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Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Additions

The story goes like this...we have been experiencing a very frigid run of weather with wind chills in the minus twenties, when a delivery driver at DH's work told him about a pair of cats he was worried about. He typically parked his big truck and ate lunch in this vacant cul-de-sac between a wetland and a strip mall, and for the past few days he has been seeing these two cats. DH called me and asked if there was anything that could be done to prevent them from freezing to death. Well, of course! My mom and I drove out there with a plastic storage container and some lunch meat. It was cold! We could see the kitty prints in the snow and the sandwich the nice truck driver had left them, but no cats. Mom thought she heard a meow, so I go off walking in the field and there they were-curled up together on the south side of a snow drift. Friendly little things, or maybe just too cold to be cautious. We scooped them up and brought them home with every intention or taking them to the Humane Society.

We have been a pet-less family for more than 15 years (unless you count Oscar the iguana)because of DH's allergies and asthma. Our 7yr old also seems to be mildly allergic -getting red weepy eyes if she rubs her eyes with 'catty hands'. So when I called DH at work and half jokingly said 'Awww, can we keep them?', to my surprise 'yes' was the response-with a qualification about allergies.

The girls named them Shadow and Sunny and they are adjusting very well -I am sure they were house cats previously. So far no problems from my DH and only one episode of red eyes from Lizzy. It is strange having a cat to just pet and warm my lap-I don't have to poke or prod, or figure out why they are itching/vomiting/pooping in the laundry etc. They are pretty great little cats! Now to figure out what to do with them this summer when we are living in the middle of a field in our camper :)

Friday, January 22, 2010


Yesterday the American public got fucked, how was it for you? I feel a little weird just typing the F-word, but there is no other way for me to really express how mad I am. You see, yesterday our supreme court ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections. It is 'a vindication of the First Amendment's most basic free speech principle'. Upholding free speech sounds very noble and good. Except corporations are not freaking people! Corporations do not have the guaranteed right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they do not have opinions to express. Corporations exist for one purpose and one purpose only-to make money. The idea that Kraft or BP has the right to free speech is so ludicrous I can't even believe this case made it to the highest court in our nation. If the entire board of Monsanto wants to give to an election campaign -that's great, if they wish to encourage their employees to do the same -go for it! But a corportation or union needing First Amendment protection-get real! Maybe we should just get it over with and sell naming rights for our federal buildings--we could have the ExxonMobile Capitol Building, and Citibank White House. Then we would at least have some of the much lauded transparency in politics.

Well, I feel a little better for ranting. The American public will know slick advertising when they see it and use their head to form their own opinions.... hmmm, on second thought- we really are screwed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Icky Pictures of My Floor (or What I Did On My Day Off)

Nasty grout, eh? We have lived in this house for 7 years and while I wash the floors (fairly) frequently, I have NEVER really scrubbed them. Last week the kitchen 'zone' received some extra attention. I cleaned out the fridge and cleaned grout! I researched the grout part a bit and came up with using 'oxygen bleach' as a cleaner. I don't know how environmentaly safe it is but it's been 7 years, so I went with it. I picked up some OXY-Clean from the grocery store (the stuff you use in the laundry) dissolved 1/4 cup in a gallon of hot water and filled the grout channels with the solution. I did scrub a little with a stiff brush at 0min, 30 minutes and then a good scrub at 60 minutes. All the crap that came up was truely GROSS. Then a really wet mop to get all the dirt off the floors and into the sink. Voila! the kitchen floor looks great (now for the rest of the tiled floors... (entry, hall to the bedrooms, rest of kitchen to back door) I think I am going to just do the darkest stuff and try to 'blend' to the fairly clean edges of the less traveled portions of the floor!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


************CAUTION: This is one of my long introspective wanderings in which I chronicle some insight to my psyche, really important for me to document and explore but boring as hell for everyone else!

I had a horrendous week (or two) at work, I felt as if every thing I touched failed and I know I could do, I have to do better for myself and for my patients. I have really been struggling with my career in the past 5 years since buying a portion of the clinic, I really do not enjoy being the boss. There was some non-existent communication between the other owner and myself which has led to alot of resentment on my part-mostly financial expectations not met. This has been spilling over into the part of my job I am so in love with-the clinical hands-on with people and their pets. I have developed a bad attitude and a whiny, 'poor me' the victim outlook. I haven't been taking my job as seriously as I should in a lot of different ways and last week was my wake-up call. Our clinic is moving forward and earning a reputation for high quality work; I need to be an enthusiastic participant or walk away. I refuse to hang on grumbling and digging in my heels.

I also realized how much of my image of myself is wrapped around being a veterinarian, that's not a big surprise -since the age of 17 that has been who I am or who I was training to be. Now 20+ years later it is part of me; part of what is valued about me. There are alot of self-worth issues here. I have value because of my profession-if I gave this up what would I be? An overweight stay-at-home mom who likes to garden? (don't yell at me-I am just exploring). My perception of self worth also affects what happens in the exam room. Thoughts of I am no good-what I do doesn't have value, the client will not accept treatment for xx dollars, results in a low estimate which means I am constrained to only performing x, when the cat really needs x AND y, so I do x and y but do not bill for y so I can stick to my estimate. (hmmm, remember what i said about financial expectation not being met?)

I just paid my computer guy $75 per hour to debug my laptop, I didn't blink-so why do I cringe when I bill someone $125 per hour to remove a corn cob from their dog's small intestines. In addition to my time, I am paying for a vet tech and expensive monitoring and anesthetic equipment. As a surgeon my time is worth that (and then some) but as me -kris- am I worth that? (Again the intertwining of professional and personal worth) I cringe and hand over the bill and guess what ? The client doesn't blink.

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH-long story short. I will use some of my 'off work' time to work-read journals, stay current on new drugs and surgical techniques. Keep the passion high for the clinical stuff. The owner stuff, well it pays the bills, I may sell after we have moved and built, but I won't let the victim just roll over and be passive about it. I will practice gratitude. Thank you for the opportunity to help people, thank you for the opportunity to use my mind, thank you for the income to live comfortably, thank you for the opportunity to improve and take pride in what I do. I can't tell you how much lighter and clearer I feel after figuring these things out, letting go of the resentment and replacing it with gratitude was absolutely liberating.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bad Virus

My laptop has some bad spyware and I will be down for awhile.
Hope to be back next week some time. I am missing all you guys!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Not A Sucker

Pandemic, what pandemic? Have you heard about this? I happened across this entirely by accident and I don't think it has picked up any coverage by mainstream media here. I guess ABC and CBS do not want to loose all those advertising dollars from the drug pushers. This just makes me sick. Yet another reason to be a skeptic. I sure am glad I didn't have my kids (or self) vaccinated for H1N1, but now I know why the whole thing felt too much like a high pressure used car sales pitch, and following my gut instinct in the future will be a little easier.
My question now is this- in the future when there REALLY is a infectious disease threat how can we trust, who do we trust? Certianly not those who stand to profit by cramming drugs down our throats.
There is a sucker born every minute-but it is not ME.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stocking Up

With this wonderful long weekend today felt like a 'freebie' kind of day. We used the time to do a little prep work. We had 15 bantie chicken carcasses in the freezer which were looking a little freezer burned, Tom and I worked hard on those guys (see this post) and were not about to allow them to go to waste. Time for stock! These little birds could not have weighed more than 3#, feathers and all. Being a couple years old, pretty stringy, not for roasting but the flavor is incomparable for soup stock, hands down the best I have ever tasted.

Banties in the orchard -with the big beautiful rooster (unknown breed!)

We cooked the 12 chickens in 2 batches with just onion, garlic, salt and whole peppercorns, using the canner as a soup pot.

After allowing them to cool a little - stripped the breast meat and some of the bigger pieces of leg/thigh. Good enough for chicken salad or in casserole but not great as a stand alone ingredient!

The liquid was poured off through a colander to cool and
allow some of the fat to be skimmed off.

Two cups of stock to a freezer bag (one ladle = 1/2 cup for me) and out to my walk in freezer :) ** Total for the day: approx 20 two cup portions.

Thank you little chickens.

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Plan

As noted in my previous post-I have been craving structure in my life. This fall I feel as though I am wandering rather aimlessly. No real purpose other than getting through the days and weeks-which is a good thing -but I am capable of more! I have flashes of brilliant motivation and lofty ideas, followed by days and weeks of dull just treading water. Just treading water would be easier if I didn't have these tantalizing flashes of this creative, energized alter-ego; a bit manic depressive, wouldn't you say?? Part of what (I hope) will set me back on track is some structure in my life. Most of my life has been structured- school, more school, then work. I am now a part-timer and I don't seem to be handling the extra time very well now that there is not a garden to care for. Or perhaps it is the lack of sunlight --note to self --pick up a UV light for desk lamp!
So my Plan (or system as one HWW reader termed it -thank you! i like that much better) My system revolves around a couple things 1) work outs at the Y (or basement if I'm late) from 5-6am M-Sat. 2) dividing the house into 'zones' ala the FlyLady and spending 15 minutes at a time working in the 'zone' for the week 3) a daily schedule- ex. each thursday is meal planning, grocery shopping and desk time, fridays will include a painting lesson -yep something fun for ME, and a weight watchers meeting. I hope that with some sort of continuity to my schedule that I will retain some autonomy (as much as a Mom can have!) to my time instead of revolving around the schedules of others.

Fun things for today- I finished browsing through a couple 'small house' books from the library and am re-energized about working on floor plans. All my potential plans had been abandoned to a folder for the past month, the creative juices are flowing now! What else... have been reading about raw food diet and while not convinced than live enzymes really get past the gastric acid, and not really convinced that live enzymes will dramatically change my health or my energy levels, I am willing to put more raw food into my diet I would also like to eat less wheat-(that may change the flatulence issues my entire household has!) Does anyone have good resources for no wheat bread? I also ordered a Diva Cup today-hurray I have been meaning to do that for, what, a year?
Can you say manic?