The Robbie Report

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We got good news today from Robbie’s vet. They’ve done the blood work: her kidney numbers are back down to normal, and so are her thyroid numbers. She won’t need to be checked again for six months. It’s a great relief to us.

Robbie recently had her sixteenth birthday, and that makes her a “senior cat.” You might well think she was younger than that, to look at her. She’s had more than her share of serious medical problems in her life, but she’s still ticking.

Meanwhile, the weather here has not been friendly to any writer who needs to work outdoors. I want to start writing my next book, the early life of King Ozias, who lived two thousand years ago. I think I’d like to frame it as a tale told by Obst, King Ryons’ teacher. The tale is told in Obann’s Scriptures, in bits and pieces scattered here and there. Obst will have to put it all together into a coherent narrative.

To start a new book is exciting, but also a little bit daunting. Can I do it? Can I make it work? Will it serve God? The only way to find out is to pray for guidance and write the book.

Memory Lane: ‘Let’s Go for a Ride!’

Peaceful Country Roads Stock Photo 1176477265 | Shutterstock

We used to have a lot of places that looked like this–right around here, where I’ve always lived. All paved over now.

When I was a boy, sometimes on a Sunday, my mother and father would decide “Let’s go for a ride!” We went nowhere in particular. We had these areas that people called “the country” (not there anymore, all paved over). It was very relaxing to be there. Or we could go to Perth Amboy and see the ships docked in the harbor.

My wife and I decided to go up to High Point, one day some years ago, because we’d never been there. Once we got there, it was positively gorgeous. You could see for miles and miles. But getting there–!

It’s hard to decide which is worse: a traffic jam that hardly moves at all, and drives you crazy, or drivers who are already crazy and are determined to show it.

Well, at least I know what nice places are supposed to look like; and no one can pave over my memories. Honest, it was beautiful around here. Once upon a time.

Stay Tuned!

Person Looking Through Keyhole Stock Photo by ©AndreyPopov 63345081

I have to go to the store now, but stay tuned for some huuuuge big nooze a little later!

Joe Collidge will check in, but there’s bigger nooze than that–

–Has the Pregnant Man returned already? He hasn’t been defenestrated?

My bloodwork is in, by the way: looks like I’m good for another year. I did have COVID, though: but we thought so. Now I have natural antibodies. Ditto Patty. But we think it was COVID that carried off our little Peep.

Gotta go before it starts raining…

Memory Lane: The Workbench

Workbench Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

When I was a boy, my father, my grandpa, my uncles, and our neighbors all had workbenches, with lots and lots of tools. Most of them were in the basement, but some of them were in the garage. Ours was always down below.

I’m sure some of you have workbenches–but at one time, virtually every household with a father in it had one. My father tinkered with radios and built shelves and cabinets as needed. Uncle Ferdie invented things–had dozens of patents. Grandpa made toys for us kids. I haven’t collected evidence for it, but I think people used to be a lot handier than they are now. Heck, I used to be a lot handier than I am now.

We don’t have a workbench. Living in an apartment, where would we put it? But there was something magical, on a rainy Saturday, in watching my father shave lumber with his jack-plane, drill holes, tap nails into place, and wind up making something we could use.

Ah! You should’ve seen him and Ferdie tackle a failed TV set. But that’s another story.

Please Bear With Us

Hot Air | The Electron Pencil

We are trying to work around Patty’s fall off the back porch step the other day, and it ain’t easy. She can’t walk because her foot hurts, so she’s using the computer chair as a wheelchair. It’s sort of like having a snow plow in your living room.

I have to go here and there and everywhere today. And I’ll take her car, which we just got back after three weeks at the garage. Squirrels had gnawed the wires, and there was a “rodent nest” under the hood. Maybe if we actually use the car, they’ll leave it alone.

I can’t imagine how I’ll write a Newswithviews column today, so probably I won’t.

Getting her up the stairs is a job.

One gets disheartened, sometimes. We had, I guess, half an hour of peace between getting the car back and Patty falling off the step.

Please pray for us. We need it.

Memory Lane: ‘You Are My Sunshine’

This song is one of my earliest childhood memories. Sometimes I’d get nightmares and fantods in bed, and I would cry. My father would come and pick me up, rock me in his arms, and sing this song to me. You bet I remember the words:

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.”

Performed here by James Swanson (I think he’s a cousin to our friends, Joshua and Jeremy Swanson). Very nice job, Jimmy.

Another Trip to the Vet’s

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I have to take Robbie in this morning so they can check how her incision is healing, do blood work, etc. It doesn’t make me happy, going back there.

Good thing I already wrote Newswithviews yesterday. I won’t feel much like writing by the time I get back. Robbie hates going to the doctor, but I think for once I’ll be even more uncomfortable than she is.

Yeah, I’ve got nooze to write today. Would you believe the FBI says oops, sorry, they’ve “lost” Hunter Biden’s laptop? Looks like they can’t investigate it, after all. And a “teacher” is bellyaching that now they won’t let him tell his kindergarten class about his (ahem!) “love life.” Once upon a time those children’s parents would have run him out of town.

Let’s try to wolf down some breakfast before we go, shall we?

Robbie Report

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As you can imagine, we’re watching our surviving cat, Robbie, very  closely. Maybe even too much so.

Patty has been very worried about the cat not drinking, getting constipated, not eating, etc. You’d swear these animals understand English. A few minutes after this conversation, Robbie was in the litter-box pooping, then she ate a whole can of Mediterranean Harvest, and within seconds of Patty stepping out, she took a nice long drink of water. “There! See? I’ll be all right!”

But we have to allow for some vagaries of behavior on her part. She lost Peep, too. She’s taken to lying on an old T-shirt I laid on the floor for Peep. We can be sure she’s not shrugging off her sister’s death–and she can certainly see how upset we are. Being a cat, she can probably sense it in more ways than we humans can imagine.

A death in the family is always hard to bear. Always! It always makes me wonder what’s going to happen next. I’m trying to work my way through it, keep busy… yeesh, I could use a laugh! Maybe I’ll go outside and laugh at the weather.

We Have Lost Our Peep


Her tale is told,

Her song is sung;

To grief we’re sold:

What’s done is done.

There was was never a sweeter or more loving cat than Peep. She would have been 16 in May. But she was ill beyond the power of any medical treatment, and today we had her put to sleep. We tried everything else first.

Everyone you love dies, unless you die first. The only alternative is not to love; but we can’t live that way.

God help us, how we’ll miss her.

The End

Now we’re waiting for the vet to call us in to have Peep euthanized.

I don’t think I’m able to write anything else today. I think Christmas was the last good day we had. Then I got sick, Patty got sick, and then the cats got sick. And soon there will be only three of us here instead of four.

Anything else I might say at this time is probably better left unsaid.