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Where have I been?

December 5th, 2007 . by maria

OK, so it’s been awhile. Well, family comes first, and the holidays are fast approaching. I keep saying “I ought to blog something”, and I keep putting it off because other things are keeping me busy. Besides, after spending literally the whole day on computers, I don’t have much drive to look at a screen when I get home. At least, not beyond checking my email and balancing my checkbook.

Things I’ve been busy with:

A certain little boy had some medical testing. Fortunately it showed there was no medical explanation for his memory issues. (MRI brain normal, full blood workup normal.) The doctor said to consider him as “a variation of normal”. He said don’t worry as long as he’s performing well in school, not having behavioral problems, and not having memory issues which endanger him or anyone else. It’s funny, the disconnect between the medical and educational systems. Because of how funding works, the educational system wants to label anyone who is different as learning disabled. In fact, a teacher I spoke to recently said almost every student is signed up for some type of learning support, and there’s no longer a stigma associated with it. However, from a medical point of view, there is nothing wrong with the child. Hmmm.

The Thanksgiving Holiday came and went. We attended a community Thanksgiving feast that my MIL’s church particpiates in. The mayor attends. Several of my MIL’s odler friends attend. A few years ago, my MIL decided she’d rather do that than throw a big shindig. It is decidedly easier – and they do send you home with leftovers. But for me, it falls short of being celebratory. You just don’t get that hanging out time and that special stress time. I dunno. I might suggest that next year we host something ourselves. I’m not one who wants to do a big turkey in the oven, but I’ve discovered that a few legs and breats in the 5qt crockpot are perfect.

Cleaning and decorating for the Holidays.

Snow, cold, and the result that kids stay in the house constantly. (Not enough snow to be fun.)

Setting up a crafting space in the basement. This involved moving the freezer, and moving my supply “cabinet” from upstairs to downstairs. I also gathered various supplies from all over the house and took them down there. And I will probably move my sewing machine down there. If I can’t move the whole thing, I’ll unscrew it from the cabinet and just take the machine.

DIY Christmas Cards – This is a tradition I thoroughly enjoy, but am alone in creating. The boys used to help, but they’ve grown out of it. Alex likes the idea that we put a personal touch on our cards, but he’s not interested in helping either. This year I’ve got 78 customers and about 50 friends/family to make cards for. Each year it is a challenge to come up with a design that is simple and inexpensive enough to make enmasse, but still attractive. It should look “hand-crafted” but not cheesy.

Card lists, wish lists, gift lists, gift crafting/sewing projects, shopping, making things.

Shadow and the vet. Shadow is our 15 year old cat. He’s had a behavioral problem with the litter box for a few years, but we’d been dealing with it. More specifically, I’d been mopping urine up from beside the litterbox every morning. He was to the vet a few years ago, and they determined he didn’t have a urinary tract problem. He had a heart murmur, but there really wasn’t much they could do about that. They tried to give him antibiotics anyway, but that made him sicker, so we gave up. I’ve tried various things – extra boxes, different litters, moving boxes around, different foods, etc. Nothing helped. Then a few weeks ago he peed on the office chair and the futon. OK, at that point he crossed the line from quirky to BAD KITTY. He went into the cat carrier with a tiny litterbox and towel, and I made a vet appt for last Saturday. The tests and appointment were $225. The results came back. The good news is there’s no urinary, kidney, liver, or other problem identified with the exception of being anemic. (Apparently, kitties that don’t feel well express themselves by peeing whereever they feel like peeing.) The bad news is, that means they want to do more testing to determine the cause of the anemia. In kitties, anemia isn’t an iron deficiency, but a symptom of some other disease – one website said there are about 75 possibilities. Our doctor wants to start with Feline Lukemia/HIV tests, another blood test, and xrays. That’s another $150. Meanwhile, back at the home front, Shadow has been happily going in his litterbox in his carrier, or in the basement box if we take him down there. Of course, he doesn’t have a chance to pee anywhere else, because he only gets out of his box if he’s supervised. If this continues, we might get the behavioral problem licked, in which case I don’t know if we’ll pursue much medically…15 for a cat is like 92 for a human…really, if he’s not in pain now, I don’t know how much stress/pain I’d want to put him through to solve the anemia which isn’t bothering him.

Hubby and the great mouth guard caper.About a month ago, he started grinding his teeth in his sleep. It didn’t wake him up, but it woke me up. It sounded like a blender full of ice going off beside my ear. He also ended up with some jaw pain. He went to the dentist, who took a mold to make a ceramic mouth guard that clips in for him to wear while he sleeps – it is sort of like a retainer. It is supposed to keep the teeth in such a position that you don’t do the grinding. The problem is, they apparently weren’t made for guys with a jaw that shuts like a crocodile. He keeps breaking it – literally shattering it. They keep made a new one. He bit on it during the fitting, and it cracked. They ground off the cracked part and fit it again. He bit down, and it shattered. I keep telling him he needs to just buy a football or boxing mouth guard and be done with it. He goes back today.

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