Dia de los Muertos 2012

Here in Birmingham, you wouldn’t think that you would see any references to Dia de los Mertos, Day of the Dead. It is actually a fairly small but enthusiastically embraced festival here in town. A local gallery has been hosting/holding, as they call it  “A one-day festival of public art installation, performance & remembrance celebrating the ancient Hispanic memorial of lost loved ones.”

DH and I both have plenty of family member to remember today, this feast day of  the remembrance of all souls. As we go through day and into the new month and year, we carry those loved ones with us in our hearts and in our minds always.

Merry Christmas 2010

I want to wish everyone here a Merry Christmas! I hope your day is a good one.

Its been nuts in the last month. I’ve had several bumps along the way. If you’ve been watching the twitter sidebar in the last week, you’ve seen that I had a car wreck. I was rear-ended on my way home from work. Thankfully I’m here and not in the hospital. It broke my nose and totaled my car. But since it could have been much worse I’m counting my blessings for Christmas this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi folks! I hope those reading this in the USA have had a very good Thanksgiving! And anyone from places elsewhere has had a good day too!

DH and I have so much to be thankful for. We have had the day to spend with family. We are healthy. Our fuzzy critter kittehs are healthy. He and I both have jobs we find fulfilling.

Little kitten that had been dumped appears to have a new home! I met a lady who has been thinking about getting a cat. She already has several smaller dogs. So she’s worried about how the kitten will get along with her dogs. She has the kitten at her house. I did tell her we would take the kitten back if she couldn’t get her dogs to accept it. So hopefully little one has a forever home.

I am thankful for all of you who read my ramblings here. Thanks for being here with me on this journey!

DH twisted his ankle

Poor DH. The other day he stepped in a hole wrong and his ankle twisted under him. Its been bugging him since then. He rode his motorcycle to work today, so he wore his old combat boots there all day. This evening he took his sock off and showed me his ankle. It was swollen up around the top of the ankle. He didn’t realize it was swollen at all, so I grabbed an ice pack from the freezer so he could get that ankle iced. Now he’s got the ankle elevated and iced. Hopefully it’ll heal quickly.

Timmy and Football

One of the things that Timmy wanted to experience while he was here was watching an Alabama football game. And it just so happened that DH could accommodate his wishes. They watched the Alabama versus Tennessee game. I was out when the game started so I was a bit surprised to see them both watching. Football football game fooball

And of course, you can’t have football without beer, can you? Timmy and DH had one. Beer Or two. beer Or a few. beer

I think Timmy learned a few choice phrases, including “Roll Tide Roll”

Life has been throwing curveballs

Well, my small business has been interesting lately. Its the busy season. I had a job scheduled for both days this weekend. It had gotten set up late, but was going to be both days.

Unfortunately the client who hired me had a problem with their client who I was hired for. Rather, my client’s client had a problem with someone else who my client had hired, and ended up telling my client not to have me there for the event. In spite of my client’s efforts to keep the job, it ended up canceled. Fortunately I was able to keep a good relationship with my client, and I hope to work with the client’s company in the future.

But this afternoon I got a call from a friend who has been sick. She needs some help moving stuff around at home and getting to the store to pick
up some additional things for her. She’s been dealing with a metric ton of problems, both with her health and other parts of her life. So it turns out that I was meant be available to help her out. And I’m good with that. Its important to be able to help her out.

Between going to the Nasa tweetup that will be on Halloween and Nov 1st, and stuff like this, it has been a humbling season. On the one hand, I have really cool things happen. On the other hand, I have problems with jobs and seeing folks go elsewhere for jobs. So its time to pay forward, and
let life take care of itself.

Successfully installed a new router at the house

Our old router went the way of the dodo. So as the resident tech, since its just me and DH, it fell on me to get us back up on line.

Six months or a year ago, our wireless access point gave up the ghost. When I went to purchase another one, it ended up being cheaper to get a wireless router and use it as an access point instead of purchasing a dedicated access point. At that point we also knew that we were approaching the functional end of the regular wired router too. I knew I could use it as a router after that happened, so I researched the settings for an access point, and set it up.

A week or so ago the wired router was acting really wanky, but we seemed to be able to limp it along. Yesterday it finally quit being able to be used at all. Since I have very little hardware experience, I’m a bit leary of getting in and mucking with hardware. But it ain’t nuthin but a thang, so tonight I got into the wireless router and dug in. At least we had the ISP settings written down and accessible, so I wasn’t trying to get them from the ISP or from memory. I typed the wireless passphrase in enough times that I can do it in my sleep. It took an hour and a half or two to get all the different settings just right, but we are now up on the new wireless router!

Not quite the day either one of us intended

Well, it was an interesting Saturday. DH and I slept in until 8 am and I went out to Pepper Place to go do some veggie shopping like I usually do. Since it was such a nice day I took the the scooter. The day was already warm by 8:30 and I had picked up everything and was headed home. Then DH called me. He had slipped and fallen, and possibly cracked a rib. But he was ok, and didn’t want me to worry. Yikes!

I proceeded on my way home as quickly and prudently as possible.
While I didn’t think he was in imminent danger, I was concerned with how he was doing. After I got in and was able to check on him, I found he was pretty accurate in his description to me, thankfully. But he was hurting a whole lot. Moving and taking deep breaths were causing him pain.

He had an appointment this morning, and he wouldn’t get checked out to see if had hurt himself wore than he initially thought. So I refused to let him go elsewhere without me along.

After the appointment, which ran late, we drove over to the Irondale Cafe to have lunch. We hadn’t been there before, so it was good to try a new place. There is also a book store by the cafe, so we stopped in there too for a bit.

After lunch, we attempted to get another errand run, but the timing of it didn’t quite work out right. by that time DH had been hurting enough that he was willing to go to an urgent care facility to be seen by a doctor. We went, and they took xrays to make sure nothing was too messed up. Unfortunately the xray were inconclusive about his ribs. But nothing is too messed up. Better safe than sorry.

But the day was nothing like either one of us had though it would go.

The Eagle has landed

I spent the afternoon listening to the online reenactment of the 1969 lunar landing. It was on in the background of the work I was doing and the crackles of static punctuated different points of the afternoon.

Forty years ago I was a little over 2 years old. I’d love to say that “I remember the landing” but I don’t. I think I remember being inside that night and that I saw Neil Armstrong take those steps, but that may be a conflation of memories of other broadcasts.

No matter. That moment is indelibly etched in my head. I’m not the son of a son of a sailor. I’m a child of NASA. My dad was working for NASA at that time. My younger sister and I were both born in Rockledge while Dad worked at the Cape. He was an engineer working on ways to go even further into space than the moon. I have vague memories of the apartment and the tv with the black and white images of the lunar lander.

My dad was younger than I am now, and only a few years out of school. He worked on space travel until 1970, then work took him elsewhere. Even though he never worked for the space industry afterwards, he has always been interested in the space program.

I wanted to be an astronaut. But after seeing my father’s gypsy ways in engineering, that approach never appealed to me. I didn’t have a calling to engineering, and in college I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do when I grew up. Instead I’m moving more away from the sciences and further into the arts. But I will always have a calling to the sky and space.

As I said on twitter earlier “The Eagle has landed. Even 40 yrs later I have goosebumps, tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.”

Updates from the home front

Thanks, y’all, for all the support you’ve given us in the last month and a half. DH & I and the other 2 kitties waited a month, then we went to the Humane Society. DH & I ended upcoming home with 2 kittens. We decided on 2 kittens since we didn’t them to annoy the everliving snot out of the older cats who are 10 and 6.

kitten introductionsSo we adopted Frankie and Penny from the Humane Society. They are no longer named Frankie and Penny. The little boy is now Garibaldi. garbaldi kitten And the little girl is Na’Toth. na'toth kitten

The oldest 2 cats are not thrilled with the kittens, but are also grooming them. As long as we make sure to let the older kitties know we aren’t supplanting them, They are ok. So the kitties are here We still miss Delenn, and will continue to do so. But the loss is no longer so sharp, and we are loving the new kittens. Life goes on, and we honored the memory of Delenn by going to the Humane Society to find new kitties.

Delenn Kitty is no more

Delenn is gone. Yesterday she perked up a bit in the afternoon. DH had a chance to visit with her and sing her cat songs. She got up from where she was laying and went into the kitchen and he gave her some chunk chicken. She gobbled it up and meowed for more! I was encourage when he called me to tell me about it. He ended up giving her several more pieces of chicken, which she gladly ate and then went back to her spot. After I got home, she was not as perky. She ended up throwing up everything she had eaten for the last 4 hours. She was wandering between the litter box to throw up and then back to her nest. Each trip was shakier than the previous. It reached the point where she would wander out of her nest a few steps, throw up, and then go back. Finally she went downstairs to hide. It was time.

So this morning DH and & took her to the vet for the last time. We both have been crying on and off since Wednesday. This little kitty has been a big part of our lives for a long time. She’s been a sweet and loyal companion. One of the hardest parts was getting out of bed this morning. I wanted to stay in bed and pretend that nothing had changed and Delenn was fine. But that’s not true, and wasn’t ever going to be true. So We both got up and moving. We found her hiding under the couch downstairs and brought her back upstairs. She allowed me to hold her on my lap for a bit, then got a little bit of water and wandered slowly back to her nest upstairs. I had a bit of yogurt, and Delenn had some too.

After the vet’s offices opened, I called to see about bringing her in. We got it set up and then got it together to go. The hardest part was pulling Delenn from her nest and getting her set in the towel for the trip. She didn’t fight it at all. I had promised her that she wouldn’t hurt any more, and I wasn’t going to break that promise. We got to the vet’ s office and Delenn perked up a bit again, nosing around the counter and the office cats, checking out the chocolates on the counter too. I told her that if she wanted one, she was welcome to it. She wasn’t that interested in the chocolates, and checked out a few more things and cats around the way. But the vet’s tech came around and had the room ready soon, and we went back there. They had a towel down, but I put our towel down over it for her. Delenn settled down on the table and you could see very rib and both sets of hips. The vet made sure we all knew where the tissues were, since we were leaking at the eyes and sniffling. They used gas to let her go to sleep, then gave her the injection. She went quickly.

She’s been buried, and is now no longer hurting. We will miss her.

Going to be telling my kitty goodbye.

I’m sitting here on the floor beside my oldest kitty, Delenn. Delenn is the one you see when you see my avatar. She was diagnosed with a gastro-intestinal cancer this morning. She’s been losing weight for some time. And has been into the vet 3 or 4 times this year before today. She’s had bloodwork done that was normal. And has been losing more weight. After being sick Monday and Tuesday myself, I got up and got her into a cat specialist before getting to the office in the morning.


She’s down to 3.5 pounds. And has a mass in her abdominal cavity. And is frail enough that there is no way for her to have surgery to remove it. We knew she had lost weight, but didn’t realize it had gotten down so far.

I’ve spent most of the afternoon here. Its where she seems to be most comfortable. And she’s spent hours lying next to me when I’ve been sick, so its the least I can do. She had a little bit of chicken, and we shared some ice cream, and we’ve both had a little bit of water. I’ve been crying on and off all afternoon. Delenn is napping now, and doesn’t seem to be in real pain.

She’s been here with us for 11, almost 12 years. She came to us from the Humane Society. She was around a year old, and had been surrendered by her previous owner. There were lots of bouncy kittens there, but we decided to look for an older cat. She had just come out of quarantine, and was out on the floor for folks to see. She claimed us then. She’s taught me a lot about being a cat owner/owned by a cat. Some fun, some not quite so fun, but all the time I wouldn’t anything in the world for it. We’ve made some midnight runs to the animal emergency room, but she’s been a good sport and has done well by it, other than serenading us with her displeasure as she was on the way there.

Once I have a few pics up online, I’ll add them to this so you can see what a beauty she is.

Spent the evening with Mom

My little brother is getting married in March. And its shower time. I went to one of the showers last month. It was nice, and we played the usual stupid wedding shower games, make a wedding dress out of toilet paper, guess what kind of kitchen implements are in a pillowcase by feel, and guess the number of M&Ms in a jar. Whee. Mom made the cake for that shower, and will be making both the bride’s cake and the grooms cake for the wedding.

So this Sunday there’s going to be a reception at church, and Mom was asked to make the cake for it. Mom agreed to do it, and get it done early because there’s another wedding shower this weekend down where my little brother and his fiancee live. On this past Monday, the lady hosting the shower called and asked Mom to make a cake for this shower, since my brother’s fiancee really likes her cakes.

So I spent this evening over at Mom’s house, helping her mix up buttercream icing. I decorated the cupcakes that are for church for the kids. I mixed up the color blue that is in the same family as the bridesmaids dresses to use on the shower caked. I even helped to decorate the shower cake. At least I was able to let Mom continue to decorate the cakes while I mixed up extra batches of icing. Otherwise it would have taken her a couple more hours to get it all done. It was fun spending time with her.