Friday, November 30, 2018

Need a Laugh?

Perhaps you haven't heard about the viral video of a Scottish grandmother reading a picture book called The Wonky Donkey to her grandson and cracking up, or perhaps like me, you had heard of it, but had not actually watched it. The topic came up at knitting last night, and someone played it for the rest of us, and not only were we all laughing, but one woman pulled out her phone and went right to Amazon to order it, and two others were noting the title to do so later.

Watch it and laugh, is what I'm saying.

No wonder the publisher reprinted it; you couldn't ask for better press.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Watch This

If you haven't seen this lovely little French-telecom commercial yet, you need to watch it now.

You're welcome.

Want more heartwarming? Here's a nice story about a man giving (seriously giving!) to high school students from Paradise, California, the town that was destroyed by fire.

Have you read or seen anything heartwarming recently? Share!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Her First Work Day

The still-nameless cat did well today, her first weekday here, when I needed to be, you know, working. She came along meowing a few times, and even jumped on my lap and settled down for a few minutes, but for most of the day she was here:
Or here:
Or here:
And another neighbor stopped by tonight, and Cat was totally unfazed, and even allowed herself to be petted. She's a good girl.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

After About 20 Hours

She is pretty much completely comfortable here.

And I do mean comfortable.
At Petsmart, I met several older cats that had been brought over from the Humane Society, and even with the choices narrowed down so much, it's still so hard to choose. I mean, it's a big decision! I petted and held and talked to multiple cats, including an absolutely darling pair, brother/sister and devoted to each other, but at only 7 months, younger than I really wanted. Before long, I was focusing on Ms No-Name here, who is six, or six and a half, I guess.

They have a small enclosure with room for a chair and a couple of cat trees, so I could sit in with her and get to know her. She went around and around the space, looking and sniffing, stropping my legs as she passed me, then decided that she was good, and got comfortable there.
Once I had decided that yes, I was going to take her, I asked them to pass in the carrier I brought with me, so she could sniff that. She didn't seem too interested at first, but in a few minutes, there she was.
And she stayed there while all the paperwork was done. Wild.

Mind you, she wasn't too excited when the carrier was closed behind her, and in the car she varied between 'fine' and 'out please' and even 'whirling dervish' for a brief period. But she didn't meow as much as Carlos did in the car, at least.

At home, I took her into my office and closed the door, so she would have a smaller area to explore at first. She did the same thing she had done in the enclosure, clearly interested in everything but not seeming even slightly worried by all the strangeness (I mean, who knows if she had ever been in an elevator before, or seen the view from the sixth floor, or heard the clank of shutters?). She was sniffing everything, including my mother, but was not even slightly jumpy.
They gave me this blanket for her; a volunteer makes them for all the adopted cats. Isn't that nice?
So she was in the office and completely relaxed when a neighbor stopped by, and Mom opened the office to let her see the new addition. Not only wasn't Ms Nameless concerned by yet another stranger, she was highly curious about what was outside the door, so we let her go out to explore the condo. She inspected it pretty thoroughly (it turns out I had quite a bit of dust under my bed, ahem), alert and interested but not afraid, not retreating back to the office at all. Well, okay, let her stay out, then!

She likes the lanai.
Of course, as more than one of my friends pointed out, who doesn't?
(And yes, it's screened, and no, we won't go out and leave her with access to it, at least not at first, just in case.)
She likes laps, some of the time. Both mine and Mom's, in fact.
And she likes being next to laps, other times.
She likes the blanket.
And it turns out that she also likes being under the blanket. I left her sleeping there last night when the hockey game ended, and she came along to my bedroom at 4-something AM, so she was fine on her own for quite a while.

And this morning, she was more of the same. Relaxed, alert, friendly, sometimes a little mouthy, other times relaxed to the point of coma.
She's next to me right now, purring loudly and making air biscuits, allowing me to pet the kitty. So far, so very good.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Say Hi to Ms. Yet-to-Be-Named

She's been here, oh, six or seven hours, and as you can see, she's very tense.

More tomorrow. Tonight it's time to see if she likes to watch hockey games.

Friday, November 23, 2018


The day kind of got away from me in terms of posting (and I do love a long weekend, and still having time before Monday), but I wanted to mention that tomorrow, I'm going to look at some cats. So hopefully, tomorrow there will be news!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

A Little Gratitude for Knitting

As we head into Thanksgiving, I will have more in the next few days of things I am grateful for, but for today, I want to show you some happy knitting projects.

First up is my couch knitting project, the baby lap blanket with the Three Irish Girls Yarn I bought in September. The pattern (more like guidelines) came with the yarn purchase, and is very straightforward, which is just what I need.

Some progress shots:

Here is where I started the second skein (of an eventual four).
I am enjoying this so much. The pattern is nicely un-difficult, the colorway is endlessly amusing, and it's already big enough to be a little helpful when my legs get chilly.
Next up is the shirt/sweater/practically-sleeveless top I am making. I don't seem to have posted much about it here; there was the what-shall-I-make-with-the-yarn and then there was the I'm-casting-on post, but nothing since? Well, anyway, here I am:
I was measuring it because I want to make it a bit longer than the pattern* states, which is 14 inches to the underarm, so I measured it against a shirt I liked the length of, and decided I want closer to 17 inches.
*It's a free pattern from my local yarn store, and it's also kind of more like guidelines, but anyway, guidance is good.
Just a bit further!
The plain-vanilla knitting, with just color changes to pay attention to, is suiting me fine this year. It's not a good challenge year for me for knitting.

And it goes without saying that I have socks in progress. Here's the first one.
The second is progressing toward the heel. As it should. All is well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hockey from Here

Once I moved down here, as my mother had promised, we got the necessary channels and services from the cable company so that I could see all the Bruins games. Specifically, we got the NHL Network (a regular channel) and NHL Center Ice (a seasonal subscription that shows every NHL game unless it's on a national network). Thus, not only have I been watching my Bruins, I've been turning on other games and shows as well. It's fun to have a channel that is always showing something hockey-related! And not only to be able to watch any game, but to frequently have the choice of the home team's or away team's show.

The Bruins, meanwhile, have been decimated by injuries--and doesn't decimated literally mean down by a tenth? If so, then they have been more than decimated. Just about every defenseman that started the season has gone down, and only a couple are back. Last week the big man, Chara himself, went down with a bad knee (will be re-evaluated in 4 weeks), and in the following game, the injury bug moved to forwards and my beloved Bergeron was next. Today they announced that he, too, will be re-evaluated in 4 weeks, and wow, this is going to be an interesting time in Bruins fandom. I hope they have Pasta in bubble wrap between games.

In lighter Bruins news, as we're two-thirds of the way through November, that means we're getting closer to the end of terrible Bruins mustache month Movember. It's such a worthy cause, sure, but so many of the guys grow such awful mustaches... I'll be glad when it's over. The Bruins play December 1, and I hope to see some clean-shaven faces at that game.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Sleepy Kitten Time

Not all the kittens were sleepy when I was there yesterday. I had Peter going all over after the fishing pole; he's still a little watchful, but much less scared, and he loves that dangling toy. I had to be careful: once I almost sent him head-first into his water bowl, and another time the bowl of crunchies almost got tipped over.

Plotting his attack.
Daring to come close after it. (That's my leg along the bottom.)
Everyone else, though, was winding down.

There's a new group of five grey babies. This one was playing.
And so was this one.
But the other three were pretty much lights out.

In the bigger enclosure, I got some cuddles, but more sleepies.

Aren't they darling?

I still want an adult for myself, though. Maybe this weekend: paws crossed!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

That's Different

This is a nice place to live, don't get me wrong, but there are parts of the city that are considerably more chi-chi than where we are, and that was brought home to me (so to speak) as, while I waited for the valet to bring my Kia Soul around, I was standing next to a Rolls Royce, and then I passed not one but two Bentleys on my way back to the main street.

The cost of living is actually lower here than it was where I lived in Massachusetts*, but these are not things I saw up there. Like my mother's story of coming out of the grocery store once to find her car was between two powder blue Bentley convertibles... it's different!
*This comparison tool is really quite interesting, if you want to look at two places that way.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Not Pulling Their Punches

I'm going to get a bit political here tonight, something I don't often do, and if you're not in the mood, I understand, and you're excused. Come back for the knitting and hockey talk.

If you know me in real life, and possibly also if you don't, you'll realize that I have many issues (so, so many) with the president. I feel retroactive guilt for laughing at my aunt, many years back, for saying that she couldn't hear President Bush's voice without wanting to throw up, because now I know just how she feels.

So that's an everyday feeling, and every day there's another awful story, every day you think he can't get worse, and just about every day, he does.

Then he's an embarrassment on the world stage, and I cringe again and again about he represents this country so very poorly. It seemed this weekend like France was pretty much over the "trying to get along" stage, and I don't blame them a bit. But today, they made it even more clear.

You may have heard that the president couldn't be bothered to go to Arlington National Cemetery yesterday, to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as presidents traditionally do on Veteran's Day.

But today the French embassy tweeted out photos showing that they went out and did it themselves.
And to them I say, bravo. Well done, mes amis.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Not My Doctor From Now On

All right, as I mentioned, I have a story about why one of the doctors I chose after moving down here is now (already) off my list.

One of the umpty-seven kinds of doctors I needed to line up after I moved was a gynecologist. I'm on the Depo shot, which is given every three months, so I really wanted an office close by, and it turned out that I had one, count them one, to choose from (on my insurance, anyway). Here was an unexpected feature of moving to an area that is demographically older: not as much call for the gynecologists, apparently. I wasn't thrilled with the practice, for two reasons: one, it's a single-doctor practice, and after having a few gynecologists retire on me in the last decade, I'd rather avoid that happening again soon, and two, this doctor also runs a diet center out of the office, which (two-A) I worried meant even more pressure than usual to lose weight, and (two-B) sounded a little twinkle-ding-dong to me. But in the interests of convenience, I decided to give them a try.

As I mentioned back in June, I asked and they were willing to give me the next shot I was due for, in July, before giving me a full exam (since I wasn't due for my annual until a few months later), so that was good. I was disconcerted to show up on the day we had made the appointment for and be told I wasn't on the schedule, but in fact they did get the shot done, so no big deal, right?

{ominous foreshadowing}

When I had an appointment with my new PCP in September, she mentioned that she had heard he was moving his office farther away, which I wasn't happy to hear about. (She also said she was willing to give me the shot at her office, but it turned out that she meant they would administer it, not that she would prescribe it, and I still don't understand why another doctor would prescribe it to me only to take it to another doctor's office to be given). I called the gynecologist's office later, and the receptionist-person, K, told me that the doctor was looking into moving, but that it wasn't a done deal yet.

  • On 10/10, I got a call from an unknown number, so I didn't answer it. The message revealed that it was K from the doctor's office, telling me that we would have to reschedule my 10/23 appointment after 10/15 because they were moving their office and wouldn't be available then. I was confused (remember I was in week one of that cold), so I called her back, and it turned out that she couldn't get into the scheduling software that week to reschedule it. I guess she thought that telling me I would have to call the next week to reschedule, instead of just calling me the next week to reschedule, was helpful in some way. 
  • On 10/17 I called, and after way more discussion than I needed ('we can do it whenever you need it' and 'that's a bad time for us' don't really go together; also, I don't care about the new counter tops you're getting done, or any other workers doing whatever to the new space), we set the appointment for Tuesday, 11/6; I'm quite certain of the date, because she offered me Monday, but I had a colonoscopy scheduled, so we went with Tuesday instead. She said that she would have the prescription called in so that I could get the shot to bring to the appointment.
  • On 10/22, she called me, sounding confused, to ask if I had an appointment scheduled for 10/23? I said well, I did, but we rescheduled it for 11/6. She sounded very relieved: oh good, we're set for 11/6 then, that's good, and what about the shot? I said that she had told me she would get it called in, and she said right, right, the pharmacy should have it then ... but she didn't sound sure. I said that I had to go to the pharmacy for something else anyway, so I would check and let her know if they didn't have it; otherwise, we'd be good to go. She said fine, and when I went to the pharmacy, they did have it, so I thought that was it.
  • {more ominous foreshadowing}
  • On 11/6, I took time off from work and drove to the new office (now a half-hour drive instead of ten minutes away), only to find the door locked and no one there.
    • I called the office number, and could hear it ringing inside. The message gave the info for the new location (and there were handwritten signs, too), so I left a terse message about the situation.
    • The appointment was at 10; I waited until 10:15, thinking that perhaps I would get a call from someone tied up in traffic but on their way, then left when nothing came.
    • On the way home, I stopped in at the PCP's office, and they gave me a nurse's appointment for the following day, so I did get the shot, finally.
    • After I got home, I looked at the website to see if there was any useful information, and no, in fact it still listed the old address, nothing about the move, and still with the formerly appropriate information about how convenient they are, you don't have to go all the way into the big city....hmmm.
  • After hearing nothing the rest of the day or most of the next day, on Wednesday evening, I got a very apologetic message from the nurse, saying my appointment had been in the system for Thursday, to please let her know if I still wanted to come in, and by the way K is no longer with us. Which I did appreciate getting, but too little, too late.
So now I have to go doctor-shopping again. Cross your fingers for me, would you? I've already found that the nearest other providers according to my insurance aren't at the address my insurance has listed, so that's annoying, and I suspect it won't be the end of the annoyances.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sand and Purrs

It's been a good day by any measure.

This morning I went for a walk on the beach.

It wasn't the best time for shelling, which meant it was excellent for walking (there's always a bright side.) I picked up this little shell, which was (obviously) no longer occupied, but there were hundreds and thousands of occupied ones along the tide line.
The water would roll  back, and they'd start digging themselves back into the sand. It's pretty wild to watch.
Just beautiful.
And warm. I was so hot when I got home (dripping sweat) that I took a dip in the pool, which felt marvelous.

After lunch, it was time to go visit the kittens! And someone was ready for the attention.
While someone else was out like a light.
There are seven babies in this one enclosure, and although they're quite tiny (foot for scale), they're close to being old enough to go home. Quite a few of them are pre-adopted, which is great!
While I was holding another kitten, this one decided that it was really his turn again, and climbed up the wiring behind my chair onto my shoulder to state his case.
Meanwhile, in the bed under the chair, a group nap was starting.
So I went to the other room to spend time with Peter. Remember him from a few weeks ago? He's doing so much better! Came right over to meet me, mewing for attention, and demanding pets and head rubs. He didn't quite want to be picked up, but I was very pleased with how much less shy he was.
"Certainly, I am handsome."
"What are those nuts next door doing?"
So that's been my pleasant Sunday so far. It beats the hell out of last Sunday, when I got a terrible migraine and was throwing up ... but it wouldn't take much to be better than that.