into the dishwasher.  Usually the dishwasher is run at night when the hydro (that's short for hydro-electric) rates go down, but lately it's been after breakfast with more dishes in the sink.  Tsk tsk for our hydro rates and water usage.

This morning I wet to the kitchen to discover a "full" dirty dishwasher, dishes in the sink, and dishes on the table (from this morning AND last night).  In just a minute or two, with only a couple of steps taken, all dishes were in the dishwasher, and the load was running.

3. I collect the garbage & recycling from around the house- Each bathroom, plus the kitchen, has a garbage can and a recycling bin.  Additional trash bins are located in the laundry room, den, and kids rooms.  Garbage is collected every other week; recycling is collected on the weeks in between.  Sean regularly makes sure the kitchen garbages are emptied, and that the correct bins are placed by the street every Tuesday.  However, the bins around the house need much more frequent emptying, and this is my job.  Since my surgery the upstairs bathroom bins have been emptied twice; both times by me, and both times because I was afraid they'd overflow to create a hazard to my unstable walking.  The first time the can took three days to return to our bathroom.

4. I change the sheets- No, I don't always change the sheets myself.  I tell children to strip beds, or I leave sheets for our wonderful maid who comes twice a month.  Yes, I know this doesn't have to happen too often.  So maybe you're thinking if I left it alone they'd realize.  The answer to that is no; really, they won't realize.  Yuck.

Finally...  at least for this blog (although there's more)

5. I make the menus and shopping list- Sean & I are trying to eat healthy.  To help that along we are trying to shop healthy.  To do this we are making weekly menus and our lists from this.  For this purpose, and especially for holidays, it is my job to make menus, figure out our pantry inventory, and make the shopping list.  I usually do the shopping, but that's more a convenience issue than a job.  Still, I need to be on top of it all or things are missed, overlooked, or just completely forgotten.  An example- Thursday is American Thanksgiving.  We have never failed to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Sunday I said, "Sean, we need a turkey.  We really needed it Friday, but today would do."  Did we get a turkey?  No. Yesterday I ordered one from Hartman's (the nearby kosher butcher)  It'll be fresh, not frozen (and so it'll cost more, but it'll also taste better).  We're picking it up Wednesday.

There's more.  God forbid Keren or Gavi, and even Jesse to some extent, ask Sean for help with homework, but that's more their problem than Sean's.  I have learned my lesson.  Next time I go to a spa to recover.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's My Turn, Again, by Nora T. Cat

So she did it.  She went to work.  Big mistake, huge.  Now she's cranky and mopey.  Well it serves her right.  I told her, but would she listen.  No one ever works just two hours (unless they're on shift work, or maybe Gandalf.  He's lazy.).  Six hours sitting at a desk.  What was she thinking.  Well hopefully she's learned her lesson.

That Gandalf thought his nurse duty was over with Jen returning to work.  Ha!  I've been working since Jen came home.  He'll have to do the overnight shift.  Serves him right too.  Well, time to chase Jen back to bed.  She's helping Keren with remaking the cookies Keren burnt last night.  No one ever listens to me.

Good night.  Maybe Jen will sing "Soft Kitty" to me.

Back to Blogging, With Sarcasm

After a week of lying on my back with my foot elevated I am soooooooo sick of doing nothing.  I have watched almost as many romantic comedies as when Sean travels.  I have read gossip & decorating magazines (thanks Debbie!).  I have been tended to my cats.

Today I ventured back to work.  My two hours planned for the office became six- definitely tooooooo much.  Now, I am back to my back, foot in the air.  I hate gravity.  Gravity is my nemesis.  It is the bane of my existence.  It causes the blood to flow back to my foot in large quantities to swell and throb.  Have I mentioned I don't like gravity?!

Another annoyance- hospital pre-op and post-op pamphlets.  They are one size fits all.  My pre-op pamphlet instructed me to bring an overnight bag.  Seriously, an overnight back for a twenty minute out-patient surgery?  Post-op my booklet gave me these instructions...

- Do not remove your dressing.  The doctor will remove the bandage at your follow-up visit.
- Remove the bandage and apply antibiotic cream each day, such as polysporin.  These can be purchased in your local pharmacy.

How do I remove and not remove the bandage?

I also received these instructions.  "You have no restrictions.  Walk as pain allows." and "Keep the bandage [which I was not to remove] clean and dry."

My foot in this bandage is the size of my two feet put together.  It does not fit in a shoe.  When I was about to leave the hospital I asked for a post-surgical boot.  The nurse told me it was not "Rx'ed."  I replied that it didn't matter.  If I was to walk on my foot (which I was because crutches were also not Rx'ed) I needed a boot.  After some thought she said she'd get one, but I'd be charged for it.  Whatever (please imagine me rolling my eyes at this).  How can they give me a script for percocet, which I was unlikely to need, but not anything to actually protect the foot?

I have also learned that a mother's work is never done.  I am still the one the kids call.  It's as if they thought I was just hiding in my room.  Sean's idea of "being near" is to be at work.  After all it's just a quick bike ride back to the house.  Of course if I don't have the phone, if he isn't by a phone, if he doesn't have his cell, it really doesn't matter.  Oh, and I'm the problem because I was really crankier than he expected.  Oh boo hoo.  A wonderful husband.  A lousy nurse (Remind me to tell you about the evening I was mugged [it was years ago- so don't freak out.].)  Still, I do love him.

Well I've been sitting long enough.  My foot is throbbing again.  Back to my back...

Nightie night.

It's My Turn, by Nora T. Cat

Gandalf has fallen asleep.  He's such a lump.  Sweet, but a lump.  He's on nurse duty tonight, and has immobilized Jen's leg.  It's necessary.  She's been up too much today, and even went out tonight.  How can we nurse her if she's not here.

Instead we watched over the children.  Jesse and Keren made cookies.  They burnt the whole lot.  I meowed at them to tell them not to put them all in at once, but did they listen?  Of course not.  Human children are so hard to get through to.  Kittens are so much easier.  If they don't listen, you just pick them up and move them away.  But humans... ugh.  Well they all have lessons to learn.  The house smells of burnt cookie.  Not a great smell.  I much preferred the chicken scent of dinner.  Oh well, the cookie odor will have dissipated by morning.

Tomorrow Jen thinks she's going to work.  I'll be the judge of that.  All I need to do is step lightly on that center button of her radio, and, voila!  No alarm.  No work.  She needs the rest.  Even Gandalf's weight may not be enough to hold her.

Kitty Blog 3, by Gandalf the Grey

Thank God Jennifer is walking, although with a very odd gait.  The other night Sean forgot to give me my last serving before bed.  I found it necessary to inform him at 4:00 AM by knocking the cup to the floor.  The rattle woke Jennifer (unfair really since she needs her rest to recuperate), who woke Sean to feed me.  Doesn't he realize I'm wasting away.  I'm almost down to 14 pounds.  At least she always remembers to feed me before bed!

I went for a run this morning.  Back and forth in the yard.  Damn those squirrels.  If they'd only come down from the trees or the six foot fence I know I could get one.  That's put a crimp in this ridiculous diet.  Maybe if I could actually catch a squirrel my people would realize I'm just big naturally and give up this folly.  I'll do it someday.  The squirrels are tricky little buggers.  Especially that grey on with the black shoulders.  Jennifer calls her Granny.  It does look like she's wearing a shawl, but she's anything but old.  Spry thing, she keeps leaping around on the deck railing.  I could get her.  I'm just waiting for my moment.  Yes, that's it, just waiting for my moment.

In the meantime, now that Jennifer is up and walking, Nora and I are trading off nursing duties.  One of us is with her at all times to ensure she has someone to pet or snuggle, but with her moving from place to place we can't both be there.  We need our naps.  Nora took motzei-Shabbat.  I'm on duty tonight.  Jen's got her foot propped up on that pillow again.  She's been using her foot too much.  I'll just lie across her leg so she can't move it.  That'll rest it.

Yawn.  Nap.  Dream.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kitty Blog 2 from Gandalf the Grey

Gandalf here again.  It was a hard morning.  Jennifer didn't move today.  She needed nurse-cat services from both Nora and me.  I did my duty all morning.  It's amazing how tiring sleeping with your needy human can be.  Plus, what an appetite I worked up being warm and sweet.  Finally Sean came home to feed me lunch.  Jennifer was hungry too.  Nora's taking the afternoon shift, and I'm taking a break.  I need a nap.

It's My Turn Part 2, By Nora T. Cat

My second day on nurse-cat duty.  Jennifer's moving less than yesterday.  Oh well, sometimes things must get worse before they get better.  I stayed close all day.  I even moved my spot up on the bed to be closer.  She seems to appreciate it.

For the first time today she went downstairs, albeit reluctantly.  My guess is too much, too soon for yesterday.  Today she's been better.  Maybe tomorrow Gandalf & I will sit on her.  That'll keep her from moving.

Meanwhile, Gandalf did his feline duty this morning, but since noon-ish has disappeared.  He's probably napping, or trying to find the fruit loops the kids might have dropped at breakfast, but I know better.  There are no fruit loops.  They ate waffles.

This blogging thing's not bad.  I just have to keep an ear tuned to Jennifer.  She's not hard to hear- the thud of the crutches, an "ow" or two, and I know to sign off.  Oh... here she comes.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's My Turn- Nora The Cat Speaks

Following her surgery Jennifer is finally learning to understand and appreciate the cat nap.  Humans don't get it.  They run, run, run all day.  Felines, on the other hand, know that to fully appreciate life, one must be well-rested.  Of course one should live one's life to the fullest, but in between amazing adventures, one should take advantage of the divine gift of sleep.  Of course, humans don't really understand this.  If they did they would not give into the great god Hypnos only when confined due to circumstance.  They would find a nice couch, armchair, or whatever and nap after every task.  It's what keeps us focused.

Of course if Jennifer was truly focused, she might notice that I have learned the trick of the computer (not to mention her passwords).  That wireless mouse will work anywhere, and a little discreet walking on the keyboard does the trick.  However, I will admit that I am surprised Gandalf figured it out.  He may weigh more than two of me, but there's no fat in his head.  Still, I am enjoying taunting him a bit with the fact that my bowl is always filled with food.  He can't reach it of course.  He can't jump that high.

It's time for my nurse cat duties.  I keep telling Gandalf not to walk on the patient, especially with his heft, but he doesn't get it.  He claims it's a massage, but I think he's just heavy.  My nursing is more subtle.  I've taken up my sentry point on the corner of the bed.  If I feel the patient needs a pick-me-up I move to allow her to scratch my head and neck for a short bit; then right back to my position.  After all, it's not only about me.

Kitty Blog 1- The Diet

Jennifer is indisposed, so today's blog entry will be written by the cat.

Yesterday Jennifer had surgery.  I think it's minor, but whoever tells me anything.  Her foot is wrapped in something and smells weird.  No, not like a foot.  It's some antiseptic smell, and I don't like it.

My people have put me on a diet. Yes, I realize I am the size of two vats (oops typo), I mean cats, but still.  Cats do not overeat.  We are self- regulating, unlike dogs who will eat until they explode.  I'm just big boned, and need more food.

A side effect of Jennifer's surgery is that she can't feed me.  I meow and meow at her, but she just shakes her head and says I'll have to wait for Sean.  Her hands are occupied with those odd sticks she seems to be leaning on.  Doesn't she know I'm starving?!  Crawl woman!  Maybe I will tear that bag of food in the cold storage room.  Isn't that what claws are for- hunting for food?

I've given up.  I can't get the food.  Damn the creator for not giving cats thumbs so we too could open doors and work can openers.  I know there's tuna in this house.  Instead I have gracefully leapt onto the bed to do my kitty duty and comfort the invalid.  (Okay, it wasn't graceful.  It was a bit of a scramble, but I'm up.)  She is comforted, having taken a break from her books and computer to smooth my fur and rub my tummy.  I have purred for her pleasure.  Eventually she fell asleep, and I, bwahaha, have taken over her blog in her absence.  HA!  Who needs thumbs anyway?




Oh well, still hungry.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanks From A Grateful Nation

Today is Veteran's Day in the United States.  It is Remembrance Day in Canada.  Either way, it is a time to remember and acknowledge the acts of those who have served our nation(s) in the armed forces.

Veterans, past and current, are amazing people.  Here, in Canada, the focus is often on the aging vet.  You've seen him (or her), the aging person, somewhat shrunken, walking slowly, perhaps with a cane.  He wears a cap or a medal identifying him as a vet.  These individuals are proud of their acts, but also modest.  They answered the call, and lost much in the process.  They are somewhat surprised, yet grateful when someone notices.

In the US, there are two days.  Today is Veteran's Day, dedicated to all vets, with Memorial Day in the Spring to remember those lost to us.  The focus has moved past WWII.  Vietnam changed the attitude towards the military.  While amends are being made, it has forever effected the attitude of the public.  Today, following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems the country is trying to make amends.  The younger vet is noticed more, the family too.  Pictures abound of spouses saying goodbye, parents embracing children they have not seen in months (or babies born while fathers were away), and families who have made the ultimate sacrifice standing graveside.

On of the most striking aspects of these men and women who serve their nation is the selflessness with which they live.  So many feel they could have done more.  Those that have fought in combat think of the individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice, dying to protect our rights.  Those who have not fought feel their contribution is somehow lacking.  The men and women who spend "just" one or two tours are amazed by those who spend a career.  For all of them, their actions are never quite enough.  Their service always could have gone that one step further.  Their heroism is not acknowledged in their own hearts.

Today, say thank you.  Post, tweet, BBM, write letters, blog, spread the word.  Your nation and its citizens thank you for your protection of our freedoms, whether at home or abroad.  We understand freedom is not free.

I hope for all of us the words of Ed McCurdy song will soon come true.  Until then, thank you from our hearts to those who protect us.

Last night I had the strangest dream, I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war
I dreamed I saw a mighty room, the room was filled with men
And the paper they were signing said they'd never fight again

And when the papers all were signed, and a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads, and grateful prayers were prayed
And the people in the streets below were dancing round and round
And guns and swords and uniforms were scattered on the ground

Last night I had the strangest dream I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war