Robbie (the Cat) Update

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I had to take Robbie to the vet this morning for blood work, etc., and to check to see if her thyroid medicine is working. We won’t have the results for a day or two, but for the time being we’re very, very happy with news we didn’t have to wait for–

She’s gained back two of the pounds she’d lost.

Poor kitty was turning into a bag of bones, so they changed the dosage and we took pains to feed her more. We must have done something right, because she’s got two pounds back. Percentage-wise, that’s a good increase.

Thank you, Lord.

We Gave Ourselves a Fantod

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I’m sitting at the table the other night, finishing my supper, facing our living room window. It’s a winter night and the wind has sprung up.

And outside–! Out there, someone is bobbing around, trying to look into our apartment. Holy cow. I mean, that can’t be good! World’s full of crazies, isn’t it?

But then I figured out what it was that I was looking at, and I called my wife over so she could sit in my chair and see what I saw. She saw it, all right.

We have a plastic jack-o’-lantern hanging from a tree outside, and the wind combined with a trick of the light made it look like some stalker in a hoodie. Maybe we’ve heard too many stories about that.

It’s always nice when a sharp little scare turns out to be some silly thing that can’t possibly do you any harm.

Wish the nooze was like that.

Our Global Warming Snow and Ice

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We’ve been trying for a week to get Patty’s car out of the ice. Unable to drive, she’s been getting cabin fever. Our neighbor, Josh, shoveled some away the other day and said he thought we might be able to move it today.

Well, I tried. The car got stuck again. I shoveled some more, and then some more–and voila! She finally broke loose. I took it around the block and parked it on the street so Patty could drive us to the supermarket.

Coming home, I suggested we park on the street again, so she could walk on the sidewalk instead of an uneven expanse of frozen snow, and then I’d return the car to our regular parking space–but no, she didn’t think we had to go to all that trouble.

It turned out that we should have. She parked the car all right, but couldn’t manage walking the terrain. She had to try to, though. I followed close behind, so I could catch her if she fell. The ice there is very tricky and I fell there the other day.

So of course she did fall, and off to the side where I couldn’t reach her. “I told you to fall backwards,” I helpfully reminded her. Getting her back on her feet, amid all that slippery ice, was no treat.

She’s going to be sore tomorrow, but she’s all right now.

I’ve loved snow all my life, but too much is too much.

Memory Lane: Plastic Skyscraper Kit

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Nobody likes to go outside in freezing rain. A day like today brings back memories of a plastic skyscraper kit my brother used to have. It was nowhere near as fancy as the one in the picture above, but it had hundreds of pieces and it certainly sufficed.

My brother and I used to try to construct buildings that would use all the pieces in the kit. That would keep us busy for a while. You started with a composite wood base and built up from there. It had room for two skyscrapers, which we could connect with walkways. By and by the building would become inhabited by dinosaurs, cavemen, and wild animals, and adventures would follow.

The pieces interlocked, no glue involved, you could always take a building apart and make another one. That was the only way you could get the Brontosaurus out. Hours of fun.

Lego still exists, so there must be kids out there who have the attention span required to build an elaborate plastic skyscraper. Such a peaceful, soothing game to play! Grandma used to hope that one or both of us would grow up to be engineers who built bridges. She had to settle for plastic skyscrapers. And so did we–but they sufficed. They did indeed.

Robbie Update

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We’ve finally heard from the vet (no one was able to get to the office yesterday). Robbie’s blood work is in. Her numbers are a little better, but she’s not out of the woods yet: we must slightly increase the dosage of her thyroid medicine. She’s 14 years old, and more dramatic treatment is out of the question.

But she still likes to run up the stairs full-tilt after using the litter box, and in most other ways seems her normal self. Fun is still fun, as far as she’s concerned. But she needs to put some weight back on.

Holy smoke–it is quarter to two already?

I wish I had a sled.

The Little Lost Otter

Now don’t freak out, anybody! I’ll tell you right up front–the story has a very happy ending.

It looks like otters live in family groups featuring three generations. Gee, we humans used to do that. My family was like that. We lived in different houses, but spent so much of our time together, it was just about the same as if it were all one big house. I miss that.

The Day Is Getting Away from Me

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I knew I had a lot to write today, trying to pep up my sagging viewership, but as you can see, that hasn’t happened yet. The day is getting away from me, big-time. Can’t catch up!

I had to take Robbie to the vet today, for blood work, and they had this “curbside” whatsit that meant I had to sit in the car and freeze for two hours. We’re worried because she hasn’t been able to regain lost weight.

Well, I’ll just have to do what I can to get some posts written. I’m still cold. And of course the cats are mad at me as The Bad Guy who takes them to the vet. Hiss, hiss.

On to the next post!

Encore: ‘How to Keep a Toddler from Going Up the Stairs’

The angry dog breed sheltie | Angry dog, Dogs, Sheltie

I have to write a Newswithviews column, but first… a little fun.

How to Keep a Toddler from Going Up the Stairs

How did my grandma ever think of this ploy? It really worked! What? Go up the stairs–with the Mick-Mock up there waiting for me? Not a chance!

But I find myself wondering if any more of our fears are, like the Mick-Mock, just something that somebody made up to keep us from doing whatever they didn’t want us to do. Think… oh… Climate Change.

‘Memory Lane: DIY T.V. Repair’ (2016)

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Were I just a few years younger, I’d be too young to have seen this technology, let alone remember it. This is a culture that’s no longer with us.

Before there were transistors, printed circuits, browsers and whatnot… there were vacuum tubes.

Memory Lane: DIY T.V. Repair

I can’t explain what a vacuum tube is or what it does, although my father and my uncle could. All I can tell you is that when I was a little boy, a TV set was chock-full of vacuum tubes. And there was this cool tube-testing machine at the local hardware store, where you could find out which tubes had to be replaced.

We don’t even have a hardware store anymore–to say nothing of persons who could take apart any appliance, fix what was wrong with it, and put it back together so it works. My father could do that with every appliance in his home. I can only shake my head in awe and wonderment.

Anniversary: Our First Date, 1976

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I think that’s a reproduction of The Islanders menu, printed in the print shop at the good old Bayshore Independent, where Patty and I were working in 1976. I was managing editor, she was the bookkeeper. And The Islanders was a slam-bang great restaurant–I had my first Chinese food there, when it opened–which made it a natural destination for our first date.

And we’ve been together ever since.

After The Islanders we went to the movies (Voyage of the Damned–not exactly a knee-slapper) and then to Sam’s Bar & Grill for a nightcap. It was more an old-fashioned tavern than a bar and grill.

All those things are gone by now… except us. I don’t like to think of how our lives would’ve turned out if we hadn’t met: glory and praise to God, who has blessed us with each other.