When your kitty has asthma

Poor Ajax.  He has developed kitty asthma, had a shot that seemed to help quite a bit but the vet does not want him to be on injections long term because they can cause a lot of damage to his liver.  So we had to get an inhaler and were wondering how in the world you make a cat take breathing treatments! He actually seems to like them; I guess he knows they make him feel better.  He is usually cooperative and will sit with Rich and take the treatment with minimal fuss.  Luckily he only has to take about 10 breaths so it doesn’t take too long!


Handyman, Kali, Monarchs, Garden, Peacocks

Rich bought himself a big ole tall ladder so he could get up on the roof and clean the gutters.  We lived a lot of years in company housing in Alaska, where the maintenance department took care of everything so Rich is actually enjoying his newfound competence around the house, yard, and tools.  He installed a new garbage disposal and fixed the water filter and ice maker on the fridge all by following YouTube videos and doing some research online.  He is now the master of lawn mowing and weed eating and hedge trimming.  I’m anxious to see what other new skills he obtains through the joys and trials of home ownership!

We finally bought some fall plants to put into our plot at the community garden: cauliflower, broccoli, red chard, lettuce and cabbage.  Monarchs are starting to come through the butterfly garden — they’re so pretty.

The other day I went with Sarah to walk through their new house, which is coming along nicely.  Their neighborhood is home to a large flock of peacocks who just wander around several streets.  Pretty cool to see several of them on the side of the road, though none would consent to spread their plumage for us.

Our little Kali is the shy one of the cats but I caught a quick pic of her outside.  She usually runs away as soon as someone approaches.

We’re babysitting tonight and getting ready for a little trip to New Orleans Monday through Thursday.  I’m still trying to get over my throat and ear infections–I sure thought they’d be cleared up by now and I kinda dread getting on a plane with an earache so here’s hoping I will feel fine by Monday!

What’s new in your little corner of the world?


It’s that time again

Back to school.  New beginnings.  Pristine notebooks and newly sharpened pencils and brand new markers and fresh boxes of crayons.  Backpacks and lunch boxes.  A few special outfits.  Haircuts.  Going to bed earlier but not being able to sleep.  Excitement and worry. Looking forward but also feeling a little bit afraid.  Hoping for a good year, a nice teacher, friends.  Vowing to be organized, to stay on top of things, to develop a routine.  I can remember all of these thoughts and feelings to one degree or another every year as school began.  I liked school as a young kid but always felt a little anxious and never quite fit in as much as I wanted to.  This only got worse as the years went by.  By high school, I just wanted to get finished and get out of there!

I can imagine the grandkids feeling at least some of those emotions as another school year begins.  Everyone finished the first week successfully despite a few little bumps in the road for a couple of them.  I hope the bumps even out and they all have a happy time, learn a lot, and feel loved and nurtured by teachers and friends.  So many hours of the day are spent at school and I want it to be a good experience for them.

I grabbed these back to school pix from the girls’ FB pages.

My niece Missy lives in Japan where her husband is stationed with the Air Force. She had the opportunity to come home for a quick visit so she and her parents, along with Aunt Frankye, came over for dinner on Thursday night. We had a great time catching up on everyone’s news and hearing all about life in Japan.

Clockwise: Missy with her dad, her mom, her Aunt Kelle, me, Aunt Frankye, and Sarah
Sarah, Aunt Frankye, and Missy

Jack loves Ajax and wants to come see him every day.  He is really cute with the kitty.

Saturday we went to Elle’s soccer game, where she was quite the little star and scored four goals!  Unfortunately, I have no photos of the game.  Sarah and Miles had tickets to see Coldplay with friends that evening so we brought the kids home with us and stayed with them till their parents got home.  Beck was already wearing this tie-dyed shirt and found a headband somewhere, picked up Elle’s harmonica, and my thought was “what decade are we in?”  🙂


I went back to my acupuncturist on Friday and he has decided he has never had a patient like me in 30 years.  OMG.  He can’t understand why I am not feeling better.  He was not very encouraging and seemed irritated with me so I didn’t make another appointment.

We went to some estate sales on Saturday; didn’t find much but I did buy two skirts for $3.50 each and Rich got a backgammon set.  I still find estate sales mostly sad.  I feel bad for the people who once lived in these homes that are now being picked over by strangers. And it reminds me once again that I don’t want to leave such a mess for my kids!

Rich cooked for the family on Sunday night and we had a nice time visiting, as we always do.  Now we’re into the second week of school–here’s to a great year for all!

Another week gone by

Sometimes I think retirement is busier than working was. I know that is not true, especially in the early days when I was working full time and raising three daughters–I look back now and wonder how I did it.  When the kids were really young, my ex worked in an oilfield related job and had an odd schedule where he was on call and worked a certain number of days on, then a day off, so it was different every week. He was not home evenings and weekends very often, or was working into the wee hours and sleeping during the day.  Therefore I usually had to get three little girls ready every morning, dropped off at day care, and arrive at my job by 8 AM.  I think I went through several years in a daze because life was so hectic all the time.  So I KNOW that work life was busier than my life now, but I manage to fill my days up even without a job.  And it’s more fun!

Sarah, Miles and kids arrived back home last Sunday; Rich fixed dinner and we enjoyed hearing all about their vacation.  We went by the garden and cleared out some more plants that were wasted away and finished producing. Surprisingly we are still getting eggplant and a few peppers.  I’m also responsible for taking care of part of the butterfly garden and noticed a few Monarchs flitting around.  Rich made moussaka tonight using our eggplant and has been making baba ganoush regularly since it’s something I love.   Both very yummy.


I had another appointment with my acupuncturist, which was nice and relaxing but still hasn’t affected my headaches.  I did some research online and it looks like the usual recommendation is six sessions to help headaches so I will give it a little more time. I also found info on “chronic daily headaches,” which I have self-diagnosed since no one seems to want to give me a diagnosis.  haha  Of course, they are hard to treat. I am really annoyed by the whole thing, but trying to ignore them and carry on.

The kids go back to school on Monday. They got calls from their teachers (gone are the days of walking up to the school to see the classroom lists on the door, I guess) and went to “meet the teacher” yesterday afternoon.  They had little get-togethers with their classmates today.  Elle will be in 3rd and Beck in Kindergarten and we are hoping for a great year for both.  Jack will be going to preschool a couple of days a week so it will be quiet around the house!  The out of town kids are all heading back to school, too:  Aidan in 7th (how can that be?), Ally in 3rd, Emery in 1st, Luke in PreK, Ada will also go to preschool twice a week.

Ajax and Kali love to go outside and we hate to keep them cooped up in the apartment all day.  Kali doesn’t really leave the yard, thankfully, but our explorer boy Ajax takes off regularly. I’ve been reading on social media about coyotes killing cats around the neighborhood so we’ve decided to make Ajax stay in after dark.  He is not happy with us but we’d be heartbroken if we lost him.  Here he is sitting on the barbecue pit.  He likes to head over the fence and who knows what kind of mischief he gets into!


Around the house

First dinner in our little Granny apartment.

13932689_10206922858206385_2814281590031538359_nWe’re still getting things put away, hung, and organized, but it’s shaping up.

Beck couldn’t sleep while his parents were out of town at the end of July. Elle had gone to a slumber party and Jack was already conked out.   I told Beck he could come out on the couch and lie down for a little while–he was immediately gone.  In a weird position!IMG_2807

Ajax has been exploring more and seems to like going over the fence into the neighbors’ yard. We will see how they feel about that.  FullSizeRender-4

Home, Sweet Home

We rented a U-Haul truck and hired two guys to spend a couple of hours with Rich loading and unloading the bigger, heavier items from our apartment.  We hit the jackpot with Kirk and Joseph from Trophy Moving!  One arrived earlier and got right to work; the other came on time and both worked diligently without a break to get everything done for us. I was more than impressed.

Rich and I spent the next couple of days going back and forth between the apartment and the house, finishing everything up.  I always underestimate how long it will take to do all those little things that have to be done before we are completely moved out and ready to turn in our keys. And I’ve always cleaned my own residences when moving, though it’s never been my favorite chore. I remember once in Unalaska when we moved from our little duplex by the water to a bigger one up the hill and I semi-pouted through my birthday because I was cleaning all day.  🙂  So Rich suggested we hire someone this time and I said, “Really??!!” I was so excited. Of course, I then had to sweep the floor and wipe down the counter tops because I didn’t want the housekeeper to think we were total slobs. Still, it was great not to have to worry about getting it in perfect shape for the check-out.

We’re happy to have a home of our own after living in company housing for so many years in Alaska and then in a small apartment since last October.  In fact, Rich has never owned a house in his life!  We’ve had a couple of issues already which have just reminded me that home ownership is not all sunshine and unicorns.  There’s a mildewy-musty smell and a small leak under the house so we have a plumber coming out.  The backyard pool has been contracted to a service company while we’ve lived far away, and apparently they’ve been less than fabulous, leaving the pool green, dirty, and neglected. We were unable to get anyone to return calls so we hired Miles and Sarah’s provider, who came out today and the pool already looks 100% better.  The disposal is broken in the apartment out back.  Our renters for the past two years apparently had a dog when we expressly stated “no pets,” and it appears that a third person was living here or in the back apartment as well.  Kinda frustrating, but we will get through it and get things in shape, right? Continue reading “Home, Sweet Home”