I DON’T want to be sedated.

Not so fun Fun Fact: Cats can fight through medical sedation?

Apparently, yes they can. On chemo visit 3, Birdie, in true Birdie badass style, fought through sedation twice. They did not steal her blood and she did not receive chemo that day because she was not fucking having it. Not today, Satan!

I suspected something was up when I did not get the normal call saying that bloodwork was done and she was good for treatment that day. Instead I got a midafternoon call saying that Bird had fought through and been brought out of sedation twice, and that they could not hit a vein get a blood draw much less a vein to safely administer chemo. I’ve always considered her to be a feisty redhead which may be part of her sedation issue, but she had been extra vocal in the car that morning despite the normal pre-vet dose of gabapentin  to chill her out, and the attending doctor said that sometimes cats are super motivated to fight the sedation when “they know what’s coming.” I could see that. Bird is no dummy, but her attitude can get in the way sometimes. There was a tearful moment at my desk after the call, because I was frustrated and worried for her as well as exhausted with the end of the school year and managing her treatments. No treatment that day meant we had to go through it all again the next week. (My cats are my kids, but there is still a certain shame in asking someone else to cover a class because I have to drop my cat at her appointment, talk to the doctor, and then drive 25 minutes to get to school that day. Better yet was the email asking an admin not to schedule me to proctor a standardized test because of a treatment day. The one good thing about COVID was that by spring of this school year, very little phased anyone.)

However what I got back was an insanely high little creature with four shaved and bloody legs. It made me wonder if she had pulled a tech who was not good at blood draws. It reminded me of the nurse at Blonde Doctor’s office who tried both arms then went back for a third try and wiggled the needle around for good measure, all the while yapping about her teenaged son. At try number 3, I had to lay down and say, “Just take whatever you want. I’ll be laying here.” That visit ended with me in the lab with the phlebotomist and a juice box after. So I had much more sympathy for my little girl who may have had to deal with fools that day. I rinsed Birdie’s legs and purr-ittoed her because I was not going to make her lick that much of her own blood off her little leggies.

Recovering from that visit required a solid 24 hours in the closet in the “I feel icky” spot sniffing my shoes.

Round 2 of treatment 3 was the next week. We changed her Gabapentin dose slightly, and the attending doctor (this is a teaching hospital so we see someone different each visit) made an extreme effort to give Birdie the royal treatment and her own space. Things went much better that day, many vet students now have pictures of my cat in “her office”, and Birdie has cemented her reputation.

After a better treatment 3 and a happier high cat. I found the shirt on Amazon.

That incident aside, Birdie has tolerated chemo very well -KNOCK ON WOOD-and had minimal side effects other than just needing to relax the next day. Her appetite, energy, and bathroom habits have been amazing. A re-scan did not show any evil growths. This month was Treatment 5, her last chemo session. She got a bandana signed by the staff; cats do not want to ring cancer bells or any bells really. She has one more surgical hurdle and then it’s all about monitoring from there.

“Stalk”ing

Mostly this post was for my curiosity. I have a small corner devoted to asparagus. Very little is produced possibly because of age, but more likely because of me planting it wrong. However one asparagus crown amazes every time it grows a stalk because the stalks are so big, but it will only grow one at a time.

Out of curiosity, I went back through my photos to track dates. I take a picture every time it grew a stalk because I am always so impressed by the size. (Imagine the possible dick jokes here). So far it has managed 4 stalks this season, averaging 20 days between each stalk.

I tried to do some research about how long it takes for a stalk to grow, but most articles wanted to ramble on about waiting a year for the crowns blah, blah, blah, knew that. I did find a statistic that the stalks grow 2 inches per day so I guess I could reverse engineer that. However I don’t know if that is two inches a day from the start or once it breaks through the ground. Shrug. I got nothin’. Certainly don’t have much asparagus.

The Empress

UPDATED 7/21/21: I saw a post from Katherine last night (7/20/21) as I was going to bed. After 76 days of ruling the farm and the farmer, The Empress unexpectedly passed away. We were lucky to have snuggled her on Day 11.

Only 11 days old with a name bigger than she is: The Empress Isabel Paloma Consuelo Dioge.

This was back in mid May when an Adventure Buddy who wanted to try goat yoga came along. The Empress was not yet big enough for yoga because at the time she was not even the size of a newborn goat. We got to snuggle her and hear her story after the yoga session. As Katherine Harrison the farmer and owner told it, she found the premature baby goat in the straw left for dead. Katherine also thought the baby was dead until she moved her head slightly. The Empress became a “kitchen goat” with round the clock care and bottle service as well as a Pyrenees caretaker. The Empress has continued to grow and is learning “how to goat.” The farm’s Instagram is @harrisonfarm13 ; it is worth the follow simply for goat antics.

Goat Selfie

Per usual there were plenty of regular sized baby goats and adults to assist with yoga poses. I came back from the bathroom to find a goat on my mat as a greeting. I get a pretty minimal amount of yoga done during these sessions. I try, but I’m there for the silliness, the interactions, and to hear which rooster will reliably interrupt the instructor.

This baby was yet to be named on our visit, but I believe has been dubbed Ferris Bueller.

Adventure Buddy said that she would go again so that’s a win for me.

Being an unruly baby goat is exhausting!

Hey, Bun!

I have a small bunny who reliably finds the game camera in the yard, and acts like I’ve set it up for a photoshoot.

It got really hot recently and I did not see the bun for a couple of days. Usually I would see it in the mornings and early evenings more or less deciding what to destroy in my garden (pepper plants seem to be the answer). I was concerned. There’s traffic and plenty of predators.

However I discovered that the bunny just opted for a cooler time of day.

T80

There’s a possum also trying to get in on the photo action. We’ll see how it goes.

T80

Peaches & Blueberries, Oh my!

I am not a grilling expert. In fact, grills and fire kind of freak me out a little. (Explosions!!!) However this picture of my grilled creation got a strong reaction from Facebook friends, so here ya go.

Pretty, right?

**2 peaches cut in half, skin on, pit removed

**Lets say a cup of blueberries

**1 TBSP brown sugar

**a dollop of lemon juice or orange juice if you’ve got it. All good if you don’t.

This is a pretty basic way to grill dessert. You can dump it on ice cream, shortcake, brownies, or let it cool and just eat it straight. I suppose you could add chia seeds and milk to the final product and chill some chia pudding overnight.

I use my small cast iron skillet, peaches face down on the brown sugar, add blueberries. When I start the grill, I sit this on the back rack and just leave it while I deal with whatever the “main course” is. By the time I incinerate chicken kebobs into charcoal nuggets or set a hamburger on fire -true story, the fruit concoction is all juicy and bubbly. I think of it terms of pie filling. When your pie is done, the fruit filling should be bubbling up through the crust vents. Once it cools, you can literally pull the skins of the peaches!

Peaches and blueberries are my favorite summer fruit combo; I also use it for pies. I have not tried any other fruit variations on the grill. However after the jalapeno and strawberry mixture at yoga, I did add a diced up jalapeno to the peaches and blueberries this week. I got a little heat. Not bad.

Try your own variations. Enjoy.

Here’s a picture of a cat. Sookie knows why you really come here.

Yoga and…. strawberries!

I haven’t had a new “yoga and” combination in a while so I jumped at the opportunity to do yoga and pick strawberries one afternoon.

When she’s not torturing me with hot yoga,– it’s all good, I love it— my regular yoga instructor also organizes outdoor classes at different spot in the city. When she announced to our class that she had a yoga and strawberry picking event scheduled at Mitchell’s Berries, nostalgia took over.

Until roughly when I was in the 4th grade, we lived beside a strawberry field. “Beside” meaning about 10 feet across the gravel driveway. I remember the road at the end of our yard being lined with cars on summer mornings by people who came to pick their own quarts. Our proximity meant also picking berries regularly with MomBert’s warning that we had to pay for them. At one point the farmer had two big work horses– to my mind they were as huge as Clydesdales— to plow with and had the Amish come in to train them. This approach did not last long, but I remember the overhead wires shaking because the horses liked to use the utility poles as back scratchers.

I’ve not really had the opportunity or inclination to go berry picking since then unless you count throwing elbows at the grocery store for those really good berry sales. Maybe berry picking isn’t a cute look for me. I went through my photo album and only found this picture of my smelly sister and our dog circa 1981-82-ish. I texted MomBert, but she only came up with a picture of the horses!

This was a day with a lot of direct sunlight for me, and 4 p.m. exposure in Ohio is no joke; so I stuck with my gardening wear and maintained my cowboy hat for at least part of the practice. After yoga, the owners talked to us about the history of the farm and all the things that they grow.

These berries were gorgeous and sweet. Sampling while picking was encouraged. As a finishing treat, the owners served us a brownie with strawberry sauce on top to which she had added jalapenos! It had just a little warmth and I thought I was just making it up until someone else asked about the flavor. Recommend! I also left with a purchased bundle of really plump asparagus. They have certainly found ways to keep their business and farm functioning.