Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Good bye, Kitten

Today I write this with a heavy heart. The past few weeks Kitten had been very ill, losing weight, continuing to get sick once or twice a day, not grooming herself and crying at times in what I can only assume was pain when we picked her up. Last Sunday, the 21st Andrew and Dad planted a nice golden delicious apple tree and dug the hole. Andrew made a poplar box and on Thursday Kitten visited the vet for the final time. I am very sad and miss her terribly. Tweek is lively as ever and while he does not sleep with us all night, he pops up to visit and likes to cuddle in the morning. There really isn't anymore to say I suppose.

Moving on to things less sad, Andrew is less than two weeks away from graduating paramedic school. At the end of June we will be going to New Orleans for the America Library Association Conference. This weekend Andrew worked on his term paper while I got serious about refinishing and oak dresser Dad picked up for me last summer. The drawers inside are disgusting, mildew-y and dirty. I wanted to completely redo those drawers saving only the solid oak fronts but because the drawers are dovetailed, Andrew worries about damaging the joints. He’ll be sanding those. The dresser still needs a lot of cleaning on the inside (grooves of wood hold abandoned wads of spider webs) and the dresser top needs quite a bit of sanding. I will send pictures out soon.

For not “blogging” in a while I guess I don’t have that much news. We’ve hung more pictures and things and the house is really starting to come together. Once Andrew is out of school we’ll begin working on the yard in earnest. I’ve been doing more non-professional writing this past month and in April but now outdoor pursuits will be calling.

As for Reader’s Advisory I am listening to Wendy Wasserstein’s Elements of Style, which would be just another Upper East Side elite love fest if of course, it was written by someone other than the late and very talented Wasserstein. The characters will rarely likable except for a couple, are much more real than the usual New York Society books so popular right now. I read a really great YA book last week called Dead Connection by Charlie Price. It’s kind of a murder mystery set told through the eyes of several characters with a sixth sense like twist. I am also listening to the captivating yet very dark “Geek Love” told by a 38 year old albino dwarf about her childhood in a traveling carnival. Her parents intentionally experimented with all kinds of harmful substances to produce natural geeks like Siamese twins who play the piano and a boy with flippers instead of limbs. I have Ladies in Lavender in the DVD player—it’s pretty cute but also a little sad.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Lawn and Garden

I write with a very heavy heart. Kitten has been ill all weekend and especially ill this morning. I think very soon we will have to make a decision about her, you know, THE decision. While a blood test last week revealed nothing amiss, the vet agrees she is a sick cat and told me we could spend $1,000 looking for the source and never find it. Kitten walks with a hunched back and rarely relaxes into a little ball anymore. Sometimes when I pick her up she cries in discomfort. Yet other times she acts like herself. But cleaning up after her is exhausting and being gone 50 hours a week and Andrew even more, it is getting hard to care for her. If I didn’t brush her, her coat would be tacky. She is only 6 years old but eats without gaining any weight. She is down to 7 pounds. It is hard to see her compared to Tweek, who is eating like a horse and playing like one too. He wants nothing but to play and be loved and Kitten is just not Kitten. I am very sad.

What I was planning on writing about came from our activities yesterday. If you take a look at the phrase Lawn and Garden and the phrase Julie and Andrew, well, I would be the lawn and Andrew would be the garden.

I spent the morning picking up ancient half buried trash from the front yard. Pepsi cans circa 1985 that my mower has revealed, bits of chip bags and even a light switch plate I am sure fell out of our electrician’s pocket last fall.

I also marked with flags a half dozen rocks missed last summer. Then picked them up or had Andrew shovel a couple up. I also weeded the south end of the house, where I plan to transplant some poppies, plants that were once Grandpa Perdue’s this fall. Andrew meanwhile planted tomatoes, herbs and more herbs in the raised bed. He retiled his garden and planted our sweet corn, sunflowers, and watermelons. I think cucumbers are the only thing at this point. Other than picking and cleaning, I am not that interested in gardening. I think I could get into container gardening but even then, I have a feeling plants may feel like they are on death row. So far though the pansies, violas and phlox I bought nearly a month ago are surviving so I must not be that bad.

A lawn though, I want a nice lawn. Might take a few years to get it, but walking on Mom and Dad’s lawn is like walking on carpet. Walking in our yard is like walking in a mown field, field being the operative world. Or, in a baked wasteland full of rocks. But this will change I just have to be patient.

Andrew is basically indifferent about the lawn. He looks forward to having grass, but I will be the one mowing in a zen like state with the roar of the blades in my ears and the gas fumes in my nose while Andrew is in his garden.

I started scraping paint off the oak dresser, refinishing project number one. The first layer flips right off and I figure why waste the stripper? If it is warm enough this weekend I will start stripping the dresser drawers in earnest.

Andrew is exactly 4 weeks away from his Paramedic final. He still has 60 hours of ride time to do and has already done 60 hours. We are on the home stretch.