Better Late Than Never, Right?

I know it has been a terribly long time since I’ve posted anything, and I know that most of my posts start off with this slightly guilt-ridden statement. Honestly, I don’t know why you people bother to keep checking my blog, since everything I post is pretty boring anyhow. But today, I have a couple of items to share: first, I’m now blogging on a very nice new computer, an HP 17″ laptop that I’m loving (so far). I had a few issues last weekend, but those problems seem to have resolved themselves…so my new computer appears to be self-healing as well, bonus.

Second, I went on a vacation that I have yet to tell you about. Actually, the pictures from my road trip to Portland (which happened about a month ago, ahem) have been posted to the right for a few weeks now, so I don’t feel too bad about not posting until now. But I’ll give you a brief rundown of my trip:

Saturday – I dropped Teddy Bear at Beth’s house, then started driving north. I had a great drive just being by myself, breaking in my new Garmin nuvi GPS, and catching up on listening to all my podcasts. I arrived at Gramma Koski’s house in Paradise at about 5 in the afternoon. We enjoyed a quiet evening chatting and eating.

Sunday – I spent the day with Gramma, who barely let me go an hour without insisting I eat something. We went to Red Lobster for a late lunch, where I finally got cell phone coverage and a report from Beth indicating that Teddy had been barking until 3 a.m. Sigh.

Monday – I start on the next leg of my trip north, which was quickly and briefly delayed by another call from Beth saying that Teddy Bear peed on her couch the previous night. I called my mom to pick him up and put him in a kennel – dang! But the rest of my drive was good – Mount Shasta was beautiful, and there was snow in the mountains just south of Ashland. I got to Corvallis to stay with my friends Jeremy and Dana and their daughter Autumn just in time to take them out to dinner at a tasty Indian place downtown. Yummy!

Tuesday – Jeremy and Dana took me to breakfast before I drove about an hour and a half north to Portland. By the time I got to my brother’s house, I was certain that I needed to take my car in because of a grinding noise that, I was hoping, would simply require a half-turn of a Phillips head screwdriver and cost me about $5.50 to repair. Anne got a referral for me to Vu’s Car Care, where they diagnosed the sound as coming from my dying transmission, which would take two days to replace and cost $925. This vacation is turning out to be a bit more expensive than I was anticipating! But the yummy pad thai Anne and Paul made for dinner, as well as Adelaide’s shenanigans, almost made up for it.

Wednesday – I woke up from a night of snuggling with a surrogate cat (Bosco) and kicked around the house with Anne and Adelaide. We went to lunch at the Laughing Planet, and surprise surprise, my car repairs were fixed by 6 pm. Yay!

Thursday – Paul, Anne, and I drove up to Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge and hiked up to the top. Adelaide contributed to the serenity of the falls by crying when Paul stopped walking. But the falls were incredible, and we had a nice snack at the restaurant below. That afternoon I stopped by the Portland FWS field office to introduce myself and prove how awkward I am at networking. But I took Anne and Paul out for a Moroccan dinner down town, which was lots of fun (although the belly dancer was rather blonde and caucasian…).

Friday – Me and my newly quiet car began our reluctant journey south towards home. I stopped in Medford to meet up with Jack Williams, who treated me to a burrito for lunch. After that, it was back on the road until I got to Gramma’s. More eating.

Saturday – The end of my vacation was in sight. I spent one last day driving, enjoying the thoughts I had to myself, and my music and podcasts. I was stuck in LA traffic for about an hour, but managed to get home in one piece. Mom picked up Teddy from the kennel for me, so when I got home he was there waiting. Yup, my vacation was definitely over.

Nope, Nothing New Here…

Just wanted to write a quick post to let you know I’m alive. Bored, but alive. You see, nothing of interest has happened over the past month, so I haven’t wanted to subject you to any tedious details (of which there are none). It is raining now – it seems like rain has been frequent during the past few weekends – which I like.

Zoe is not doing well. I think we’re nearing the end of the line for her – a few more weeks maybe. Surprisingly, it is not her cancer that is the problem, but our inability to regulate her diabetes. She has lost so much weight, but for now, still seems happy. I’m trying to be aware of the day when she gives me that look…and will try not to ignore it out of my own sadness and need to keep her around longer. My poor kitty.

Teddy continues to be a pain in the ass. We had been doing really well with not peeing in the house, but starting on Friday, he has gotten it in his head that it is ok to both pee and shit inside. At least a couple of times each day. I’m thinking his days are numbered too…but for different reasons…and he *is* almost 16.

Jesse, of course, is fat and happy. Oblivious, aloof. Ah, the typical cat.

I hope you are all well, staying warm in February, whever you are. I’m enjoying today’s holiday, staying in bed and catching up on my blogging. I just wish I had more interesting things to share…oh, and if you haven’t joined facebook yet, maybe you should. I’m a bit more active there than here lately!

A great start to a fabulous Labor Day weekend…

Saturday:
6:07 am – wake up call from Zoe meowing and demanding food
9:30 am – phone call with friend Brenda in Minnesota, learned the meaning of the word “gitchy”
10:42 am – drive Zoe to Acacia for her monthly catupuncture session
12:24 pm – finally leave Acacia after learning that Zoe has lost 3/4 lb. (down to 5.4 lbs) and opting for a full panel blood test
1:09 pm – arrive at Joanne’s to figure out what to sew for class; pick out easy pattern for a closet organizer and black fabric featuring skulls and roses
1:54 pm – scarf down a chicken pita pocket prior to sewing class
2:00 pm – sewing class starts
3:14 pm – realize that I fucked up and cut large strips of fabric only half the width they were supposed to be
3:16 pm – realize that I knew I was going to fuck up and breathe a sigh of relief that I had purchased lots of extra matching fabric
4:42 pm – leave sewing class a little early
5:00 pm – walk into apartment as vet calls, telling me that Zoe’s blood sugar is extremely high and that she’s definitely diabetic and that she needs to get to California Vet Specialists asap for insulin
5:42 pm – arrive at CVS with Mom and a very pissed off Zoe
8:17 pm – finally leave CVS with Mom and even more pissed off Zoe, who has had an insulin shot and been taken off her cancer meds, along with instructions to come back Sunday morning for another blood glucose check
9:08 pm – give up on finding anything good on tv, read in bed, sleep

Sunday:
7:02 am – wake up call from Zoe, feed her food she doesn’t want to eat
8:17 am – take Zoe back to CVS
10:30 am – retrieve Zoe from CVS, who has been given fluids and instructions to come back again on Monday for another recheck
Current time – blog blog blog, realizing that I spent almost $600 on Zoe’s medical needs in the past 24 hours

Stay tuned for more excitement!

My Pacific Northwest "Vacation"

So last week I used 40 of my hard-earned annual leave hours to fly up to Portland. I had originally planned on simply visiting my mom and brother (it was his birthday on the 19th – happy birthday, Paul!), his wife, and new daughter Adelaide. However, additional vacation duties also included helping my mom pack up her house, clean it, and drive back down to Escondido for her move back down to SoCal. I still had a good time though, even though Mom’s cat, Leo, had to be put down the morning I arrived in Oregon. Leo will definitely be missed, although I don’t think we could have fit him into the car for the long trip south considering that the parrot and dog took up the majority of the available space.Other activities involved visiting two (!) REI stores, walking around Lacamas Park in Camas, initiating a corruptive influence on my beautiful and awesome niece (I bought that ABCD onsie for her when she was only a fetus!), celebrating Paul’s 33rd birthday at Deschutes Brewery in downtown Portland, and spending the better portion of a day walking around the Pearl district.

Lacamas Park in Camas

Corruption Phase 1 Initiated


Packing for the trip home…

The drive back down to Escondido was fairly uneventful, and let me tell you that the landscape only gets MORE BEAUTIFUL as you travel south, leaving the lush green fresh scenery of Washington and Oregon for the shriveled brown smog-laiden traffic-scape of our urban coastal community. Sigh. And, to make things even better, Michael (Mom’s parrot, severe macaw, actually) took the opportunity to fly away the evening of our arrival home. She went missing for two days, but Mom miraculously recovered her after plying her with wheat thins, peanuts, and a squeaky ball. I’m thinking that with this experience, Mom now has the know-how for earning supplemental income recovering rogue feathered pets.

Then it was back to work on Monday…it will only take another five months of work to gain those 40 hours of annual leave back, so I’d better get on that I guess.

Dad and Mom’s Visit to San Diego, Days 4-5

Like I said previously, my dad and stepmom timed their trip to San Diego perfectly. Just after the rainy season and before the heat, that is! It’s a perfect time to head out to the desert, so that’s what we did. We even took Teddy Bear, who loves the desert, but who does not like riding in cars because it makes him nervous (where are we going? the vet? the groomer? oh no…whine whine whine…). We made a big loop going north and east on 76 out to Anza Borrego Desert State Park, where we toured the visitor’s center and had lunch at Borrego Springs’ only Western BBQ / Chinese restaurant. I had sesame chicken, and the folks had burgers (I think). After that, we drove out to see the wildflowers, which were spectacular, north of town and then south in Little Surprise Canyon. Click HERE to see all of my desert pictures. We had to go back to town to pick up some guide books that I put down on a bench and forgot, but I was lucky that they were still there when I remembered about them. Either the people in Borrego Springs are nice honest people, or they have no interest in San Diego native plants and southwestern dragonflies. I think it’s probably the former. Anyway, we drove back through Julian on 78, stopping by the Julian Apple Pie Company for warm apple pie and ice cream. Yum!

To make things easy, I ordered a pizza for dinner, and we spent the evening chowing our pie and watching Aliens in a pooped-out daze. The next day, I had to take the parents to the airport, but we drove to Old Town San Diego (near the Presidio) for brunch at a really nice little Mexican place, El Fandango. I ordered the huevos rancheros, but I think Dad won with the chorizo. Fresh tortillas! Home-made salsa! Champagne! Dad asked for mimosas, but I don’t think the waiter understood, so he brought us a separate glass of fresh-squeezed oj, which mostly ended up spilled all over the table. Honestly, I can’t take these guys anywhere!

But really, I had a very good time and was so happy that Dad and Mom came to visit me. It was nice to spend one-on-one time with them, and I hope that we got to know each other a little more. I think they enjoyed their visit too, and returning home to flooding in St. Louis probably was not too fun, compared to the warm sunshine of SoCal. Man, I really am getting spoiled here, I guess.