Monthly Archives: February 2008

Monday February 25, 2008

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Well, I just called the Vet’s office to get Bob’s test results – I was hoping for an infection to be the cause of his poor kidney results – and the news isn’t good. There is no infection whatsoever, so he does indeed have CRF (chronic renal failure). The Dr. is going to call me tomorrow (he isn’t in today) to answer any questions. Bob isn’t in any pain at all. He is actually acting very healthy and normal. I am trying to adapt him to his kidney food which he is being a butthead about!! I mix about one tsp of it in with about 2 tbsp of his normal wet food and even though I mix it very well…he somehow finds a way to sometimes eat around it the kidney food nuggets. But I think he is getting more accepting of it. Eventually the Dr. would like him to only eat that, but he and I agreed that would be unlikely. So, I guess for now, all I can do is keep him as healthy as possible and spoil him as much as he will let me. I am going to try to make him the longest living Feline CRF patient in veterinarian history.

 

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Aside from being depressed about Bob, I am feeling HORRIBLE about myself lately. I am not sure if I have ever discussed this before, but I have these weird forms of OCD called Trichotillomania and Dermatillomania. While I usually have them completely under control, for some reason, since beginning the Cymbalta…it has reappeared. As far as the trich – which is the hair pulling…I have only done this with my eyebrows. Ever since I was about 16. I pick at the little brows that are growing in and as I pick them, I also damage some skin which scars up and then I pick at that. I also pick at anything that is on my face such as a pimple or any imperfection. Then I spend weeks attempting to make the marks go away. That is where I am right now. I have 4 marks on my face which look AWFUL. I am constantly putting this salicylic acid cream on it to dry it up so it will go away. I am honestly embarrassed to even leave the house. Why can’t I just be NORMAL??!! I realize I could have it much worse. Yes, I have depression, but it isn’t THAT bad. I am not suicidal or anything. Yes I have OCD but I am only obsessive and not really compulsive, so that isn’t as bad as it could be. Yes I have Trichotillomania, but at least I do not pull out the hair on my head like many do. So, while I do know it could be MUCH worse…I still hate that I have these weird ass things to begin with. It sucks. I just want to be young and carefree and pretty again. Now, I feel old, anxious and hideous. What a drag.

 

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As you may know, I am not really a girly girl. I do not often talk about clothes and shoes and shopping and hair…but today I will anyway. I finally got my hair back to its natural color a while back after years of highlighting and coloring. My hair is very healthy and in good shape. But I see why I started highlighting to begin with…its so boring!! Mousy brown and dead straight. BLAH. I received a gift certificate for my salon for a Xmas present this year. I still have it and I think I have decided to get highlights again. I need SOMEthing to give me an uplift and I think that may help. I want to do it in a way where it takes the least maintenance possible. I was even considering lowlights. I have to look through some pictures and decide. I did find these 2 pictures which I think look SO cool…but it would be way too much maintenance and plus…lets face it…I just aint that young anymore. Boo. Anyway…here are the pics of which I speak…I like the first one the best!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salty Roads Causing Trouble in Nature

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This morning I was listening to the radio. I heard a story on Charlie Syke’s radio broadcast about studies which have been conducted showing the harmful effects of street salt to our local waters. Apparently, because of such daunting wintry weather this season and the tons of salt which has been needed for our road safety – there is more salty run off into our rivers and streams. This has made some of the waters virtually salt water and toxic to some of the creatures living in those habitats. Studies have also shown that Madison used half of the salt that Milwaukee used this winter because of this danger to nature. I have to wonder how the road safety has compared in both cities. Were there more accidents in Madison this winter due to their ice covered streets?

 

I can say that I already hate driving in this weather. If I could, I would never leave my home from December to March. When I am driving I certainly appreciate a clean and clear road. It makes me feel much safer and therefore, I am a more relaxed driver.

 

For the organizations which are protesting the use of salt on our roadways, I have to ask…isn’t most of what we do harmful for some kind of living being in the environment? Look at all the new construction. Subdivisions erect around these parts as fast as their well watered sod.  New stores and mini malls are built while empty buildings sleep in the dark for years and years. The land we gobble up is most definitely affecting our animals and their habitats. As a remedy, we simply allow for the hunting of certain species because these animals are “invading” our territories. We see many more dead animals on the highways because they are forced into our environments.

 

I do think it is sad and extremely unfortunate. But we have to face it…the way we live is going to impact nature. Are we willing to do without? Are we willing to have slippery roads and older buildings? Are we willing to instill laws which limit the permits for new construction while perfectly usable buildings sit empty and unused? Are we willing a more nature friendly life? And will people ever put the lives of other living things on the same level of importance as themselves? Hmmm….I doubt it. What do you think?

Bad News….Pretty Depressed….

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I have gotten some bad news that has me worried, angry and somewhat in denial. My 7 year old cat, Bob, has been visibly losing weight this past month or so. No other noticeable symptoms, but I was worried. He has always been a bigger guy at 15 pounds. I decided to bring him to the Vet. After some testing I have found out that he is in the initial stages of chronic renal failure aka renal insufficiency.  

 

Almost 8 years ago, (April 2000) I received a call from my mother. She told me that she knows a guy who has 4 kittens in his garage. Apparently a stray decided to give birth in his garage and then proceed to abandon the kitties. She wanted to know if I would take one. She and I met out there one day after work and I was planning on taking one home with me. By the time we arrived a guy already took two of them. I had picked out this small white and grey kitten. She was the runt of the litter. Just lying there, she was calm – which is what I liked. The other cat was big and clumsy and kept trying to climb out of the box only to fall on his butt over and over again. He kept stepping in the food and on the other kitten’s head. No way did I want to take THAT trouble maker. So I made my choice. My mom said to me, “Heather, how can you leave just one cat all alone? Just take them both.” Ugh…MOM. Way to make me feel guilty. I was already eating Raman noodles 5 days a week and paying my phone bill every other month. Two cats seemed irresponsible.

 

So there I was driving home in the rain with two little cats only weeks old looking up at me out of this box. I had already decided before going there that I was going to name the cat Bob. I just thought it sounded cool and I could call him Bob Cat. I realized I had to come up with another name so I sat there repeating “Bob and….Bob and….” And it just made sense – Bob and Brian. I decided to name the big dopey one Bob and the smaller one Brian.

 

I took them home to my apartment where I lived alone. And they took over instantly. It was no longer MY home. They were still too young to eat food so I had to buy kitty formula and bottle feed them several times a day. I would come home on my lunch hour every day. They were way to small to get into a litter box, so I put some kitty litter on a cookie sheet and they used it immediately – never once in almost 8 years have either one had an accident from that day forward. Weird how they just know.

 

In the last nearly 8 years Bob, especially, has been my best friend. These cats have been with me through some tough times. Very lonely times. Everyone who knew me always asked about Bob and Brian. The thought of losing my goofy cat – who thinks he is a dog – breaks my heart into a million pieces. This is the guy who licks my face whenever I let him. He plays fetch eagerly. He sits on the edge of the tub when I take a bath and lets his tail soak in the hot water. I taught him how to wink – seriously – if I wink at him, he will wink back. This is my bud.

 

The Dr. said that we caught it soon enough that he could still live a good quality of life – just not for as long as I was hoping. You see, Bob and I had an agreement. He had no rules or responsibilities whatsoever. I never asked him to pick up his toys or get a job. The only thing he had to promise to (which he did with a lick to my nose) was to never get sick and live for 20 years. Now, the Dr. is telling me that it could be 3 years if I am lucky. One more test had to be done and I am still awaiting the results. There is a very minimal chance that this kidney problem is caused by an infection. If so, it may be fixable with medications. But the Dr didn’t seem too hopeful of that being probable. But I am still hoping. I told the Vet to do his best to help Bob keep his promise. After all, I HAVE paid him 400 bucks in the past 6 days…is it so much to ask for my best friend’s life??

 

Anyway…I realize this may seem trivial to all the problems that could be happening. I realize many of you are having crisis and big obstacles in life right now. But today, this is my crisis. I love my baby Bob more that I can verbalize. And losing him would be unbearable. So, today…I am going to feel sorry for myself and hug my cat.

 

Here is Bob a couple weeks old…

 

 

Here is a picture of Bob today cuddled with his sister, Brian…

 

 

 

I am Voting for Obama…and This is Why….

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I will be voting for Barack Obama in the Primary and hopefully in the general election. At first I was torn because of 2 issues I feel strongly about – healthcare and gay marriage. But I realized that Hillary’s healthcare plan will have a difficult time – if not impossible – ever taking hold anyway. And that gay marriage should be left up to the states and as long as no constitutional amendment was going to take place, then this should not be a concern when voting for President. I would like to explain why I am choosing Obama over Clinton. I feel it is unnecessary to point out why I will not be voting for Huckabee or McCain…I hope that is obvious lol. So, just for the hell of it…here are my reasons as I can verbalize at the moment. Not that anyone cares, but since the conversation was started…here I go…

 

One reason I was concerned about Hillary being president was regarding foreign affairs. As it is well known, many countries do not value or respect women in general. And I would worry that a woman – at this point in time, considering whom our greatest ‘enemies’ are – being the leader of the most powerful nation, could wound us at a foreign affairs level.  Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see a woman president. And to be  honored to be alive during a time when that is even possible is moving for me. But I cannot see voting for a candidate simply based on their gender. In fact, gender – as unfortunate as it is – could be a deterrent at this particular time. This is something that I struggle with because I know how that may sound. And I admit, I am certainly not an expert on these matters.

 

On the same token I also tend to believe that the face of Obama could actually do the opposite. I did not even consider this before reading some of what Mark Czerniec wrote on his local blog. I think that countries that see America as a white bread, oppressive society may begin to see us differently when Obama is our nation’s leader. They will see that the people of our country have chosen a man who comes from mixed roots and who has attended Muslim schools. They may begin to see that we are not as evil and bigoted as we once appeared. Although, sadly, much of our country is still in that mindset that “Muslim=Bad…Color=Bad…Different=Bad”. So perhaps with Obama at the lead, we can even begin to heal ourselves of these ingrained parasites of ignorance. When I read our local blogs and hear people speak about Obama as a “terrorist” or “sleeper cell”…it truly pains me. Not only because it is ignorant and wrong. But because right here where I call home…there are far too many misguided (to say the least) minds. Obama can quite possibly begin to help us forge through barriers not only overseas, but also here in our own backyards.

 

I have been put off by the campaigning strategies from the Clinton camp thus far. I believe that the Clintons can be quite cut throat. This is likely common with such “experienced” politicians. Obama has yet to stoop to the campaigning we are so used to. And I hope it stays that way. This is one more example I believe his so-called inexperience may be quite beneficial to us in the long run.  They call Obama an idealist who has no idea how to run a business, let alone a country. Well maybe that is exactly what we need. Old time politics and business isn’t working. We need a complete overhaul. Instead of continually filling in the potholes of what is wrong with America we need to tear out the road and build a new one. I never parented before I had a child, yet I consider myself to be a damn good mother. Experience can be an over rated term to deflect from the fact that they do not have anything worse to say about him. Phooey.

 

Hillary does have some scandals behind her that I do not fully understand and I sincerely do not think we will ever really know the full truth about.  As much as I liked her husband as President at the time, I am not sure that we can trust her enough to have her at the helm. Not that we should fully trust anyone in that arena – but I am sure you know what I mean.

 

So, on this Saturday morning with a wet towel on my head and my eyes still blurred from sleep – this is what I give to you as my reasoning for voting for Barack Obama. I hope I have made some sense and even given someone out there something to consider.

 

I will now get off my lazy butt and attempt to be productive. Have a good weekend J

 

Obama, My Husband’s Buddy

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My husband was invited by his Union Local’s President to be in a commercial for Obama while he was in town last evening for a speech. It was him and about 20 Racinians. I guess the commerical is suppose to start airing this weekend. Charlie said that Obama was really quite nice, but that he seemed tired. They really didn’t get much of a chance to talk. Here is a picture from when they were finished. My husband is the white guy in the back with the dorking smile on his face.
 

What is a Girl To Do??

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Since this 2008 presidential hoopla began (what…about 13.5 years ago??) I have been pretty undecided. I have watched the debates. I have read up on the candidates and how they stand on the issues. I talk to people. I read and listen to the media’s opinions. And I am still left with this big cartoon question mark floating above my head.

 

As we know, this race is now down to 4 candidates; Huckabee, McCain, Obama and Clinton. I know I cannot vote for McCain or Huckabee – and NOT because they are republicans. McCain’s view of our position in Iraq and his head strong belief in war scares me. Also, his strong anti-choice stance is hard for me to swallow. Huckabee, while I agree more with his opinions on drugs – that is about the only thing I can understand about his thinking. He pretty much stands for everything that is my opposite. And I fear he would rule with his Bible as his number one influence.

 

So, this leaves Obama and Clinton. I like Obama. I really do. I like his dry humor and his zeal. I find his lack of “experience” more promising than not. And I believe he could do many great things for our country. I do not feel as fondly when it comes to Clinton. I would love, love, love to see a woman president in my life time. But I do not believe in voting for a candidate simply because of their race or gender. I think that people who vote for reasons such as that should not even bother voting quite honestly.  I also worry about the fact that she is a woman could interfere with foreign affairs when dealing with leaders and countries which have no respect for women. I am not really sure how much of a concern this is for me, but it is something I have thought about. But thing is…there are two concerns of mine where I fall on the Clinton side. And these concerns are big ones for me. I am fairly certain that Obama is against gay marriage, but supports civil unions. I very much feel that gay people have every right to be married in any way they choose.

 

The bigger issue is that regarding healthcare. I know, I know. It is awfully controversial and most do not agree it appears…but I do feel that we need “universal” healthcare in this country. I do not think Obama’s plan will work or make any difference at all. I wish that we could leave it up to the people to supply themselves with insurance. But the fact is, for various reasons, many people will not do this. And they will continue to use the ERs for their basic healthcare needs. They will leave diseases and injuries fester until they are more costly and invasive to treat. They will not receive the preventative care that is truly what our healthcare system needs to focus on. Doctors are now trained to prevent death. They are not trained to improve wellness. They look for a glaring red X before they choose to be involved. The education of medical professionals needs to focus more on preventative medicine. Our system needs to be set up to facilitate tests and procedures that will help us avoid these red Xs altogether. We will all benefit in the long run – even financially. The only ones that may loose out are the blood sucking insurance and pharmaceutical CEOs. Big cry there.

 

Other than these 2 issues, Obama and Clinton are pretty equal on their beliefs. So, where does this leave me? I have one candidate whom I like better, have more trust in and hope for…and another candidate with whom I agree more closely on 2 big subjects. What is a girl to do??

Is He REALLY My Brother?? (and a couple extra pics)

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I finally got the professional pics from my brother’s wedding back in September. And while going through them again, I noticed something strange. I always knew that my brother and I didn’t look a lot alike. But while looking at the pictures of us together, I realized we do not look anything alike. Isn’t that weird?? Or am I missing something? What do you think??
 
 
 
 
 
 
See???!!
 
Here is one of our’s and Bess’s families…
 
 
And one of Charlie and me…(pretend not to notice all the neck fat please)
 
 
 
 
 

So Silly

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