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Shadow Update

Thanks to all of you who were concerned about my BFF (best feline friend). Shadow is slowly getting a bit better. We still don’t know what has caused all the sneezing. It could be allergies or a virus. Luckily, it has not progressed and there has been no temperature or sign of a fever. I have noticed that Shadow has been sleeping more than usual as well as enjoying the warmth of the woodburning stove in the evenings. Can’t say as I blame him for that. Now that the temperatures are in the 20s F at night, those of us who are chronologically challenged here at Oleo Acres are moving a wee bit slower than we do in the summer.

All things considered, I think I’ll take moving slower over hot summer anyday. Move over, cats…that wood fire does feel might good.

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A V-E-T Visit for a Buddy


I thought I would get a quick post in while waiting for Dr. Bill to come to check out Shadow. Yesterday, Shadow spent a good deal of the day either sleeping or sneezing. A bit listless and “gurgle-y”, I decided that having a good once-over by a v-e-t would be a good thing. I just don’t need a respiratory infection spreading through our 7 cat household. Having two sniffling people here is bad enough.
Shadow is indeed just that, my shadow. As a kitten 14 or so years ago, he was delivered to the house next door, only to be abandoned when the renters moved out. No one wanted him, but he and I became great pals – and have remained so since he first came into the house. He didn’t even hold my making him get a “Hoo-Ha-ectomy” against me. A true friend – to give up one’s HooHas so you can be near someone. He’s been glued to my hip ever since.
Shad is our official “Greeter”. Liking most everyone, he loves meeting everyone who comes over, always showing a cheerful nature.
And even not feeling up to snuff today, he’s sitting near me, purring. Little does he know that the Prisoner Transport Unit is about to come out of the basement so I can get him to Bill’s van when he arrives. It’s so windy and cold out today, I don’t dare carry him up to the car area.

…It’s OK, Bud. You’re just going to have to trust me that this will be for your own good. Let’s hope you’ll be on the mend soon.

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I still have a week to go before I see the surgeon for my first post-surgery appointment. But I have found that time is really going very s-l-o-w-l-y when you’re not allowed to do much. Oh, don’t get me wrong…I’ve loved catching up on my reading, but I haven’t been allowed to bend, or pick up anything. You never really realize just how much you do bend or twist your spine until you’re told not to. My DH has been a gem doing everything I can’t and also helping me to remember things like not to bend over to pet a cat. He’s OK, but it’s driving me nuts! (Which he says is a short way to go – yuck, yuck)

I haven’t been able to spin, or do laundry, or reach down to give one of the wee beasties a pet, let alone do anything with the sheep. I know this will pass. I know if I’m good now, I will be able to do these things soon. It’s just when you’re anxious to get moving and can’t it’s very frustrating. But I have given my word to the Dr., my DH and family, and all of my friends that I will NOT over-do and will do as I’m told…for now.

One thing I do accomplish is walk. That is the most important thing to do with this sort of spin surgery…walk. Now that it’s been very warm and the Monsoons are starting to form, I have taken to walking about a mile to a mile and a half each morning. And it’s been lovely! I can walk without any pain other than normal post-surgery pain/discomfort – no feelings as if someone were driving an iron spike up my spine with each step as before the surgery. It’s wonderful! I can’t imagine why I put it off for so long. But I have only been allowed to walk on the more level areas around our place making my routes somewhat limiting. I’m hoping that after next week I will have healed enough to start on some of the hill-ish trails instead of the roadsides where I now travel. Even from the shoulders of the road I’ve been treated to all sorts of birds and flora of this area. The roadside was absolutely alive with finches this morning – all singing merrily before the hot part of the day sets in.

I have really missed the sheep. With my DH back to work this week after taking some time off to help me recover, I do get to walk down to the barn at lunchtime to make sure everyone has fresh water. (And no, I do not carry or pull a hose around – we have it set where I can just turn on the faucet and fill the water-tank.) But I have to watch myself that the sheep don’t bowl me over in the process. I can just hear them saying, “Oh, there you are! We’ve been wondering what happened to you. Please come back as The Man doesn’t feed us as much as you do.” I mention to Amanda that she will be totally svelte by the time I can take over again and won’t it be nice for her to be that slim again. She just says “Humpf!” and walks off. Silly sheep.

I think the one who has had a harder time with my recovery than me is my buddy, Shadow. After the first night home from the hospital and trying to get pillows adjusted between and around my legs, plus turning over “log-roll” fashion to protect the back, I found that I could not cope with cats trying to lay all over me too. So, the cats were banished from the bedroom via the gate closing them out. The one most affected by this has been Shadow. He always, as in every night, would walk up towards my face and curl up in the crook of my arm to sleep. And every night he tries to slip past my DH to get up to that spot and settle in before he’s noticed and removed. The other night he made it…Ralph had left the gate open just a wee bit too long and whoosh!…Shad was next to me before we could bat an eye. Ralph let him stay with me until he was finished with his shower, then the poor cat was unceremoniously booted out of the bedroom. He spent a good deal of the night sleeping on the other side of the gate, calling to me softly every once and a while letting me know he really wanted to be next to me.

I’m sorry, Shadow…soon, Buddy, soon…I miss you, too!

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I escaped! 🙂

Yes, I am sorry for not having posted sooner. I have had a really rough week emotionally (some of which I shall not go into) as well as physically. But not to worry…I believe I will have many chances to post now that summer is here and we all take a “Siesta” during the hot part of the day. As I am entering this, I can see in the “Sheep-O-Vision” monitor that all of the ewes and lambs are back in the coolness of the barn after dining al Fresco this morning. The barn stays relatively cool during the day due to the cinderblock/frame construction as well as the fans I have going to keep air circulating and the flys down.

As you can see in the picture of Shadow and the keyboard, you will note this as one of the many obstacles to my actually getting anything done on the computer. It’s nice to know that I always have help – even if the helper gets in the way. At this moment Shadow’s down in the basement in his basket taking in the morning sun as it comes through the basement window over my workbench.

I have never been able to understand the amount of heat a cat can stand. On a summer day, when it’s so hot I can barely breathe, I see cats sleeping in the sun! And I can never fathom why they aren’t turning into puddles of cat-plasm or some other sort of gooey mess. If you go to pet them you can hardly stand to touch them they’re so hot. But there they lay anyway.

Now that Lauren has received her print I can show you what my cyber-friend Michelle sent me for my birthday! Michelle did this breathtaking rendering she did of an Arabian mare. Bless her heart. She knew how much I had loved my horses and how hard it was to give them up. (After a shoulder surgery back in ’98 from an injury, I could no longer even lift a saddle to the horses backs and it really wasn’t fair of me to just have them stand around for the rest of their lives, so we found them good homes.)
I will have this framed and find a suitable spot for it on the wall near the cross-stitched Arabian my wonderful daughter, Kelly, did for me. Every time I see it I will remember Michelle. 🙂

Part of my not posting has been the coordination, and being stunned, afraid, numbed, etc….of a surgery date being arranged for my having back surgery from my neurosurgeon. Now, I knew this was coming, but I just didn’t realize it would be so soon. When I left his office he said something about a problem I was having not being able to be fixed by physical therapy, medications or hanging up-side-down from the chandelier…and while it wasn’t an emergency-type surgery (meaning I wasn’t any danger of being paralyzed or nerve damage from this) I did need to have this fixed sooner than later. Little did I know that his “sooner-than-later” meant like soon! As in the end of this month! Boy, has that put a crimp in my plans, damn-it. I was hoping to make it to Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon this year. I was so looking forward to driving there and exploring Oregon as a possibility of moving there in a few years. The only good thing I can say is that I should be recovered from it by the time our wonderful family from New Zealand will be arriving for a visit. I am so looking forward to seeing them!
This surgery has really put a damper on my emotional well-being lately. Darn it, darn it, darn it.

Well, at least I’ll have my Roberta spinner to keep me company…
and maybe I can actually get caught up with all the fleece I have stashed around the house. That is IF my helpers don’t try to “help” me too much….

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