Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Happy Christmas to All

Sending warmest wishes for a wonderful and joyous Christmas Day!

I have put up a small tree and a few seasonal decorations in my living room. Amazingly, the cats have left them alone, for the most part. The tree is on a small side table by my reading chair.  Each morning, I expect to see it on the floor, but it has stayed put.  Perhaps they are on their best behavior, waiting for Santa Claws to bring them some treats.

Rain, rain, rain!  Since midnight, December 23 (only yesterday), the official weather service has recorded over 7 inches of the liquid sunshine.  My own rain gauge is FULL and running over, and it tops at 8". We're on our way to setting a record for the wettest December since the Weather Service started keeping records. 

On the bright side, it's supposed to turn much colder tonight, so perhaps when I leave the church after our Christmas Eve service, which starts at 10:30 p.m. and lasts until after midnight, there will be a few snowflakes in the air and on the ground.  Snow on the ground would make Gardening Daughter happy. For some unfathomable reason, the child loves snow!

I'm off and away to take care of last minute details, of which there are more than I care to admit.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

If You Treat A Cold, It Will Last About... days.  If you don't treat a cold it will last --- about seven days.

My seven days are up, and except for a few residual coughs and a slightly stuffy nose, my cold is over.  I will admit to "treating" it, although I didn't seek professional medical attention. In addition to my throat and chest, I did rub the bottoms of my feet with Vick's (a remedy suggested by two blog commenters and my son), took a couple of antihistamine tablets during the worst days of my streaming eyes and nose, and followed up with about three doses of dextromethorphan and guaifenesen (also a suggestion by a commenter.)  Along with those tried and true remedies, I drank many, many cups of hot tea, most of it of the spiced variety such as Chai and my favorite "Constant Comment."

For the most part, I just took it easy. Between frequent visits to a steadily diminishing box of tissues and sipping my tea, I managed to read four books: an Aaron Elkins' "skeleton detective" mystery Tiny Little Teeth, and two forensic mysteries and one very informative non-fiction book (Death's Acre)-- by the same authors, Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson.  If you're a fan of gory forensic stuff, I recommend the Bass/Jefferson books; I found them fascinating.  If you are squeamish, those are not for you.

I'm also about one-third through Three Cups of Tea - One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations... One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.  It's a fascinating true story about one man's determination to build schools for desperately poor mountain children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  I understand that Mortenson has been getting some TV exposure lately (which I missed), although I first read about his book in a monthly book review magazine at my local library. I'm sure you could find a wealth of information about the book and Mr. Mortensen on the Internet, should you be interested in doing so.

Gardening Daughter's husband helped to supplement my food requirements during my self-imposed confinement, bringing me a huge container of chicken and dumplings from my favorite "chicken place," cornbread muffins, and a slab of pizza -- not all at the same time, of course.  He also made a run to the pharmacy to pick up the cough syrup after I discovered that the bottle I had tucked away in the cupboard had an expiration date of 06/2007.  It seems I need to perform a cupboard-wide check on the expiration dates of  OTC medicines. I don't know if expired medications get stronger or weaker, but I'd hate to either overdose myself or waste my time taking something that is completely ineffective.

Now that my semi-annual cold seems to be on the wane, and my energy is slowing rising,  there is much I need to accomplish: more Christmas cards to make, address and mail; gifts to wrap and ship; last minute gifts to purchase, etc., etc.

More later.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I have a bad code!  I sneeds alod, by dose id rudding, by eyes are weeping, by froat id sore and by chest id tight!  I am floading from dringing so mudge hot tea. 

Exactly where or when I picked up the germ/virus that caused all this discomfort I don't know, but I wish I had left it where I found it.  I don't often "catch" a cold, but generally will have one major episode during the summer and one in winter. My winter cold doesn't usually hit me until after Christmas, but it's come early this time.  It began last night during our church service when I started sneezing and my eyes started weeping; I hate to do that in church!

I will drag out the Vick's Vap-o-Rub and apply copiously, and suck on some mentholated throat lozenges.   I have things to do!  I can't give in to a cold.

Later, with dryer eyes and nose.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

All's Well That Ends Well

On Saturday morning before Thanksgiving,  my son in law called me to say that he'd found a young male Cairn Terrier wandering in his neighborhood; in fact, he had seen it running about for several days, looking tired, scared and hungry. It had finally wandered its way into his yard, and his dogs were not happy!  The terrier wore no collar, thus no tags which might help reunite him with his owners. Since I had a fenced back yard, could I please keep the little dog for the weekend until the Animal Shelter was open?  He would bring dog food from his own supply, and a kennel.

Since I'm known to be a pushover, I said "Sure" and he quickly arrived with the dog and kennel, which was placed in my kitchen.

The little dog was a honey!  Dirty, but sweet and friendly, and we took to each other like we'd been raised together. After wolfing down a pack of moist dog food and taking great slurping drinks of water, he had a great time leaping and romping through the leaves in my back yard, barking at birds and chasing squirrels.  I took a few photos of him and, while he was romping, I prepared a "FOUND" poster for son in law to post in his neighborhood.

As evening drew near, bringing quite chilly temperatures, I knew it was time to bring him inside (I don't "cotton to" leaving dogs outside in the cold. I know some folks keep dogs outside, especially large ones, but I'm too tender hearted to do that. I expect if I had a Saint Bernard or a Great Pyrenees, it would be a house dog, too.)

Before carrying him into the house to meet the cats, I brushed him down to remove the worst of the grime. He accepted the brushing almost gratefully, so I expect he was tired of being dirty. I would have loved to have given him a bath, but I didn't think I was up to quite that much activity.

The introductions were more civil than I expected.  The female cats mostly ignored him; only my large male cat seemed to be incensed over the intruder, but warfare was avoided by sharp reprimands to both cat and dog.

It appeared that the little dog, who I temporarily named "Charlie" was used to being inside, and was very comfortable being a lap dog, and just the right size.  He lay beside me in my recliner on both Saturday and Sunday evenings.  When it was my bedtime, I placed him in the kennel, turned off the lights and went to bed. I didn't hear so much as a whimper from him all night. Nice dog!

On Monday morning, I called the Animal Shelter (a prerequisite before bringing an animal to them.) They had not had any inquiries about a lost Cairn Terrier, but would accept him. "Charlie" sat calmly in the passenger seat of my car while we made the trip to the Shelter. He was logged in and the attendant said that, were he not claimed by the owners, he would be put up for adoption the following Monday. I told "Charlie" good bye, and went on my way, knowing that were he not reclaimed nor adopted, I would be back for him. (Our shelter is, unfortunately, not a "no-kill" shelter. Animals not claimed one way or another are euthanized after several weeks.)

Now... you're thinking that I have a dog in my household, aren't you?  Wrong!

I called the shelter on Thursday of the week he was up for adoption and learned that he had been reunited with his owners.  As I said in my title: all's well that ends well.