Sunday, January 25, 2009

Some Quiet Time

It has been a lazy day in Naruna. The sun came out after a rather chilly gray start to the day, and critters have been seeking spots to nap and generally conserve energy and body heat. Rosie grabbed a little patch of sunshine, while Sam & Tizzie cuddled up on the sofa. The LB and I have also been slugs after church, just sitting eating popcorn and watching a movie, "My Dog Skip". It is a real tearjerker at the end and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Tangentially, the movie let me give the LB a little history lesson, which I love doing. Anyone want to sit and discuss the cultural impact of the Spanish Civil War on American society in the second half of the 20th century?

Oliver, the whiny cat, has had a trying week, with the ugly scab on his nose finally falling off. Very pink and still a little raw. Maybe he has learned his lesson. Yeah...right.

Yesterday afternoon, the LB and I visited the Middle Child and her husband. He has been home from Iraq for about a month, and has been getting out and catching up by doing all the things unavailable over there. While doing one of his favorite activities - riding his new motorsickle - he dropped the front wheel in a hole on the edge of the pavement at about 10 mph, flipping the bike(and himself). He landed squarely on his shoulder, fragmenting, comminuting and dislocating the medial portion of his right clavicle. That just means he smashed hell outta the end of his collar bone where it should be attached to his breast bone. Lots of sharp pieces that are not where they are supposed to be. He has had to wait while being referred to the most appropriate orthopedic surgeons specializing in trauma, and then wait some more until a thoracic surgeon would be available to help if needed. Should get fixed this week. Everybody keep praying...for patience as well as healing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Don't you just love pulling up your blog and finding that various and sundry individuals have taken the time to leave comments about what you have written!?! It makes you feel like somebody is actually reading what you have laid down, so it must be for a purpose and not just vanity! Or am I just trying to justify my occasional scratching down of self-centered personal tales?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Oliver's questions answered

Sunday morning brought an answer to what happened to our whiny cat, Oliver. After imagining all sorts of encounters with local critters, the truth came out during my Sunday School class.

Two weeks ago the 132 year old church had a scare when smoke began billowing out of the ducts immediately after the heating system was switched on. Turned out a raccoon was using the attic of the church for a refuge from the cold weather and had succeeded in gnawing through a couple of wires which caused the smoke.

Stanley, a WWII Marine Corps veteran and a member of my class, decided the coon needed to be caught before some real damage occurred. He brought his live trap and set it out behind the church house and baited it with something smelly. Apparently, Oliver couldn't resist the lure of the decaying tidbits, and sprung the trap on himself. Now the goal of a live trap is to capture a critter without inflicting any terminal injuries...all that is required of the animal is to sit down and wait to be released. Oliver is not a patient pussycat and kept trying to butt his way out of the cage, hence the damage to his nose by the time Stanley checked his trap. No wonder he acted so embarrassed...a self-inflicted injury!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tending the Wounded

As we get older, there are milestones we come to in our journey through life. This week I came to another one when I had to accompany my Lovely Bride to the dermalogist's office for something called a "Mohs" micrographic procedure to remove a cancer from her face. One of the inherent problems with being blonde, fair of complexion and living in a sun-drenched environment such as Texas, is that skin cancers become a matter of when...not if. She has always had a multitude of adorable and highly interesting freckles, but this was just a spot at the corner of her eye next to her nose which her glasses kept irritating. The process entailed cutting away the visible tumor and examining the edges, or margins, of the mass to see if there was any cancer there. If there was, the knife came back out, more tissue was cut away, and the microscopic examination conducted again. This ensures all the cancer is removed along with the minimum amount of healthy tissue. Once the margins are found to be free of cancer cells, it is just a matter of stitching the patients face back together. One problem with this procedure is the time involved...for the LB it was a little under five hours, and I aged a lot more than that as I waited and held her hand. Two days later, other than some bruising and an itchy incision, there aren't many obvious signs she had anything done.

She decided to stay home from work Friday to rest and recuperate a little. While home, she passed the time by taking some photos of some of her house critters, including one chronically whiny cat named Oliver. Oliver has been with us since birth, and has had an interesting existence which once included a trip to a feline orthopedist for hip surgery after an ill-timed encounter with an over-enthusiastic Labrador puppy.

Saturday, Oliver didn't appear until late in the afternoon. He acted pretty embarrassed, and was sporting a very swollen and bruised nose. Didn't seem to be in much pain, but the question on our minds was what did he get tangled up with? All I can think of is maybe he got himself kicked or stepped on by a cow while roaming through one of the neighboring pastures. What else could give a cat a bloody nose while doing little other damage? Anyone have any ideas, please send them along.
These pictures of Oliver were taken Friday and Saturday afternoons.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Same Old Thing

I need to give up on trying to post regularly. I just have fallen back into my routine of getting up before the sun, going to work, and coming home to Naruna sometime around sundown. No trips to exotic locales, no meals at fancy restaurants, and few encounters with out-of-the-ordinary folks whose stories are not protected by federal law. Nothing new. Nothing different. I go to the same job every day and then come home to the same wife every night.

Since I am in this terrible rut, I have to be bored out of my mind, right!?! Wrong! Yesterday there was a high school student, doing a rotation through the Operating Room, who asked me why I was still working in the OR after more than 37 years. The answer which slipped out before I had time to think was, “I can’t imagine doing anything else.” Nothing else gives the same feeling as taking a patient who has a problem, helping fix whatever is wrong, and then sending them home better for having visited us. If you don’t feel like you have made a difference and accomplished something after a day of that, there is no hope for you.

And the wife I come home to every night is the same girl I fell head over heels in love with so many years ago. I still don’t know why she decided to say yes more than a third of a century ago when I clumsily brought up the subject. She stood beside me no matter what came along, traveling around the world, having babies and raising them far from home and family. She took care of them by herself when I ran away on those unaccompanied tours to exotic parts of the globe, and she learned there was nothing she couldn’t do if needed. She balanced family with volunteering and serving others, so that when we retired from the Army, she knew more General officers than I ever met.

No matter what foolish things I tried over the years, she nursed me back to health and some degree of mobility. She continues to experiment on me with exotic recipes, even when worn out from cooking for her kids at school…all 400 of them. Since we first met, we have been able to sit beside each other, read a book or newspaper, never feel the need to say a word, and still feel we have communed and had “quality time” together.

So when I say I am doing the “same old thing” every day, that means a lot.