Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Playing Catch - Up

Wow. Here it is. The year is almost over and I have NOT posted A THING since February. :-/

Well, now that I actually know how to change the memory card in my camera (after weeks of frustration... gah) I can now take more pictures with which I can do a better job of updating all my sites like this one and Ravelry. More knitting and more kitties. :)

2009 was an OK year. I'm hoping next year will be MUCH better. I'm looking forward to paying off my car and my employer for Matty's end-of-life care.

For those who don't know, I lost my Himi Matty this past April. He had a number of things go wrong simultaneously, including a gut that stopped working and a possible (unconfirmed) brain tumor which may have been at the root of his problems. It was AGONIZING going through last Spring and whenever I'm feeling stressed or depressed I'm REALLY missing my rock. I haven't gotten another cat just yet because I'm still trying to pay down quite a bit of debt and I'm also living without the guilt of hiding an extra pet from my apartment complex. Plus Nicky is a handful. Really want to adopt an older or a special needs kitty but he might push them over the edge stress-wise so I'm going to have to give this some careful thought...

Work is work and work is a drama-laden ball of stress. I feel like I spend more time trying to recooperate and fend off all the non-patient-care-related baloney than I actually do working and I don't know if I'm hoping beyond hope at this point of it ever getting better. On the bright side, there are quite a few new hires being brought on board which gives me some hope that there will be down-to-earth grown-ups to work with. Here's hoping!

On the medical front, I've been dealing with two major issues: ADD and gastroparesis.

I was diagnosed with gastroparesis last Christmas. Apparently I must either have a mild form of it or at least in the early stages of it. A Certified Nutritionist I saw in August was surprised to find that I could still tolerate solid foods because a lot of people with this problem have a pacemaker, J-tube or both. My particular condition is idiopathic since I've never been diabetic. Right now I take liquid Erythromycin throughout the day and Phenergan at night. So far I manage but every now and again I have to spend the day in bed with stomach pains. Giving some serious thought to trying a vegetarian/vegan diet to see if that makes a difference. With the way that beef is being cultivated and processed in this country, I'm willing to give it a go. I'm going to try the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart on January 1st. Wish me luck!

ADD has been something I've had my whole life but wasn't diagnosed with until about 5 years ago. Boy, is it frustrating! I HATE IT. Trying to find information on how to deal with it, or even a support group, is difficult because everything out there is child-related. I've been going for Neurofeedback for most of the year but it doesn't do anything for my memory retention or my poor attention span. It has, however, been helpful in the fact that I've noticed how I deal with stress and social situations. That has improved, at least. I don't get stressed out by people as much as I used to and that's been a BIG help. I've been more laid-back. But I tell you, I must have the most un-ADD-friendly job ON THE PLANET and keeping it a secret is stifling. Every error and mistake is noted and made a fuss over and the pressure is constantly on for me to continue to pass for normal when, in the eyes of the law, I am considered disabled. ADD falls under the jurisdiction of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1976 so luckily I'm protected but it's a heavy weight to bear, I kid you not. Gah.

Knitting wise, I have started my first REAL sock by myself (yippee skippee!) and on DPNs to boot. I found some skeins of Deborah Norville sock yarn at my local JoAnn Fabrics and I couldn't resist the color patterns. I have been steering clear of sock yarn until now because I'm just plain intimidated by sock knitting but I'll give it a go now.

And yes, I'm still working on the Weasley sweater! I did get to knock out some chemo caps and baby singlets though so that's a plus!

Well, I was actually able to make a trip back home to NY in October. It was depressing. Ghosts and tumbleweeds everywhere! Although I did get to connect with some dear friends I haven't seen in ages. Thank heaven for Facebook.

I haven't been in much contact with my mother since I got back. She's just very demanding and, most of the time, very manipulative so I've kept the phone off the hook. She never listens to my requests with regard to NOT call me on days that I work so no phone at all. If it were up to her, we'd be on the phone all the time and that doesn't gel with me. Too suffocating. Called her to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving and she pretty much gave me the silent treatment. So now I'm debating on whether or not to call for Christmas. Thankfully I have to work. Never thought I would actually admit that.

So I've had some Christmas presents that I brought home with me sitting in my living room awaiting the arrival of the Holiday.

And unfortunately Nicky can't wait to open them. Good grief, kitty!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Support Sammy!

I'm not one to make too much of a fuss over something, especially in personal interest stories. But this one touched me and I felt the need to write a quick post about it.

The Town of Nostaluga AL had a resident kitty (and a real cutie-patootie to boot!) living in the Post Office until someone actually had the nerve to complain about his presence there stating that it was a Federal building and he should be evicted because HE DIDN'T PAY TAXES!!!!

Apparently, snoozing on the desks all day is a Federal offense down there too - BAH!

Well, some kind people bought him his own PO Box and you can actually write letters of support. I plan to mail mine out by week's end. Here's the story:


There's news at the Notasulga Post Office, and it's not even a shooting. Sammy, the Notasulga PO's unofficial resident cat has been banned from the building. Apparently an angry customer called in a complaint, citing the fact that Sammy doesn't pay taxes as grounds for barring him from federal grounds. An outraged group of Notasulgans (including, we're happy to say, at least one of our readers) has taken swift and decisive action to rectify the situation. They bought Sammy the Cat his very own P.O. Box. If you want to send Sammy a letter to show your support, you can write to:

Sammy the Cat
P.O. Box 173
Notasulga, Alabama, 36866


Monday, January 26, 2009

So Far, So Good

So far, 2009 is doing OK. Much better than 2008 I must say. ;)

Surprisingly enough, things have flip-flopped around a bit. Work is going really well but the relationship I have with my mother, not so much. Believe it or not, I can handle this a lot better than the other way around. Things have gotten a lot simpler as I have been working on improving my relationships at work but trying to be seen as an adult in the eyes of one's parents seems near impossible. Meh.

The to-do list for this year keeps getting bigger and bigger. Hopefully getting everything done on "schedule" won't be an impossibility. I made my goals as simple as possible to make sure that I don't bite off more than I can chew. Now, if I can only stop sleeping all day, every non-working day, I'll be a happy camper!

Matty is still behaving a bit off. His obsession with running water is driving my utility bill up slightly because I forget when he's actually done with the faucet. I'm not due to be paid until Friday so I can't run out and buy him his own water fountain just yet. He's still using my bathroom closet as his own private litterbox but at least it's jheri-rigged in a way where I can clean it up easier and it's not ruining the carpet. He's still a bit skinny too. I can't wait until next week where my food order for his new diet will be available for pick-up at work. One of the doctors suggested I put him on a novel protein diet, either Hill's Prescription (tm) z/d or d/d. I ran out of the samples I was given and all I have is the "emergency" food, which he still throws up intermittently. My poor little Matty-moo. :(

On another note, I've been pretty good about getting to about half of my knitting groups. Last week, I wound up sleeping through them but I plan on going out to all of them this week. My friend Beth gave me a project to work on as part of teaching me how to knit socks. Right now, I'm about two-thirds finished with the first sock.

I'm also working on a utility pouch that I can wear at work, so I can carry all my junk (i.e. scissors and pens). That one's a crochet project. I had to re-learn the basic stitches but it's working out well.

The next post I write will have more pictures to share. The memory card in my digital camera needs to be replaced and I'm having trouble uploading new photos as a result. Bah!

One of the more inconvenient things about a new year is having to renew memberships to various organizations ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Especially when it's been almost six weeks since the last paycheck and grocery bills are going up. Here's are some of the ones I have to renew before week's end:

Veterinary Technician State Registration (RVT)
International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM)
National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)
Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA)

OK so the last one isn't imperative but it's always nice to have something to belong to that not work-related. :)

One of my new friends on Facebook, who is involved with the IVAPM, invited me to help her co-host a chat next month on the Veterinary Support Personnel Network ( and I'm really eager for the upcoming weeks. Also, one of the Board Certified surgeons that works at my place of employ is graciously willing to let me intern with him in his program. Now, if we can only get our schedules coordinated to make this happen...

Now for the token Funky Bunch shot. :-P

I'm beginning to think that good 'ol Chunky Monkey here gained all the weight that Matty lost...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years' Resolutions

Wow. I can't believe I actually put off updating this blog for almost six months. Whatta slacker I've been!

Hence the title and subject of this post: New Years' Resolutions. Because it's about time I made some. Time to make some (Life) changes and set them into motion. And hopefully some good things will follow. :)

I've always had trouble setting and keeping goals. That's got to stop. I'm thinking if I take the time to write some down now, and check in frequently, that I may actually make some headway and good things will get accomplished.

OK. Time to get started. Here goes:

1) Do a better job keeping this blog up-to-date. Enough said!

2) Stay in touch more frequently with the people who matter the most to me. Just treated myself to a brand-new address book (with Lesley Anne Ivory kitty cat artwork - couldn't resist!) and I'm starting my contact list from scratch. No more sending out cards (ie. birthday and holiday) LATE. No excuses. Also will help me rely less upon the internets and more on the hand-written art form of notecards.

3) To elaborate on the last item: will try to write and/or call friends at least once a month. Minimum. No more life of a hermit for me. No sir-ee.

4) Make sure I haul my butt out to ALL my SnB groups (I keep tabs on at least 4 different ones - YES 4 - in the area) at least once a month. Will aim for all meetups if possible. Can no longer afford to let my chronic fatigue rule my life because if this keeps up I won't have one at all. Inexcusable!

5) Do more scrapbooking this year. Haven't kept up with that in a while. If the budget can afford it, maybe I can make an Archiver's Scrap Mania night once a month. Getting out of the apartment every so often will kill two birds with one stone. A win-win. :)

6) Read one Jane Austen work monthly. JALS (Jane Austen Ladies' Society), an online club I just signed up for, is having a read-along starting this month. Persuasion is the first. I'll just keep going from there...

7) Spend as much quality time with my kids mentally as I do physically. The space in my head is constantly being "rented" so much by work-related coworker crap that I'm really not home when I'm home.

Now Matty, my 14 year old Himi, is having some issues that need to be investigated such as avoiding the litterbox and progressive weight loss. No more "checking out" at the home front. I'm off duty from now on.

8) Look in to furthering my veterinary career. Tech-ing, that is. Not doing the going-back-to-school-to-become-a-vet thing. Torturing myself with science classes I'll just struggle with anyway and wind up with oodles of debt is just not in the cards. But I need to do SOMETHING because I'm beginning to feel both stale and burnt. Blech!

9) Clean up my finances! Tweak my retirement plans and contribute more to them. Go back to watching the Suze Orman show every weekend because I don't know enough on my own and reading about it just frustrates me to no end. Pay off my outstanding debt - BAH!

10) Start, and FINISH, more knitting projects. So much I want to learn and make. Like socks. And cables. Not to mention, so much yarn and so little time - HA! And this includes
FINISH MY WEASLEY SWEATER. Gotta finish it sometime. I ain't getting any younger. :P

OK, well I did actually just finish my "V For Victory" scarf last night. I started it back in September for the WWII Museum for Veterans in need. But since Veterans' Day has come and gone (I didn't realize that it needed to be finished by then to be sent out with a group of scarves - OOPS!), I'm not sure what to do with it right now. Will look into it, now that it's done, before I go back to work next week from vacation.

Well, that should be a good starting point. Just need to check in and tweak the goals on a regular basis, but that is also going to be a goal in and of itself. I haven't been very good about it in the past but I hope to change that with this milestone year.

Milestone because, in March, I turn 40 YEARS OLD!

(Don't worry -- I don't dread it. I think it's going to be GREAT.)

Time to finish my 1st post of 2009 with the obligatory Funky Bunch picture. Hee!

Mindy the Sleeping Polydactyl Beauty

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Feeling Worn and Torn

Well, it's one more week until my CVC Central conference trip and it can't come a moment too soon. Work is truly wearing me out. Or should I say, the ATMOSPHERE is wearing me out.

The irony is: it's been REALLY SLOW. Hardly any patients at all. YAWN.

I got a message from a coworker (with whom I seem to have, whether I like it or not, a like-hate relationship with) telling me that it was my turn to have a night off and that if I was needed I would be called in later. Good. No bullsh*** from her to deal with. But it threw off my body clock again...

No matter where I go to find employment, there always seems to be someone who takes innate pleasure in trying to bully me in order to make themselves feel better. I'm not imagining this: it's TRUE. It's the untold secret of workplace social culture. The fact that I'm also not much of a workplace "player" makes things WORSE because people don't know me very well, nor do they have an interest in doing so because I don't play "the game". At least, not by their rules anyway.

Anyway, we've been at this since May 2007 when she came back from a birthday vacation on the "outs" with one of her closest friends at the time. She's treated me with the hot-n-cold contempt that the friend was doing to her apparently. They had a major fallout, hate each other now and said friend (who also happened to be another coworker) eventually left for another job, but it had nothing to do with their fight.

To make a long story short, she still takes out her anger and frustrations on her MySpace page, making veiled references to me on occasion through her mood updates or survey bulletins. Unfortunately, neither of these features can be deleted from your account and I have a hard time ignoring them as I am in touch with a lot of nonprofits I like to keep in the loop about.

(For the record: she became a contact of mine BEFORE all this nonsense happened - me being naive as I was when I first started working there...)

So, being tired of all the negativity I've been reading, I'm ditching the old page for a new one since there are other contacts I'm no longer in touch with anyway and starting fresh. No sense in being proverbally chased away when I have as much right to enjoy the Web as much as anyone else. I plan on finishing this transition shortly before I take off next week. Maybe I'll do the same for the Facebook page too. She's not on there, but there's just so much clutter....

OK. I feel better now that I've gotten that off my chest and can move on to better things. :)

TWILIGHT: OK, yes I am now officially addicted to reading the series that I've held off reading for so long. It was like that with Harry Potter, too. I kept holding off on reading them because I got weary of all the (over) hoopla, that I think I held off just for the sake of it. But, at least the whole series is out now and I can polish them off consecutively without having to wait for the next installment to come out. Hmm, good thing or bad thing?

Started the first book, Twilight, this week and am halfway done. Working on my Twilight knitting swap project too. Bringing it to SnB tonight for some pointers on how and where to pick up stitches 'cause I'm still dense when it comes to reading knitting patterns. :-P

Here's what I'm working on:

Of course, followed by the obligatory kitty shot. Heh.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lesson Learned from the Past

Well, pink sock had be euthanized with a good old-fashioned frogging. It was just too warped looking, even to stuff with catnip and call it George. Yes, that UGLY. So now it's an official Ravelry UGH. RIP.

Got a new schedule change at work. Now I'm supposed to be in 3 hours earlier and leave 3 hours earlier, which may wind up to be curse rather than a blessing. Now, instead of dealing with one set of strong personalities I get to deal with a completely different set. And ALL the stupid-ass politics that come with. Which includes a CLIQUE. ACES....

But I am getting ready for my trip to Kansas City MO for the CVC Central conference and making some professional connections with other member of IVAPM (International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management) so I'm totally psyched. Getting my travellables together, hopefully my knitting project for Twilight Knitting Swap and got me some business cards for networking.

I happened to have found some old photos that were taken before I left NY of my little neonate Emily before she passed on. These pictures are wonderful but come with a twinge of sorrow attached. If she had survived (she had become septic and none of the doctors I knew would help me with her because "Mom abandoned her for a reason") we would've been able to celebrate her 5th birthday this upcoming October.

I decided to make this one the cover of my new business cards, courtesy of MOO. They did a wonderful job, I think.

The one thing I learned about this whole experience is to become a better advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. I've seen better neonatal kitten rearing resources out now that weren't available when I had Emily so I'm going to be making a library and be better prepared, just in case I get blessed again with another kitten raising opportunity.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Playing catch-up ...

Well, don't know why the widget I tried to have put on this site showed up as a blog but I'm now writing a real post so hopefully that will get bumped. :)

Back to work this week after a reprieve. I think I need another one because it's even MORE stressful now than it was when I was last there. BAH! Thankfully I just started a 6 week yoga class. Hopefully that will help things.

Making progress on my Training Sock. I took it out with me to the 1st Annual Durham Stitch n Pitch at the Bulls game Wednesday night. Have no idea who won because I was more enthralled with "wrestling the porcupine" than I was watching the game. And the bag of knitting goodies the organizer had put together for us. She rocks!

Now, either I'm REALLY a beginner at this sock knitting thing or the pattern is written a little wonky. But no matter, it's looking OK. It's good practice. And a future cat toy. Heh.

And it's NOT going to be Nicky's if he doesn't stop looking away from the camera EVERY SINGLE TIME I try to take his photo - ARGH!