Sunday, March 31, 2019

Basil's Surgery, Promotion, More

Apologies for the lack of blogging lately, we've been busy and somewhat distracted for several reasons I hope to touch upon here.  Basil needed surgery, I'm getting the overtime blues yet moving up at work, and with spring comes chores that need to be done.

My last post had Basil feeling better but, alas, it was temporary.  A week ago Sunday morning we had to take him in to the emergency vet again because his urinary tract was blocked once more.  We had talked about it, and if this happened again we were going to go ahead with the surgery.   Basil stayed at the vet, surgery got bumped on Monday due to another emergency so he wound up having surgery on Tuesday afternoon.  The surgery was to shorten his urethra so when he forms crystals in his urine they don't get caught in the bend or near the tip.  Now he'll pee like a girl cat, essentially.

After the surgery, they let him come home midday Wednesday, but he has to wear a cone, take medicine and use a special cat litter until he's healed.  We also needed to keep the cats separated, which has not been easy.  He'll have to wear the cone for two weeks following surgery, then he'll have the stitches removed and have to wear it for at least several days still after that.  My wife has been able to get him the medicine in food and pill pockets.  And our home has been divided into three segments; the back bedroom and porch where Basil has been sequestered, the living room and kitchen (and basement) where Hamish has been kept, and the neutral zone - the area in between that has our bedroom, the hall of doors, and the bathroom.  At nights we've had to include the neutral zone in Basil's territory so he can sleep with us - he wouldn't have it any other way, as we found out the very first night.  We've also been moving that barrier so the cats can see and smell each other but not physically interact.  There's been some hissing and batting under doors, but overall it does seem to be getting better so hopefully we can have them together soon.  But Basil does need time to heal without worrying about Hamish coming after him for smelling different.

Weather-wise it is definitely spring.  Most of the snow has melted and plants are starting to come up.  I got outside yesterday to get the yard raked but it's still a bit early for cleaning up the garage and getting ready for summer, though I could get the bikes down and give them a once-over at any time.  Soon it should be consistently pleasant outside, but for now we still have temperatures bouncing up and down, above and below freezing.  There has been regional flooding of some rivers and some communities but we have not had any issues with our lake system like last summer, and hopefully we won't at all.  I should get down to the creek and get a picture, but maybe in a future post.

Work has been keeping me busy with mandatory overtime, but every few weeks they have to give us a break from it, so just regular hours the next couple weeks, thankfully.  Also, I've accepted a promotion that will be effective tomorrow.  I've only been back in this department since July, but they've seemed to be grooming me for this ever since.  Although I'm not in a supervisory position (and do not want to be anyone's supervisor), it is a leadership position and I've already had to tackle many challenges thrown my way.  I've also had to undergo several background checks to varying degrees - including a high level government background check.  This had me being grilled interviewed by a federal agent because I had neglected to mention something rather inconsequential that happened almost 30 years ago!  The government takes things like this very seriously.  Hopefully soon all will be settled.  I have nothing to hide, after all, and this will certainly prove it once again.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Basil Cat Dirty Talk

It's been a very stressful week here as we had to take Basil to the emergency vet because he couldn't pee.  They got him sorted and he came home two days later with a cone, bandaged arm and medicine to take.  I'm not going to go into detail, just know that he is feeling much better now and is cone-free and settled back in. 

Enough stress has subsided that I can see the humor in some of our conversations!

Thursday, March 14, 2019


This afternoon
No, not another milestone birthday.  It will be a while until I turn sixty, though my half-birthday was a few days ago.  Our temperatures reached 60ºF (16ºC) today for the first time since, well, seemingly forever.  Let the melting continue!

A month ago, February 18
Today started out mild at 49ºF when I left for work a couple hours before sunrise.  We had fog in the early daylight, sunny midday/early afternoon, followed by short periods of heavy rain, and now it is overcast and cooler than it was this morning.  If it snows tonight it would be like all the seasons in one day.

This week has slowly warmed up, culminating in today's high temperature before it will get back to more normal temps for this time of year, upper 30's to low 40's.  Then in a week we may see it start to warm up again.  Yesterday I even noticed daffodils breaking through the mulch.  This gives us hope - Spring is coming!

We can see the fire pit again, but it still may be some time before there's a fire.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

More Snowblower, Winter Daze

Since there's nothing else to write about yet, here's a little more about the new snowblower.  On paper, the new snowblower is 208cc, same as the old one, despite the size difference you can see in the picture.  The new one seems better so far as I still have not used the electric start because it starts easily with just one pull, which never happened with the old snowblower.  Also, it just seems more solid, a better built product, and more powerful despite the same size motor as the old one.  My only complaint is that it's currently on sale for forty bucks less than I paid, but I needed it right then and couldn't wait for a sale.  I've only had to use it a few times so far, but there's still snow in the forecast.  We got an inch or a little more last night, too little to get out the snowblower.  It was the light and fluffy stuff, and my wife took care of it easily this morning with a shovel.

You can see where the auger separated from the axle on the old snowblower, and how worn down the rubber was.  In fact, metal was hitting the ground and peeling it back, seen at the bottom, so it was just time to be replaced.  I still have the old one in the garage.  I looked into leaving it out for pick-up with the trash and it will cost 15 dollars for a sticker so the city will pick it up.  I think I may set it out for a few days and see if someone will take it before I buy the sticker, which I can easily get a few blocks away at the public library.

I also took a spill last week in the driveway.  Ice has built up between the back door and the garage with the rain a week ago and snow melting and hasn't drained normally with the snow and ice and frozen ground on the side.  I'm okay, thankfully, I mostly hurt my pride and got a wet ass, but I still have an ugly, tender knot on the outside front of my right knee.  I didn't have to buy sidewalk salt last winter (and maybe the winter before) because what I had had been plenty, but I used up the last of it this morning and bought another two forty-pound bags today.  With any luck I won't have to buy anymore this or next year, but the way things have gone this year it has been needed often.

I wish I had more to say, but not a lot has been happening with mandatory overtime at work and being stuck indoors at home.  Everyone here is grumpy and tired of it.  It's March now, so we need a sign of spring to help us get through the last of winter.  Hopefully that will come sooner than later, but there's no sign of it yet in the foreseeable forecast.