Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Whispers of Summer

Fresh corn... tomatoes... strawberry shortcake... baked potatoes & chicken on the grill... watermelon... lemonade...

It's time for my 'Summer Dinner' to start the season & Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time!

I love fruits & veggies of the summer. I look forward to having people over & spending time outside. While there's no restriction to trying new recipes throughout the year, it's always more exciting during the summer with the bounty of freshness out there to choose from.

my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it... yum!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Heavy Decisions

For a few weeks I have had the news of my kitty, Roxyann, weighing on my mind. She went to the vet, then to the surgeon and then I had a consultation with an oncologist.

None of the answers they gave were ones I longed to hear.
No treatment out there is going to save my Miss Priss.
No information made the decision FOR me.

Rox has the option of doing radiation & chemo with few side effects - far fewer than us humans have with that type of treatment. But it's not a cure... and eventually the cancer will come back. No one knew how long she would be cancer free and barring a miracle, their 'long-term' was only 18-24 months.

Cop'er let me make the decision about what to do. He asked all the same questions I did - how would she tolerate the treatment? Would she go blind in both eyes? How much will is cost? Will she have to stay there?

I got all the answers to our questions. I talked it over with Cop'er. I made a decision. Roxyann would have the treatment. She has an appointment for Wednesday.

Today I started to wonder if I was really doing the right thing. How do I even know what the 'right thing' is? I love that little kitty - the other half of the pair I adopted 9 years ago. She's been my baby, my friend, my comedian, my confidant, my sidekick, my pest, my joy, my companion... my sweet little girl.

All I can strive to do is what's best for her. And right now, I don't know what that is.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I work for a non-profit organization - meaning, as we all know, the organization doesn't rake in the mula. Yes, we have enough money to pay the bills & keep the organization going should the economy fail to recover & the members drop off.

We have an annual conference every year for the membership & to make this conference run the way it should, we require volunteers from the membership - people to head up meetings, people to serve as moderators of sessions, people to do multiple tasks throughout the 4 days we are there.

In order to coordinate all of these details, we request the volunteers to give their availability and interest. We also clearly state they may be called upon to serve more than one time, in different sessions, on different days, etc.

So... why do I get emails about people who are 'surprised' when they are assigned 2 sessions???

Or emails from people who have volunteered, been assigned their tasks & then tell me they aren't going to be at the conference AT ALL?

Or emails from people who don't like the task they have been assigned? Can i change it for them?

Sometimes I think it would be easier to have PAID people doing these jobs! As long as that paid person isn't me =)

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted something! Where does time go? I think it was all a blur after Monday, when I got the news from the veterinary surgeon about Roxyann. He told us that it was cancer; it was very invasive & was down into her eye, her cranium & pushing her brain slightly.

Talk about devastating news! I was crushed. I held it together long enough to talk to the surgeon on what he thought could, should, would be done at this stage. After our conversation, I let Cop'er know the results & all we could do was keep her happy.

I came home & loved on my lil girl... Roxyann has been with me a long time. I adopted her & her 'brother', Riley, from the SPCA a few months after I purchased my first house. Riley was diagnosed with FIP when he was still a kitten (for those of you who don't know, FIP is an incurable, spreadable disease that strikes the nervous system). I had to put Riley to sleep the day after Christmas, just a mere 3.5 months after I adopted him.

Roxyann became an 'only child' for the next 6 months. She learned how to fetch like a champ, loved the attention of all who walked in the door and ruled the house with her playful ways. The chance to be an only child was short-lived, as it was never my intention to only have one cat. I wanted 2 so they could play together & keep each other company.

Welcome, Moodles. It was me, Moodles & Roxyann for several years after that... living in our house and keeping each other entertained.

I've had both Roxyann & Moodles longer than I've known Cop'er... there's something to be said for all that we have been through together. They have definitely helped keep me sane, listening & loving just when I've needed it.

I received another call on Friday from the 1st vet we talked to (who referred us to the surgeon) about Roxyann. She called Miss Priss a "miracle kitty"... She also suggested that we make an appointment to see an oncologist in Northern VA about Roxyann. In conversation with her about the ROXY FILES, it was mentioned that radiation therapy might be an alternative. (We originally asked the surgeon about this, but he said it would likely blind her-not an effect we were willing to do to her). While I don't know that the oncologist is going to have a 'cure' for our kitty, Cop'er & I agreed that a conversation about it couldn't hurt. I'll be calling in the morning to see when they can fit us in.

Did I mention that Roxyann will have to travel in the car for 2 hrs there & 2 hours back??? I might be the in the crate after that!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Race for the Cure - 2010 - Richmond, VA

Mi madre, mi padre, Sister Fantanimal, AriCaVa (& kiddos), FlyRunner & youngest son, ChildPilot (with 2 sons & hubby), Uncle Tom & wife, Kris and CycleCaster all converged on downtown Richmond, VA to take part in the 2010 Susan G Komen Race for the Cure.

We were "Jean's Team"! Walking for my aunt, Jean, we did it to celebrate her life, to raise awareness & do something in her memory as a family. It was a fitting weekend to get together - Mother's Day weekend! The weather was beautiful - sunny, warm, even a nice WIND!

There are lots of others with the same thoughts - celebrating life & walking for a cure. It was inspiring to see so many people in their pink, with the loved ones, living life.

The smallest of the team (Jelly & Otoño Poco) rode the 3.1 miles, but were alert & definitely enjoying the hustle & bustle of people passing them by.

At times we walked together, other times we were separated as walkers sped up & slowed down throughout the race. But in the end, we crossed the finish line together.

A little warn out from the excitement of the day, we left the race with plans to meet up at mi madre's house for lunch. What a spread to feed the hungry masses! With full bellies and lots of family in the vicinity, it was a nice afternoon to share with loved ones.

We survived this year's event & it was mentioned we should do it again next year...
I think i might just do it! See ya in 2011~

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Hard Few Days...

As you know, I have 2 cats & 3 dogs residing in this house with myself & Cop'er. The cats were my babies before I ever met Cop'er. We had a nice, cozy little family unit and we had lots of fun together.

I blogged recently about Roxyann's latest trip to the vet for an issue *ahem* back there. She also had a bump on her head that we didn't notice before. They sent us home with 2 weeks of antibiotics to give her, with instructions to come back if, at the end of the 2 weeks, she wasn't better.

The spot on her head didn't get better. It actually got worse. I scheduled an appointment with the vet yesterday. I went in, hoping it could be lanced, drained, etc, but that was not to be. I was hit with the news that Roxyann had an aggressively growing tumor & would need to go to a specialist.

Obviously the words "aggressively" & "tumor" together are not things you want to hear. I took the vet's recommendation & scheduled the specialist's appointment for today. Sister Fantanimal went with me to the first appt & urged me to think positive thoughts. I tried, but I think something inside of me knew...

Cop'er went to the specialist appt with me today. I knew I wouldn't be able to handle it alone & was very glad he was there. I, like many other people, have a weakness for my animals & tears are not something I am afraid to shed in public.

The specialist came into the room & expressed his very serious concern about Roxyann's tumor, its location, its growth rate & the ability to make a positive impact on  her recovery. There was conversation about what tests needed to be considered, what the options *might* be, what out thoughts about future needs were.

It was hard. It's still hard. I know it's not like losing a child or a parent, but those of us who have been through it know there is nothing easy about the decisions you have to make. I've shed many a tear thinking about how to handle her future & mine without her.

We managed to get Roxyann an appt for a CT scan today & picked her up this afternoon. She's sporting a green bandage from the IV she had & is trying, as I would expect, to shake the thing off. She's still spunking & spry & doesn't seem to be affected.

Tomorrow we'll find out how long that will last... In the meantime, I'm praying for her comfort & my strength to do what's right by her.