LilySlim Weight loss tickers

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekly Spark and Then Some

Another Sunday, another Spark People update.  I lost 1.4 pounds this week. That's a total of eight pounds since I started this program at the beginning of January.  Not bad.  Everyone keeps telling me that ten pounds is a size, but not on me.  My pants are a little looser, but nowhere near too loose and I can't even get pants the next smaller size buttoned, no matter how much stretch they have or how much I suck in.  It will be awhile before I drop an actual size.

I got out my very cute "goal pants", denim Capris embroidered with daisies down one leg.  I hope to wear them in Florida in a couple months.  They are one size smaller but when I tried them on they aren't even close to fitting, so I measured them.  The waist is FIVE INCHES smaller than the jeans I'm wearing now.  Sigh.  Why is there such a lack of consistency in sizing?  I've pretty much given up ordering pants online or from a catalog.  Tops aren't so bad, shoes are okay, but pants?  Forget it.  I have spent a small fortune in mailing fees returning things that didn't fit.

I've been doing my walking, one way or the other.  I usually end up going to a grocery store or Walmart after work to finish up my step goal.  We're having great weather here, much warmer than usual, which is great except that we're getting snow melt during the day that refreezes at night, causing icy streets and sidewalks.  I don't let it stop me but it does slow me down.  When I come up short on steps, I find a 24 hour store and walk the aisles.  I thought about walking the mall but I like to go after work, which means middle of the night for me.  I wonder if I could walk the hospital corridors?  Probably not.  That would be awesome, though.  They have some long, long hallways, plus many, many stairs.  I could get a fabulous workout.  Too bad I don't have any connections at the hospital anymore.  The only way to get inside after hours is through the emergency room, and I doubt they would just let me wander.

Speaking of the hospital, I got a letter from the cancer center on Saturday.  I figured it was an appointment card, so I opened it immediately.  Unfortunately, it was not an appointment card.  It was a letter from my oncologist. He's leaving the cancer center as a doctor, becoming a patient.  He has inoperable pancreatic cancer.  I am just so, so sad about this.  The prognosis for pancreatic cancer is very grim. 

This week is shaping up to be as jam-packed as the last couple have been. I have a couple appointments in the afternoons before work, a family birthday, and mandatory overtime at the office.  Walker is still helping his mom.  Some time this week I have to take my car in for service, too.  When I put it in park, it doesn't always engage far enough and I can't remove the key.  Never had that happen before, so I want to get it checked out.  Not sure if it's just annoying or something potentially dangerous.  What I know for sure is, there's always something to contend with.  I don't know what I'd do with myself if I had a whole day free.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Something Pretty

Way back in October I bought an amaryllis bulb from a pink ribbon fundraiser. I knew I had grown these before, but I couldn't remember much about the experience.  Why didn't I grow these every year? Now I know:  these things are HUGE!  The plant grew to be three and a half feet tall, and the blossoms are eight inches across.  I had this on the dresser in the guest bedroom, but it grew so tall it nearly touched the ceiling.  I had to move the pot to the floor.  But it sure is pretty!  Just the thing to brighten a cold, snowy winter day.

Friday, January 27, 2012

TGIF, Peeps!

Holy crow, where did the week go???  I'm not complaining.  Friday night can't get here fast enough. I'm looking forward to the break.

Walker has been spending the mornings at his mom's new house, helping her get everything set up.  He also hauled two loads of donations to Goodwill from the old house.  That house is empty now, with fresh paint on the walls and freshly steamed carpets.  Hopefully someone will fall in love with it so they can get it sold.  This time of year is pretty slow for real estate around here.  The old house is gorgeous, and it's in a great neighborhood.  I think they have a good shot at making a sale.

With Walker gone, I have more housework and more errands to do.  The good news is, I've made my walking goals this week.  Between the extra running I have to do, and my scheduled fitness walks, making the goal has been easy-peasy.  We're having unseasonably warm weather, and I'd taking full advantage of it.  It feels so good to get outside and get moving.  Looks like I need to shop for walking shoes, though.  The ones I had in the closet are giving me blisters.  When I dug them out I thought, "Hmm, why haven't I been wearing these?  They look almost new."  Well, now I know.  They don't fit properly.  I also ordered a new coat.  I have two right now: one white and one black leather.  Since I do most of my walking during dark time, I thought I should get myself a bright color.  I want to stand out in the dark and against the snow.  I ended up choosing bright lavender, with a zip out liner so I can wear it through spring.  I ordered it online and got 50% off.  Can't beat that!  The hard part is waiting until it gets here.

The last couple nights my mom and I have been watching for signs of the aurora, but we've had heavy cloud cover.  I saw the aurora once, late on a warm spring night, and my friends and I sat up til sunrise in the park across from our house, just watching.  It was magical.  I hope, someday, to see that again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


We got the freezing rain that was forecast, followed by a couple inches of fresh snow.  All day, cars coming down the hill toward my house skidded and spun, fishtailing around the corner.  It was not fun to watch that.  I was very grateful for my new SUV after an uneventful drive into the office.  I would not have wanted to brave those roads in my little convertible.  We've been spoiled this winter by unseasonably warm temps and lack of snow.

Miss Diva's school was closed, so Gramma took advantage of the free day and took Diva to the dentist.  Her parents don't make dental care a priority.  Diva had not been to a dentist since she started school six years ago. She needs to have two cavities filled.  She called, so excited, after her appointment.  She told Walker, "I'm done at the dentist and I didn't even cry!"  She didn't even care that she has to go back for the fillings.

When I was little, my mom sometimes got public assistance.  My parents were divorced and my mom  is disabled.  She worked when she could, but sometimes, she wasn't able.  There was one dentist in town who would take public assistance patients, so that's who we went to.  The summer I was seven my back molars came in, and I guess I wasn't brushing back far enough.  I got cavities in all eight molars. Our dentist would not give Novocaine to public assistance patients.  I got all eight teeth drilled with no pain reliever.  He did one side at a time, and after the first two hour appointment I was so scared to go back and have the other side done.  I cried all the way there in the car.  Not long after that, my dad's job offered dental insurance, so my mom found a new dentist for us.  The first time I got Novocaine, I couldn't believe how painless the procedure was.  Still, I'm surprised I voluntarily go to the dentist now.  Those scars run deep. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekly Spark

So this week I lost eight tenths of a pound.  My scale weighs in tenth of a pound increments, which I usually like but in this case, I would have done better if I had a scale that rounded up, LOL.  I don't care that it's under a full pound; at least I'm moving in the right direction.

I got in two of my four scheduled workouts on the elliptical machine.  I think I should have started out a little slower with that, as I got pretty sore after my second workout.  I probably could have done ten or twelve minutes at a crack, instead of fifteen, and maybe gone for three workouts the first couple weeks instead of four.  I'm still planning to do number three tonight, so if I actually do it I'll only have missed one.  I didn't do it earlier, as I would have preferred, because the machine is in our bedroom and Walker was asleep.  I added some light toning exercises with small hand weights this week, too, fifteen minutes at a time.  Bye - bye, flabby arms, LOL! Maybe I can even wear sleeveless on my vacation.  Maybe.

I'm still coming in too low on my daily protein intake.  Spark People offers menu selections but you don't have to use them.  I want to use them, but we had a full pantry along with a full freezer so I thought we should use up as much of that food as possible, restocking with healthy options.  And that's what we've been doing, but it's slow going with just the two of us here.  I should have started the inventory reduction before Bro moved out. 

We got some snow this week, which I shoveled instead of having Walker hit it with the snow blower.  Walker doesn't like me to shovel, but I got it when he wasn't home. That wasn't too hard to do, since instead of coming home after work on Friday Walker went to the tavern with his work buddies.  He didn't come home for fifteen hours.  So I had plenty of time to shovel, and the work helped me burn off some of my anger at him.  Who stays at a bar for 15 hours?  Sigh. To prevent me from shoveling, Walker stashes the shovel in the rafters in the garage where I can't reach it.  I got some additional exercise using the ice chopper to maneuver the shovel down.  In hindsight, I probably should have used something lighter, like a broom, as the shovel knocked into it when it finally fell and I narrowly missed catching it with my face.  A black eye would have created way more drama that I need right now.

So the goals for the upcoming week:  keep working on adding protein to my diet, try to make my exercise goal of four fifteen minute elliptical workouts for the week, and write a honey-do list for Walker that is long enough to keep him out of the dang tavern.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Disney, Revisited

Fireworks at Cinderella's Castle.  The Castle is decked out in Christmas lights that changed colors from white to blue to purple to pink to peach.  It was simply magical.
I thought I told y'all about our upcoming vacation, but from some recent comments, it sounds like I forgot.  So here's the scoop: this spring, we are flying back to Orlando for the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival at Disney World.  Walker and I have visited Orlando pretty much every year since we got together, but we've never gone during the F&G Fest.  Gardening is one of my hobbies, so I'm super excited.  Initially, Bro and my nephews were going to join us so we rented a big vacation house in a time share community, but Bro wasn't able to get time off work, so we're going to have some extra room.  Our house looks amazing:  game room, home theatre, private pool with a spill over spa, lanai.....And the community has a putting green, a water park style swimming pool, an exercise room, a movie theatre, and a club house with pool tables and video games.  They have volley ball and tennis courts.  There's even a ginormous chess set.  There are playgrounds, too, which we won't be needing, but good to note for next time.  I wish we could take Diva, but she wants to go to camp at Sea World, which she can't do until she's 12, and that's a pricey experience, so we have to save up.  If she goes now, she has to give up camp.  We discussed it and she really, really wants to go to camp.  So she decided to wait.

Mickey at the Street Party.  Notice there is nobody on the sidewalk behind him.  That is really, really unusual.
 Anyway, I found the house online through All Star Vacation Homes and I hope it really is as nice as it looks.  You never know, when you look at this stuff, how long ago the photos were taken or if they've been retouched.  The company has good reviews and the house we chose does, too, so I think we'll be fine.  Orlando has so many rentals to choose from, I think the owners have to keep things up or they'll never get their places rented.

We came out of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and found Goofy, hanging out by himself.  Walker stepped up and had a photo taken.  The first week in February is a great time to visit Disney if you hate crowds.
One of the reasons we decided to go for a vacation house, in addition to having more space, was that we all had enough frequent flier miles for free plane tickets.  We usually go the budget route and stay at the Best Western, but figured with seven of us going and no airfare to pay for we could upgrade.  Well, when we started this whole process we each needed 30,000 airline miles for a ticket.  My mom was a couple hundred miles short, but she has one of those rewards credit cards so she did her Christmas shopping and earned enough miles to qualify.  Only, the miles get posted to your account just once a month, and while we were waiting for her miles to post the airlines decided to raise the price to 40,000 miles. We waited, hoping the price would come back down after the holidays.  It didn't.  It is now 50 - 60,000 miles, per person, depending on what time of day you want to fly.  That's just nuts.  We don't have that many miles and even if we did, I wouldn't pay that. We had already rented the house and paid a non-refundable deposit.  What to do?  Well, I figured out if we flew mid-week, we could get there for 32,500 miles.  The folks at All Star Vacations were kind enough to change our reservation.  I booked the tickets this week, and we all breathed a huge sigh of relief.  With trip insurance, we paid $36 each for our airline tickets.  Can't beat that!

Me, at Magic Kingdom last February

Along with the Flower and Garden Festival, we're going to Magic Kingdom, of course, and for the first time we're also going to Animal Kingdom at Disney World and to Universal Studios.  My mom is coming with us, and another family member is meeting us there.  We decided to have breakfast with Mickey Mouse and his friends, which requires a reservation made well in advance.  I made the first set of reservations back in October.  When we had to change the dates, I called to change the breakfast reservation, too, and had just two choices:  7:25 or 10:30.  I chose the later one, as getting up at the crack of dawn to make the 7:25 reservation just didn't appeal to me, especially in light of the fact that we plan to go to the Magic Kingdom that day, and we always stay for the fireworks.  That would have been a really, really long day.

My mom and her sissy, having breakfast with Minnie.  Aren't they pretty?  I hope I inherited their genes.
So that's my vacation news, LOL.  Wish I could take y'all with me.  How fun would that be?  Sitting under a bright umbrella, sipping frozen Coke and watching the parade go by.....Right this minute, it's 20* with a wicked wind blowing snow all over the place.  Tomorrow is supposed to warm up, but unfortunately, it's going to be just warm enough for freezing rain.  A week in the Florida sun will be very, very welcome.  It can't get here soon enough.
Walker and Friends on the rose walk ~

Friday, January 20, 2012

At Long Last.....

I brought my camera along to Squeak’s birthday party last weekend so I could get some photos of the boys’ bedrooms.  Well, I actually brought the camera to capture all the fun of Squeak’s big day, but while I was there….you get the point.  

First up is Cubby’s Minnesota Vikings room.  Note the curtains, sewn with love by my mom.  She also made a pillow sham from the same fabric, but it's tucked under the comforter so you can't see it in the photos.  I had lots of fun hunting down the decorative plaques, but it was a bit harder to find posters of his favorite players at reasonable prices.  NFL stuff is so expensive!  Cubbys worth it, and I think he really liked the finished product.

Squeak’s room is the coolest kid room I have ever hung out in, and I have hung out in plenty as I was an inveterate babysitter during my high school years.   His wallpaper border has jungle animals in the squares. Note his curtains, too; they have a vibrant tiger print.  Gramma loved this fabric and was not put off by the fact that it was fleece.  So this kid has what are probably the only fleece curtains in the tri-state area.   My mom swears they will keep his room warmer.    My mom also added the tiger print fabric to Squeaks comforter, and made the matching pillow:


I also got the boys cool light switch plates, but of course I forgot to get photos.  Cubbys is stained glass, Vikings theme, of course.  Squeaks is plastic but it has three animal prints: leopard, zebra, and giraffe. 

Bro shares custody of his boys with their mom, so a couple days a week he was coming home to an empty house.  Well, not any more.  I found this little girl hiding in a closet in the extra bedroom.  Her name is Tristan.  She came out of the closet when I found her, but after I petted her for awhile the kids found us, and Tristan relocated under the family room sofa:

Tristan has a brother, and Bro didnt want to split them up, so he brought them both home.  Unfortunately, Bruno is very shy and didnt want to meet his new favorite auntie (that would be me) but I did find him hiding in his favorite spot behind the toilet paper in Bros bathroom closet.  He didnt seem to mind getting his picture taken, as long as I didnt move the TP.  

So that was last weekend.  This week, Walker finally finished his work at his mom's old house - wahoo! - and he's taking a week off before he starts helping at the new house.  The new house is new construction, so it needs things like curtain rods hung and shower doors installed.   Nothing urgent, though, and Walker needs to catch up on some sleep.  I got our airline tickets purchased for our upcoming vacation - wahoo! - but to get them using frequent flier miles we had to change our trip dates, which involved changing the timeshare, changing our vacation dates at work, and changing dinner reservations.  Took longer than it should have because we're still having internet issues.  I hope to tackle those this weekend.  Slowly but surely, we're getting it all done ~

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More of the Same

I feel like I have lots of stuff to share and no time to share it.  Hope y'all can bear with me.  I finally got photos of the nephews' new bedrooms, plus photos of some new family members (no, Walker and I did not get any new pets) and of course I'm getting such a great education using Spark People, LOL.  The photos will have to wait for another day because I got all of three hours of sleep last night and I'm fading fast.  I'm doing double duty at home while Walker helps his mom set up her new home.  They hope to be finished today.  We're having issues staying connected to the internet, too.  Not sure if our router is going, or the modem, or if it's the service provider.  Trying to puzzle that out.  But in the meantime, I wanted to check in.  I miss you all and hope to get caught up with all my blogger pals this weekend.  Stay warm!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spark People Update

Today marks the end of week two on my Spark People journey.  I am down two more pounds, for a total of 5.8 since I started on January 2.  I've learned a couple things, and I have more learning to go.  What I found out so far?  Well for one thing, my job is very sedentary.  I wore a pedometer every day but I deliberately didn't try to work in more walking. I wanted to see where I've been so I would know what a reasonable goal is.  Spark People recommends I walk 10,000 steps a day, which is a bit over four miles for me.  In my last job, I had 10,000 steps in before I went to lunch every day. My goal at that time was 25,000 steps.  Now, on the days that I work, I get about 5,000, consistently.  So I guess right now 10,000 is a good goal. 

I also learned that I don't eat enough protein.  Spark People gives me a graph that shows not only calories but also the basic nutrition info for my meals and snacks.   I only hit the mark for protein twice this week.  Last week I didn't hit any goals for protein.  I'm not worried about the two days I went over on calories and fat; the first day I made an egg dish (trying to bump up that protein!) and learned the hard way that I need to adjust the recipe for lower fat ingredients.  The 14th was Squeak's birthday party.  And yes, I ate the cake and ice cream.  I will always eat cake and ice cream with the kids on their birthdays.  I came in low today so that  should balance out.  

The last thing I learned is, I need to make exercise a higher priority. I only did my workout once this week.  On the one hand, I still lost weight.  But I want to tone up, too, and build my endurance, and strengthen my heart. I'm giving myself a break because, one, I was in a blue mood which seems to be lifting a bit now and two, we were exceptionally busy.  I'm not going to beat myself up.   

Weekly Progress

NUTRIENTS: GOAL                1/9          1/10        1/11        1/12         1/13        1/14        TODAY
Calories: 1,200 - 1,550 1,180 1,189 1,256 1,823 1,328 1,561 923
Fat: 27 - 60 44 41 46 112 52 85 40
Carbohydrates: 135 - 252 114 158 136 123 139 137 93
Protein: 60 - 136 43 57 86 33 79 51 51

Friday, January 13, 2012

I So Did Not See That Coming

It's been snowing here, finally.  We were enjoying unseasonably warm temps until Wednesday, when the cold air blew in and brought snow with it.  It's been coming down ever since, but lightly.  The wind is a bigger deal than the snow.  It's drifting my driveway to the point that I parked in the street last night.  But this morning, I braved the drifts to get to the mailbox, since Walker, who usually gets the mail when he comes home, is still working at his mom's every day after work. 

The envelope was addressed to me, handwritten, not printed.  It was over sized, like a card or an invitation.  At first I thought it was a wedding invitation from Walker's nephew,  but that would likely be addressed to Walker.  It didn't look like junk mail.  So I opened it.  It was a sympathy card from the vet.  Everyone in the clinic signed it.  It was a really sweet gesture.  One that I was completely unprepared for.

I didn't realize just how much time I spent taking care of Ernie until she was gone.  Meds in the morning, wash the food bowls, fill them up, do the eye drops, heat the rice bag.  Repeat before work.  Repeat again when I get home. Fluid injections after work, too.  Brush her coat, clean her box, vacuum up the tracked out litter.  I have big blocks of time now.  I wasn't prepared for that, either. 

Last night I looked at the kitties on the PetFinder website.  There were so many!  Too many.  It's heartbreaking, especially for the older ones that are hard to place in homes.  I wish I could take them all.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Attitude Adjustment

I'm feeling like a bit of a brat after my rant against the airlines yesterday.  Don't get me wrong - I think some reform is needed somehow.  One night I was researching airfares, found a couple options, printed them out, and waited to hear from Walker, who was at work.  Two hours later he called, we discussed our choices, picked one, and I attempted to make the reservations.  Only the price had gone up by well over $100 in those two hours.  Imagine if everyone did that.  You're shopping for groceries, and by the time you get to the checkout all your items have new pricing.  Spend an hour in the department store and while you're browsing, prices are constantly changing.  You go out to dinner, order from a menu, and while you're eating, the price of your meal goes up 25 percent.  Stores and restaurants would never do that.  But the airlines do it, all the time. 

I know this, and I know there isn't a dang thing I can do about it.  So I need to get over it and realize that it's pretty cool that my family will be gathering in Florida for some fun in the sun.  Not everyone gets to do this.  I think sometimes I forget that.  I need to start counting my blessings.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Resign

Way back last summer my family starting planning a trip.  We wanted to gather in Orlando this spring, to partake in EPCOT's Flower and Garden Festival....festivities.  We (and by "we" I mean "I") researched vacation houses, airfare, admission tickets, restaurants, and shows.  We developed a budget, chose the dates, and decided which house we wanted to rent. 

A trip like this, for us, requires diligent planning because it is so, so easy to let the costs spiral out of control.  You get sucked into that, "Who cares, we're on vacation!" mentality, and the budget goes out the window in favor of plastic mouse ears and $10 ice cream sundaes.  So I watch for ways to cut costs.  One of the things I looked at was the airfare.  We all have frequent flier accounts, though most of my family members don't pay attention to them.  I had to reset passwords and verify security questions to get into those accounts to see where everyone was.  It was worth it, though, when I discovered that my mom and my brother were very close to free tickets.  I had a free ticket coming, too, so that would just leave Walker to have to purchase a ticket. All we had to do was earn a couple hundred airline miles for my mom and Bro and we'd be ready to book our tickets.  Since we all have credit cards that earn airline miles, and Christmas was coming, we'd have the miles we needed in no time.

I forgot who I was dealing with.

I think that if the military wants to get information out of war prisoners, they should tell them that they are free to leave, just as soon as they book airline tickets for a family of four using frequent flier miles.  Hell, let 'em pay cash!  It won't matter.  A couple hours of mucking around on the airline websites and they'll beg to be able to stop.  They'll do anything.  Trust me.

In the couple of weeks it took us to use our miles reward credit cards to earn a couple hundred miles, the airlines raise the requirement from 30,000 miles to 40,000 miles.  My sister volunteered to transfer some of her miles to us, but then the rate went up from 40,000 to 50,000.  Seriously?  Last year we got free tickets for 25,000 miles each.  In just a year it doubled?  Why, yes.  Yes, it did.  Even if we took every one of my sister's miles - which the airlines charges you to transfer - we don't have enough.

So now, as the unofficial trip planner, I have to decide:  do we wait to see if the fares come down?  We could end up with really bad flights if we wait too long.  Or we could just suck it up and pay cash for the tickets.  They have a cash & miles combo deal, too, but that seems like a bad idea.  You give up all your miles for a couple hundred dollars off the cash price, which is fine if you only travel once every couple years,  but if you travel every year like Walker and I do it makes more sense to hold onto the miles and hope for a better redemption rate later on. We could combine accounts and give one person a free ticket. Sigh.  I'm tired of making all the decisions.  When I reach out to my team, they just tell me to do whatever I feel comfortable with.   Thanks, guys! 

It will be a long, long, long time before I agree to do this again.  

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I'll be honest:  I really didn't feel like posting today.  I really didn't feel like doing much of anything today, actually.  I would have been perfectly content to camp out on the sofa with a fuzzy blanket and a stack of movies.  But wallowing won't do me, or anyone else, any good.  So I got up this morning determined not to let my blue mood get the best of me.

Walker and I took Diva to breakfast at the VFW, then we headed out to do some overdue errands.  On our way to Sam's Club, we passed a pet store with a large sign on the lawn, "Kitties Here Today!".  Of course we stopped.  I told Diva, "We aren't bringing anyone home with us.  We'll just go in, cuddle some kitties, and go."  Um, okay.  Sure.  Unfortunately, the rescue group that was supposed to bring the kitties hadn't shown up.  Why the pet store didn't take the sign down, who knows.  So after we did our errands I decided to stop at the animal shelter.  Just to visit.  They aren't convenient, by the way.  We had to drive over to the next town, then outside of town to the country.  But I really wanted to play with the kitties.  And they were closed.  So we went home, skunked.

Today marked one week on Spark People.  I'm happy to report, I'm down 3.8 pounds.  I don't know the number I'm shooting for, I just want to be able to wear my stinkin' cute daisy capris come spring. They're one size smaller than I'm wearing now, so the goal is attainable, unless spring happens to come next week.  With the weather we're having, I would not be surprised.

Anyway, one of the goals I signed up for was to tell someone about my goals.  I thought that meant one person, but it turns out I have to tell one person every day for a week.  If you care to comment on this post, I'm going to count you as a person told.

I decided to post a weekly update on my Spark success, and I plan to do this on Sunday night / Monday morning.  I'm guessing these posts will be pretty darn boring, so feel free to skip them, LOL.  I just need the accountability.  I figure if I have to tell the world I screwed up royally, maybe I will work harder not to screw up.

She's Gone

TaryTerre was right on the money about Ernie's limp.  She was doing pretty well when I got up on Saturday, but by early afternoon her back legs gave out and she could no longer stand.  I called Walker home from his mom's, and we contacted the vet.  The clinic was closed but one of the doctors agreed to meet us there later that afternoon.  I wasn't sure Ernie would last that long.  All afternoon I held her.  Finally, I handed her over to Diva so I could get ready to go.  Diva was amazing - she laid down next to Ernie, petting her to keep her calm.  When she could sense Ernie's distress, Diva picked her up and just held her until it was time for us to leave.

I didn't want to crate her, just wrapped her in her blankie and carried her to the car.  Her breathing got ragged and she started struggling in my arms.  Walker drove like a bat out of hell.  We let ourselves into the clinic, Ernie barely hanging on.  True to form, though, when the vet leaned in to pet her Ernie lifted her head, looked the vet right in the eye, and growled at her.  Then she peed all over me.  That's my girl!  Feisty to the end.

I keep looking over at her spot on the sofa to check on her.   I probably will for a while.  I'm glad my little girl isn't hurting any more, but I miss her so much.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ready for the Weekend

Proving once again that cats have nine lives, Ernie has bounced back. It looks like her antibiotic shot kicked in.  She's eating like a little piggy.  She's developed a limp, but it hasn't slowed her down.  I don't know what happened to her leg.  If I had to guess, I'd say she probably tried to hop onto the sofa but didn't make it.  It's better today than it was yesterday.  Hopefully it'll be gone by the end of the weekend.

Now that this crisis has passed, at least for the moment, it's back to business as usual.  Walker's mom is moving into a new condo, so the warmer weather we're having (50's!  In January!)  has been a real blessing.  Walker works at his mom's for several hours each day, after he finishes at his job.  We make a point of having dinner together every night but other than that, we haven't seen each other.  I'm hoping they finish this weekend.  I miss my sweetie.

I've been spending time each day at the SparkPeople website.  I've been tracking my food, my water, and my walking.  Yesterday I added a goal of doing 15 minutes of cardio, four times a week.  I know that isn't enough, but I have to start somewhere. I'm just so out of shape, any exercise is a good thing.  At the bottom of the nutrition page there's a box that evaluates your food intake.  So far, I've stayed in my calorie goal four out of the five days, but the day I went over I went wayyyy over.  I know what happened:  I waited too long to eat, then I was famished so I ate too quickly; I didn't feel satisfied and kept eating.  I do that sometimes when I get home from work.  It's at the top of my list of things to work on.  I think if I can fix that bad habit, it will go a long way toward helping me reach my goal.

Walker and I have a date Sunday morning for breakfast at the VFW.  They only do this every so often, so we always try to make it.  We like to support the VFW and most of their fundraisers are held in the evening.  Walker thought we should skip this one, since I'm doing this diet thing, but I told him. "This isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle change.  I'm not skipping anything that I'm not prepared to give up permanently."  Sounds like a good plan, LOL, but only time will tell if it will work.

Friday, January 6, 2012


I called Ernie's vet yesterday morning, even though Walker and I had agreed to let nature run it's course.  She still isn't eating much, and I couldn't believe she isn't suffering.  I decided that I've had Ernie for almost 23 years but I've only had Walker for eight.  Ernie has seniority.  Besides, my mom taught me at a young age that it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind.  So I did.

The vet agreed that bringing Ernie into the clinic would cause her too much stress, so she made up a syringe full of antibiotics and left it for us at the front desk.  Walker picked it up and I administered it as soon as he got home.  It's basically a last ditch effort to keep Ernie comfortable while we wait for her time to go.  The vet said it will take a day or two to work.  If she isn't perked up and eating by then, she won't ever be.  I'll be sticking close to home again this weekend, taking care of my girl.

The good news is, apparently at this stage it's likely Ernie isn't feeling much pain.  The kidney failure causes her thinking to get fuzzy, so she doesn't likely realize she's sick.  Mostly she sleeps.  It's not much, but it's comforting.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Some Kind of Amazing

Since I spent the long weekend taking care of Ernie I had to make a grocery run during my dinner break at the office. I just got enough to get us through the rest of the week, since I have to watch the clock pretty close.  Anyway, it's cold enough here that I just left everything in the car until I finished work.  Turns out I got pretty lucky, because while I was standing in the driveway unloading the car I saw a shooting star zip across the sky.  Then another.  And while I stood there in awe, staring at the sky, shooter number three streaked past.

I zipped in the house to check on Ernie, then I grabbed the phone and called my mom as I headed back outside.  There aren't many people I would call at 4a.m., but my mom is always up late and I knew she'd want to check out the sky.  She told me there was a meteor shower going on, but she didn't think we'd be able to see it so she hadn't been outside.  I was happy to tell her to give it a try. 

A while later, I was just thinking I should probably head inside.  I was getting cold, and I could see motion lights going off house by house by house as the paper boy made his rounds.  I figured he'd be at my house shortly, and the extra light would make the meteors harder to see.  About that time the biggest, brightest shooter yet streaked over my head, leaving a trail of light that lasted several seconds.  I'm such a dork - I was bouncing around squealing like a little kid.  I don't care - it was amazing.

Once, when I was little, I think maybe around seven, my sister, who was an avid star gazer, took me outside late at night to watch a meteor shower.  She made popcorn and spread blankets in the grass and I got to stay out really, really late watching shooting stars zip across the sky.  I remember being mesmerized by it, and have tried many times to view another.  One night Walker and I drove out into the farmlands around town trying to see a meteor shower, but the clouds rolled in just as it got dark.  The clouds have spoiled my viewing more than once. How lucky that I had groceries to unload, so I didn't miss this one, too.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Just to Recap......

I realized that I have some new followers who probably don't know what's up with Ernie, so I wanted to say, first of all, welcome to my new friends. Second, about my kitty, Ernie:  she's nearly 23 years old, and she has kidney failure and cancer.  We opted not to treat the cancer, since there is no cure for the kidney failure and honestly?  At 22 years and ten months old, Ernie is the oldest feline patient at our vet clinic. Why ruin whatever time she has left with chemotherapy?  She already endures daily injections of subcutaneous fluid and twice daily eye drops, along with meds for chronic constipation. I thought that adding additional medical treatment would reduce the quality of her life more than it would help her.  She does not appear to be in any pain, but a couple weeks ago she developed a cancer related eye condition that the vet said indicates the beginning of the end for my baby girl.

Since that night I've turned into one of those helicopter moms, hovering over her trying to determine how she's feeling at any given time.  We keep a spreadsheet of her meds and her litter box activities, and I try to keep track of what she's eating. It's hard, sometimes, as she helps herself when she has the opportunity.  She become a food thief if you leave a plate unattended.  Or, you know, take dinner off the stove and set it on the kitchen table and turn your back.  We once caught her with her head in a pot of hot taco soup, slurping away.   Lucky for us, McDonald's is close. She also once batted a Krispie Kreme out of my hand and chomped it down.  Who ever heard of a cat eating donuts?  Anyway, Ernie has always had a bit of a prickly disposition, so it wouldn't surprise me one bit to learn that her hunger strike this weekend was designed to get me to back off. 

Except I know it's not.  I know that our time together is growing short, and I'm trying to be strong so I can do whatever I need to do to help Ernie.  I truly appreciate the support and kindness of my blogger pals.  This has been really, really hard and I'm very grateful to all of you.


Either Ernie has been reading Taryterre's comments, or she's messin' with me.  After two days of sleeping and not eating, she hopped off the sofa, waltzed up to my desk, and demanded some of my turkey sandwich.  Of course I gave her a bit of breast meat, still warm from the oven.  She snarfed it down and I gave her a bit more. In the end she ate at least an ounce of turkey breast and some of the broth I scooped from the pan.  I always roast turkey in an inch of water so there's lots more of that, plus as much of the meat as she wants.  I can always make more.  I'm glad she seems to be feeling better, cause I have to go back to work tomorrow and I was stressing leaving her alone for that long.

Since I haven't really left the house since I got home from work on Saturday morning, I've been working on some projects that are long overdue, like laundering curtains and cleaning light fixtures.  I also signed up for Spark People, so I can get a jump on my weight loss and fitness goals.  I tried Spark People a long time ago and didn't get much out of it.  Can't remember much about the experience except I know I was frustrated trying to find info on the website.  Haven't had that at all this time around.  I love that I can put in my goals for the week and it comes up with a meal plan, which I can tweak for our personal tastes.  Then I change it to two servings, cause Walker needs to eat, too, and it gives me a grocery list.  How awesome is that?  I still have many areas of the site to explore, but right now I'm very encouraged.  Spark People is free, so if losing weight or getting fit is one of your goals, give them a look and see if they have tools to help you, too.

Monday, January 2, 2012

More of the Same

Ernie's hanging in there, and so are we.  Walker and I stayed up with her all night, which we realized in hindsight was pretty dumb, because we both crashed around the same time.  Today we're going to sleep in shifts.  I don't want her to be alone, in case she wants comfort at some point. Right now she seems to want to be left alone.  Still not eating, still not talking. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Vigil

Ernie isn't eating.  I made her a plate of freshly roasted chicken, shredded up into tiny pieces, just like she likes it. I put it right in front of her, and she didn't even give it a sniff.  She ate a little bit yesterday, but so far, today, not a bite. She hasn't made a peep, either.  Normally she's pretty vocal, letting us know when she wants her rice bag heated up or when she wants to be picked up and petted.  She's spent most of the day curled on her blankie, sleeping.  She gets up to visit her box, then she gets a drink of water, and back to sleep.  We are trying to keep an eye on her without bothering her.  Sometimes it's hard to tell if she's still breathing.  If this is her time to go, I hope she just goes, gently, in the middle of her nap.  My daddy died that way, and so did both of his parents.  I'm praying that we don't have to take her in to the vet again.  She hates every single second of that, right from the minute we bring her crate out.  She knows what that crate means and she gets agitated as soon as she sees it.  I hope we don't have to do that to her again.