Tuesday, November 24, 2020

 Bad things happen in threes.  When Matisse threw up his breakfast, all of it, Sunday morning, then continued to vomit clear liquid and finally froth, I worried.  When food didn't interest him -and this is the cat who is so food fixated he's eaten his own vomit, I worried.

In to the vets yesterday morning him screaming all the way.  Good news.  He's sick, yes.  He has pyelophrenitis, an infection of his kidneys.  But it's treatable with antibiotics.  He may also be falling prey to the bane of many older cats, kidney disease, but if he is it's not serious despite it showing 'stage 4' on his tests.  Stage 4 because of the pyelophrenitis.  If he does have it we can treat it to slow down its progress.  At nearly 17, that's not bad.

So relieved.  Don't have to dig another hole in the ground.  Have planted the trees, Black Walnut for Natalia, and Feijoa Sellowiana Pineapple for Nairobi.  Both of which are thriving.  Still miss them, see their faces, hear their meows, remember their antics and their love.  

But we have Matisse for a bit longer anyway.  

And strange, since he is solo cat, he has stopped wailing.  He no longer sprays and is a much more content cat.  He just wanted and felt he deserved to be number one.

Now he is.

Monday, November 16, 2020

 Want to jot a few things down, disjointed things.  

Have been thinking about my 'religion'.  I used to be on a spiritual quest.  I read and pondered and practiced and longed for some kind of breakthrough, some kind of knowing, some sign I was on the right track.  This morning I realized I no longer yearn for anything.  My 'religion' has been distilled into one word:  gratitude.  Each morning, each morsel, each shot of beauty, each piece of music, each remembering something I was supposed to remember, each parking spot in the shade, each stubbed toe to make me slow down, all of it all the time, but most of all, just being here.  And maybe that's all it is.  If I am grateful I am in the present.  I don't wish for something to be other than it is.  I am grounded in this moment, this being-ness - and because I am not longing for this or remembering that I am anchored in the now.  And when I am fully in the now, my borders tend to dissolve - and there's my 'religion'. 

Now, back to nuts and bolts.  Yesterday a pretty crappy one with Richard.  He was in the grips of LBD, not present, incommunicado for the most part.  He smelled.  He'd been showered and shaved, which doesn't mean he hadn't had an accident.  Usually he says he has to go but he was so out of it yesterday it probably wouldn't have occurred to him.  

Today he was more himself, complained I hadn't come to see him yesterday.  Still, those days like yesterday are preparation for what's to come.  He wanted to come home with me.  Every time I leave him (and I leave him at lunchtime to make the parting a normal transition form 'visit' to 'lunch') I revel in my release.  No matter how nice it is - it's still prison.  He is wheeled out of his room, forced to join the others for a game of 'golf' or word play or whatever else they have going on.  If he was compos mentis and mobile he could choose.  In his state he doesn't get to choose.  

Yet I am so happy he is there even while I hate it.  He is safe, well fed and clean.  They use the hoist for bathing and toileting.  He is too far 'gone' to be trusted with a walker.  No way could I look after him now, even with help.  I've had people tell me how good I look.  I think it's because when I sleep I actually sleep.

The book is coming along slowly.  Finally began writing new stuff.  Have sent 15 chapters to Fiona.  Gulp.  Have made a schedule to ensure I write every day.  Lunch, make coffee, in here by 1pm to try and write 500 words.  

So best get to it.

Monday, November 9, 2020

 Biden/Harris Win.

The four year old fever has broken.  Delirium ends.  Healing begins.

That's what it feels like.  After years of living in a fog of fear and frustration and disbelief, the sickness succumbs to the body's natural healing and normality returns.  And I can breathe again.  If this is what it feels like from the other side of the world I can only imagine what the people in the US feel like. 

 Unless you are a Trump supporter of course.  

Seventy million votes for a man who is demonstrably mad is worrisome.  If you're a hard case far right nutter, it's understandable.  But I don't believe there are 70 million hard right nutters in America.  The economy has gone down the toilet, people are dying from the virus, hospitals are unable to cope, infrastructure is inadequate and falling apart, people are frightened for their property and lives.  What salvation did Trump offer except to validate and exacerbate their fears.  

One worrying element, which is a product of the Trump era, is the loss of confidence in the media, in science, in truth.  Words don't carry weight unless received from a 'trusted' source which might be diametrically opposed to another 'trusted' source.  Without faith in words, we are cast adrift - and receive our news from Facebook or Twitter.  There is no bedrock upon which to anchor ourselves while the tides of information flow over us.   

Biden/Harris have an almost impossible job ahead of them, a task which will take more than four years to accomplish.  I think they are up to it.  Joe is steady, calm, trusted and an old hand at working in DC.  Harris is smart, energetic and responsible.  I think they are a formidable team.  

They'll need to be.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

 The agent and I played phone tag on Saturday.  Finally connected.   This entry is just another ego stroke I'm afraid.  She reitereated how much she liked my work, said it was polished.  Told me her reputation is at stake each time she submits work to a publisher.  If it's no good she won't be taken seriously.  So.  

How having interest shown in one's work motivates!  All fired up to work on the Sunday but had violent thunderstorms from lunchtime. Have already fried two wifi's so unplugged everything.  Monday morning though -look out!  I've got a workable schedule.  All the chores and visiting Richard and horse feeding in the morning.  Home by lunch.  At the computer from 1pm.  Work until 2:30 or 3.  Have sent first  (fiercely edited) 10 chapters to Fiona and am almost caught up with where I left off the the writing (Chapter 35).  So start actually writing from tomorrow.  Having reread the book the story and characters are back in my head, meeting amd moving and acting out different scenarios.  Quite exciting.  Do hope I can keep up the impetus and interest and cast everyone into peril before bringing them to a satisfactory finish.  

Bought a laptop off ebay.  Sold for $1300 in 2010.   Needed something portable (Matisse  just tried to jump on my lap, didn't make it and landed on his back.  Poor baby.  It's hell getting old!),...something portable to store the photos from the 'good' camera so I could use them as reference for drawing.  Then I thought, I can store a copy of the book there too so if something goes wrong I've got a spare!

Chuffed when it arrived yesterday.  It's a Dell, looks great, clean and unmarked.  Plugged it in and fired it up.  You beauty!  Worked a treat.  Then today, started okay, downloaded Firefox and everything went pear shaped.  The screen went entirely blank save for  the cursor.  Eventually an UNsmiley face came up to say something went wrong.  No kidding!  Now have a window up which says, 'Repairing disk errors.  This might take over an hour to complete.'  It's been two.

Have written to the seller preparing them.  If it doesn't resolve I'll mail it back and get another or a refund.  They've a good feedback rating so it won't be a problem.  Oh well.  Just means I'll get to experience the thrill of unpacking a brand new (to me) laptop twice!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

 Just have to record this:  Received a text last night from Fiona, the literary agent.  I'd sent her the first three chapters of the book a month or more ago.  And heard nothing.  Then I get the text, a text in which she asks for the rest of the book and says I have a lovely style of writing.  

When my friends in the Writers Group praise my writing I think they are being kind.  Despite assurances to the contrary (and it is not good of me to think them dishonest).  Fiona and I have met once.  She is not a friend although she may be one day - so when she says my stule of writing is lovely well...


Sunday, October 25, 2020

 Most of the time I'm pretty good.  I lead a busy life, even if most of it is solo.  I practice guitar, yoga, write (well, edit at the moment), look after the animals and the house, feed the agisted horses, visit Richard daily, walk an hour every day.  Don't leave myself much time to be sad.

But not leaving myself much time to be sad doesn't mean it's gone away.  I've been tired, really tired and lack of energy is not usual for me.  And I cry more easily.   Maybe the loss of Nairobi has temporarily tipped the balance. 

Writing this because I needed to say - despite the fullness of life - how much I miss Richard even though I act as though I don't.  I don't miss the dementia Richard and the mess and the confusion and the difficulty communicating, the fear of falling, the smell, the TIME it took - but I miss HIM.  Today, while holding him in my arms, my head resting on his shoulder, he kissed the top of my head.  Like he used to.  That glimmer of the past breaking through the hallucinations and the gibberish and the fog - a kiss.  I wept silently, secretly.  And missed my love and miss him still.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

 2020 has not been a good year.  Richard lives in an aged care facility.  I had to put Natalia down and today I had Nairobi euth'ed.  Took both cats in for a dental.  Matisse because his normally foul cat breath had become toxic.  Figured there was a rotter or two in his mouth.  Turned out there wasn't, only plaque and gingivitis.  For Nairobi it was a last ditch effort.  She's been steadily losing weight.  The Mirtazapine was a fraught exercise of diminishing returns.  I hoped she had a mouth full of rotten teeth to explain the anorexia.  She was checked last year and her teeth were fine.  They were today too.  But they had to borrow a crush cage from the pound to handle her.  Couldn't even approach her carrier unless wearing welding gloves.  Sam suspected kidney disease, took bloods and urine while she was out of it for future tests.  But the last dose of mirtazapine, administered .02 of a 1ml syringe in side of mouth, was a battle royal.  We were both traumatized.  How would I dose her with meds on a daily basis.  

Nairobi was 17 years old.  Our tailless tripod.  The little kitten that roared.  Coming in after 20 km riding on a car engine.  She was flayed.  So much so Karen wanted to ring the owners and have her put down but we couldn't contact them.  So Karen pulled skin here, stitched there, swabbed her with antibiotic creme, injected her with a/b's and pain relief.  The owners couldn't pay.  Richard and I adopted her, treated her painful wounds (skin pulled so tight her anus was skewed right), and fell in love.  She was alternately adoring and cranky.  If she had tired of one's attentions and you didn't watch the body language, a swift stab with unsheathed claws soon taught you.  Or she would follow you about meowing piteously, purring like a train, eyes full of love, until you picked her up and gave her a cuddle.

I'll miss her.