New Life For An Old Chair

And the work outside continued this weekend.  Accomplishments:

  1. Power washing the driveway, sidewalk, porch, and patio – this was no small task.  We had some moss/algae-looking stuff on the back patio that made it kinda spotty green in color.  We spent at least an hour on that alone, and I’m happy to report that all of the concrete is a stunning white again – amazing!
  2. Mowing – this was all William, and it was also no small task.  Our grass has come back gangbusters this year, which means more mowing.
  3. Staking one of our Rose of Sharon bushes that started leaning over.  We had to do this with one of the others last year, and it straightened right out.  Here’s hoping it works well for this one too.
  4. And, as the title of this blog post would indicate, we finally dealt with the wicker chair on our front porch.  That poor chair was gifted to us almost 10 years ago, and it’s been outside in the elements for that entire time.  It had truly become a bit of an eyesore – old and weathered looking, and don’t even get me started on the not-so-off-white-anymore cushion that adorned it.  We bought paint to spray paint it over a year ago, and finally, this weekend, I made use of it.  It’s now a shiny almond chair with a happy new green cushion.

DSC_0056Here it is, all shiny and new!  (sadly, I forgot to take a before pic)

And, in other happenings in the yard, some of our irises have started to bloom this week.  There are buds on the others, and we expect them to bloom within the week as well.

DSC_0051We love how bright and happy the irises make the side of our house.  Can’t wait till the rest of them bloom!

The weekend wasn’t all work.  We did go to my mom’s for a Memorial Day party yesterday.  There was amazing food, and best of all, great company.  It was definitely worth the drive over and just having some nice time to relax outside.  My legs are a bit sunburned today because of it, but oh well…they needed a bit of color anyway 🙂

Needless to say, I’m sorry to see this long weekend end.  We had such wonderful weather and got so much done.  Next weekend, we have a bit more work to do outside, but the focus will all be inside of the house (and dealing with what we affectionately call Mt. Saint Clothing 🙂 ).

Second Work Trip of the Year

Yet another late in the week blog post. This week has been a whirlwind! The details are unimportant, but suffice to say, the weekend is very welcome.

Anyway, just as was last year’s goal with my 365 Photography Project, I’m planning on documenting my various trips throughout the year. This just helps me stop and appreciate wherever I am for a few moments.

Last week, I went to Los Angeles for work. Try as I might, I didn’t spot any celebrities. 😉 The weather was mostly rainy, but it was about 45-50 degrees warmer than home, so I took it.

I did manage to find a bit of time between work appointments to take the long way and drive a bit up the Pacific Coast Highway. It was beautiful, and there was a break in the rain while I stopped at the beach.

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It was rather peaceful with huge waves crashing on the shore.

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And, yes, I totally took my heels off and walked on the beach in a business suit 🙂

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It was definitely worth the time, and it did the soul some good.

Radioactive Kitty

So this blog post is a couple of days late, but it’s for good reason (see title).

What is “radioactive kitty,” you might ask? Is it a band name? No (but it would be a good one). Some crazy new kids’ game? Nope (but, oh the possibilities!).

Here is a radioactive kitty:

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Yes, that’s Moose, our big, lovable tomcat (an old pic but my favorite one). And, yes, he really is radioactive. Here’s why:

In the past year and a half or so, Moose has started becoming less and less Moose-like in terms of size. He was never overweight, but he’s a big guy. A few weeks ago, we noticed that he was looking pretty thin. We took him to the vet, and he’d lost almost 4 lbs. 😕 They ran some tests, and it turns out Moose has hyperthyroidism (i.e. overactive thyroid). This is actually a fairly common occurrence in cats his age.

There are a few options for treatment:
1. Special food, and he could eat nothing but that.
2. Pills twice a day (no, thank you)
3. Radioactive iodine treatment

1 & 2 don’t actually fix the issue. They just keep him from losing weight. 3 actually takes care of the overactive tissue without harming the parathyroid tissue, which controls his metabolism. Basically, a one and done treatment. He can eat normally and shouldn’t have any more issues. The best part is that the treatment itself is non-invasive – it’s either a shot or a pill that they administer once, and that’s it. That being said, it’s not for every cat, but because Moose is so healthy otherwise, it’s the best option for him.

Sigh….here’s the not-so-awesome part. After the treatment, they kept him a couple days, but when he came home, there’s an isolation period for 2 weeks from the treatment date. We can only pet him at arm’s length and only 20 min/day 😢 All of this is actually precautionary for us because he’s still a bit radioactive. It is torture, though, for both us and him, since he’s little Mr. Socialpants.

We currently have him in our upstairs bathroom with all of the conveniences he’s used to, including toys. But, it’s obvious he just wants to be with us. A friend recommended putting clothes in there that smell like us, and that has helped tremendously.

Despite all of our best efforts, poor Moose-man had a small setback on Sunday (which is why I haven’t posted). He had some gastrointestinal issues and then stopped eating. So we took him to the emergency vet. They were WONDERFUL, by the way…so caring, calm, and gentle. They gave him some subcutaneous fluids, an antibiotic, and something to calm his tummy, and then sent him home to see how he responded. (P.S. if you’ve never had an animal that needed subcutaneous fluids, it’s weird…he looked like he had a lopsided camel hump on his back, which they warned us about). Anyway, the emergency vet thought that it was probably a combination of the treatment and just the stress of it all. Well, let me tell you…the things they did worked almost instantly. When we got home, I couldn’t get his food open fast enough. And, he’s been back to normal ever since. He’s still hating being locked up, but at least he’s all better otherwise.

And, now we are at T minus 5 days until he’s out of isolation, and I can hold him again.

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He will still be a bit of a radioactive kitty, but he will be safe for us to be around. William and I just look at it as Moose is finally getting the superpowers he was always meant to have 😉

A Bit of Culture

One thing that many people don’t know (at least anyone who hasn’t known me forever) is that there is a strong musical background in my family.  My grandfather was a professional pianist/organist; my mom can play piano; my uncle plays guitar, banjo, and piano; my brother plays tuba, trombone, guitar, and a little piano; I play piano; and we all sing.  Because of that, a natural part of life is just having music in it.

I’ve always loved seeing music live – the symphony, a musical, or even just my family having a jam session together 🙂  Luckily for me, William enjoys this as well (also having played drums and piano).  Here in Fort Wayne, we have a wonderful philharmonic.  Ever since we got married, we have had the tradition of going to see the Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s Holiday Pops concert, but in more recent years, we have started going to even more of their concerts.  This year (as well as last year), we have had season tickets to the Pops series.  The Pops series is a bit more non-traditional, and they usually have a guest musician or two participate.

Last night, the concert was “Behind the Mask,” and they played several selections from popular musicals and had two guest vocalists (male and female).

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The focus was naturally on the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has four Broadway musicals running simultaneously – the most of any Broadway composer ever.  I grew up listening to music from his musicals, so this concert was especially appealing to me.  True confessions – I’ve never actually seen Phantom of the Opera, but I know all of the music from it.  And, let me tell you hearing the music from Phantom played live by a full symphony was truly AMAZING.  I don’t think I realized how much I truly liked the music until hearing it live last night.

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At any rate, it was a wonderful way to spend Valentine’s Saturday with my Valentine.  Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t post a picture of the beautiful flowers William got me for Valentine’s Day – roses & calla lilies, my favorite!

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How We Spent Our Saturday

A couple of weekends ago was our 4-year old niece’s birthday party.  Unfortunately, due to the snow/ice, we couldn’t make it.  So, we decided to do a make-up birthday celebration this past Saturday.  My brother and sister-in-law live just a couple of hours away from us, and we had an absolute blast hanging out with them and spoiling Celia with presents 🙂

DSC_0275-Edit-2Uncle Billy (as Celia calls William) being a great sport playing chef with her and wearing her pink chef hat while she wore her apron.  I was served some delicious plastic bacon, pizza, green pepper, and a waffle 🙂

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The next American Idol! Grandma got Celia this microphone.  We were entertained most of the afternoon with renditions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, ABCs, and Row Row Row Your Boat.

photo-1And, I got plenty of snuggles while we played games and read books

We had such a great time!  Celia is hilarious and such a good-natured personality.  The part that warmed my heart the most and was sad all at the same time was that she cried when we told her we weren’t spending the night.  However, we promised that next time, we would.  We need to be sure to make good on that within the next month!

Ice Bubbles + Snowmageddon

In case you haven’t heard, we had a huge winter storm and “Polar Vortex” across most of the United States this week.  In Indiana, we received 12-16 inches of snow, followed by two days of wind to drift the snow, along with bitter cold.  My husband and I were even snowed in at home for a day.  So, what happens when two engineers are snowed in? You guessed it, we decided to have some fun with the weather.

One such cold weather fun activity was going viral on Facebook:  it was the story of Angela Kelly, a photographer in Washington who decided to blow bubbles with her son in the frigid cold and then took these stunning images of the frozen bubbles.  Naturally, I wanted to recreate this myself!  Since we were snowed in, we couldn’t go out to get bubble solution.  So, we made it at home:  2 1/2 cups water, 1/4 cup corn starch, 1/2 cup Dawn dish soap.  We even made our own bubble wands out of wire.

It definitely worked!!  The bubbles froze in the air.  And, while my images aren’t quite as extraordinary as Angela Kelly’s, I still think I was able to get some pretty amazing shots:

DSC_0230A bubble hanging onto our wicker chair on the porch

DSC_0208A teeny, tiny bubble that was stuck to my homemade bubble wand

DSC_0236A large bubble hanging onto my homemade bubble wand that had just started to implode on itself.

And, I would be remiss to not include a few images of the snow as well:

DSC_0170Looking down the snow-filled street at sunrise.  There should be a side walk in about the middle of the picture between plant in the foreground and the small plant behind it about mid-picture.  Instead, a 3-foot snow drift.

DSC_0186My poor little car all covered in snow.  This pic shows the wind blowing the snow everywhere (causing huge drifts).

DSC_0193Snow dunes in our backyard.  You can’t tell in this pic, but those near the pine trees are between 4 and 5 feet tall.

Here’s hoping you and yours stayed safe and warm during the storm and were able to have a little fun too!

Kidney Walk Update

Yesterday was the Kidney Walk, and it went so so well!  There was awesome turn-out, and the weather was great for it…even if a bit hot.  We had the best time, and it was super inspiring to be among so many people supporting the same cause.  Thank YOU so much to everyone who contributed to our cause.  We were able to surpass our fundraising goal of $750 and get $855!!!  This is in no small part to all of you, and we appreciate your support so very much! 😀  Rest assured, your dollars will be put to good use to do research to find cures for those facing chronic kidney disease.

Also, I have chosen a winner (by random number generator) for the Hello Yarn fiber, and skeller on Ravelry is the lucky recipient! 🙂  Thank you again everyone!!