The bulk of my day has been spent sitting with my laptop, working away, watching various shows on Animal Planet involving cute baby animals. Not a terrible way to spend the day, even with the occasional interruption from someone who wants to know why a brand spanking new domain isn’t visible everywhere on the web, or someone who wants to know why we’re still charging her for a hosting account (that’s still active on the servers) instead of magically knowing that she allowed her domain to lapse so it’s no longer visible. Yes, lady, we always know which of the bazillion domains in the network are active or not at any given moment.
Night, actually. I’ve never watched Lost, as I don’t watch a lot of network television and even fewer series shows. I believe the last series I used to watch on even a regular basis was ER, many years ago, and then not as religiously as some people watch “their shows”. I happened to catch pieces of it the other night (time travel? seriously?) because of this crew:
The chickens were sleeping, too, but not on the couch and not particularly interested in waking up every now and again to see what was happening on the show.
Mickey thinks so, anyway.
The thing about chickens is that really (from a pet standpoint), they simply aren’t all that bright. Which is fine, really, when you think about it. They’re not like dogs, who need and crave attention, and not like cats with their “One day we will take over this planet, as soon as we hit our quota of naps.” mentality. No, chickens – or chicks in this case – spend much of their time peeping and cheeping, pecking away at anything that looks like food, sleeping, and pooping. Eventually, they’ll earn their keep by paying for their room and board in eggs. When Heather and Michael brought over our three on Saturday, a small moth got into the house and was flittering around, to and fro. He made the mistake of getting into the box where we’re holding the chicks until they are old enough to go outside. I waved it over toward the watering dish, and when it alit, one of the chicks snatched it and gobbled it down. Nifty. I can’t wait for them to be outside putting a hurt on the grasshopper population. They also got one worm apiece from our composting batch, but that’s it for those worms. Their future treats will be from the bait shop.
And when I said they weren’t particularly bright, I meant it. This, after all, is not what is generally thought of as chicken feed. But I suppose someone has to be the nonconformist.
It isn’t just animals that die, of course. People can (and do) die both suddenly and not so suddenly.
Case in point: one of our customers, who had been with us since almost the very first, died unexpectedly early in February of a heart attack. We did not discover this until late in the month when one of his clients contacted us directly. While it probably will not be the last time we have to do this, it is a bit odd and sad to have to make arrangements for the disposition of his client accounts with us, as the rest of his family knows nothing about what he was doing and has no idea how to provide hosting support to those clients. I’ve been working on notices to those clients, straddling the line between breaking news they may not know and yet being businesslike enough to make sure that they understand what has to be done.
But life carries on, no matter what happens to us. It may be difficult, it may strain the people left behind (one of my chief concerns should anything happen to me), but on it goes.
Another case in point: one of my mom’s old long-term neighbors (Jo, in case those of you reading this knew her) died in February as well, the same week Boots did. She had been receiving treatment for cancer that had invaded her brain, and they found out it had spread to her liver. She’d been in the hospital for a bit, but when there was nothing more they could do, they brought her home with Hospice care. She died that same night, around midnight.
But again, life carries on, and we move on with it.
I knew someone once who was incredibly anguished about all the bad things that happen in life, and dwelt constantly on that aspect: wasn’t it horrible, life is unfair, it all seems such a waste, how can we possibly go through all this, and the same, ad nauseum, with no break of sunshine, ever.
How can we go through all this? How can we not?
Back on the 18th of February, I mentioned that my cat, Boots, was dying. We knew it wasn’t going to be much longer, and so it wasn’t – after all, she was about 18 years old. I had been sleeping on the couch for about a week or so, Boots with me, just to have some time together and to be with her in the event she happened to go overnight. The Wednesday after posting that, I had gone to the NOC to do a few things, and when I got back after midnight, I found her on the floor, back legs splayed out, on the threshold between the dining room and kitchen. She couldn’t stand well and couldn’t walk, and I knew that this was not the way it should be. I scooped her up and laid down on the couch with her. At some point, I drifted off, and when I woke up around 4 AM Thursday morning, found that she had pulled herself out of my lap, to the floor, and over toward the front door. I picked her up again and made her as comfortable as possible until we could call the vet to take her in.
We did, speaking to the very nice folks at a new vet’s office, closer to the house. They told us to go ahead and bring her in. I wrapped her up in a towel and carried her outside to show her the spot we’d picked out for her: the west side of the property, near the very largest tree on the property, with lots of sunshine (because she loved rolling around in the sun and being outside) and a place where I could get some flowers to grow (because she, although the smallest cat, was bold and in another life was probably a jungle cat of some kind). When I took her outside, she turned her face toward the sun and I could see her nose twitching, sniffing the fresh air. There was a bluejay in the big tree, chattering away at us as we looked at the spot.
I started back across the property toward the house and the car, and Boots had her head hanging over my arm, still sniffing the air. As I reached the front porch, I turned her head toward me, and saw that quite clearly, she was, at that moment, dying. We called the vet’s office back and told them we would not need their services for this after all. I sat down on the porch, Boots wrapped up in my arms, the sun on our faces, a slight breeze brushing us, and then she was gone. Peacefully. At home. With her people.
The flower seed we planted that morning over her is already starting to come up.
No doubt that’s one of the things she would dream about when she slept like she did in the picture above, taken a day before the new year arrived.
Rest in peace, old girl.
The first in a series of reposts, now that the technical issues have been handled. Nothing like trying to recreate whatever was in your head at the time you wrote something.
We’re in the kitchen, hanging out, talking, probably cooking, and mom says, “What’s that?”, pointing out toward the road. “Is that the big black dog taking a dump?”
I looked, and surely enough, a huge black shape is doing something out there. Then, suddenly, there were two. “Not a dog,” I said, and grabbed my camera for some long range shots to see what was going on.
Ah, buzzards. Part of nature’s cleanup crew. We couldn’t quite make out what it was they were eating, so I walked out to the road. They promptly showed their displeasure with me for interrupting their lunch.
Since they’d cleared out, it gave me a chance to see what they were eating.
Rabbit. Hopefully one that was munching through my garden beds not too long ago. Curiosity satisfied, I left them to finish.
Life in the country.
My cat is dying.
She’s been dying for awhile, of course, just as we all are at our own varying speeds.
Her time is simply coming to an end sooner than that same end is coming for the rest of us.
For now, she occasionally gets outside to sun her old bones, but mostly she sleeps. She eats a little here and there, drinks a bit from time to time, but not much and not a lot. She’s still affectionate, and her motor still runs harder and louder than you’d expect from such a small cat.
And she still has her buddies to keep her company until she’s finally ready to move on.
Three, to be precise. We combined them into a single dinner to keep our (my) sanity intact, since I am also cooking for tomorrow’s superbowl dinner and next Saturday’s baby shower for Gabs.
But first, to the humor impaired fuckwit who took some weird offense at my “sarcasm” based on my being funny about the length of an error message presented by an application: it takes a certain arrogance to think that the entire world revolves around you and that every comment is directed at you personally. It does not, and it is not. Get over yourself. And thanks for the reminder about why it’s a complete waste of energy to try to respond with anything other than “Fixed.” when people like you open a ticket. Pity we didn’t know you’d be such an ass before we replied – but we certainly know now, don’t we?
The Boy turned 22 yesterday, and requested steak for dinner. We had ordered some bison ribeyes, so we had those, with baked potatoes, rice with shallots and parm (mom’s request), and roasted vegetables (red onion, zucchini, tomatoes). I also made a fresh batch of vanilla ice cream to go along with the cake.
Seven (and a half) for dinner.
Roasted vegetables. All gone.
Burning down the house.
A cake afire.
The lights begin to dim.
Quite a nice evening, altogether, but yet another in a series of very long days today for me. Today, in addition to work and the cooking, we also finally got some seeds started and I prepped an area – by hand, no less – about 56′ by 15′ to lay some seed (a pasturegrass mix, no endophytes). This will be the area we’re planning to keep the chickens and their coop when they graduate from chickhood. I still need to clear a space and some kind of cage for them when they arrive later this month, as I’m definitely not allowing them to take over my bathtub for three weeks. Whatever I come up with will also have to be cat-proof, since without that, their lifespan will be quite short indeed.
I’m sure this makes sense in the cat world, somehow.
I think it would make more sense for her to lay in front of the heater, but who can say that this isn’t keeping her butt warm just as well?
But someone has to be the Princess.
Now that I’m no longer watching Food Network and football season is drawing to a close, I have discovered some of the strangest shows I’ve ever seen – they’re new to me, since I rarely watch television other than sports, documentaries, and movies. Among these are shows like Clean House, Clean Sweep, and the one on right now called Wasted Spaces where I gather they usually help people turn wasted space into something useful but on this one are showing a junk-filled house like the other two do normally. I’m sure everyone else is up to speed on these shows, but they surprised the hell out of me. Not because I don’t think people won’t watch them. On the contrary, I have no doubt that there are people quite unlike me, who tune in to every episode of these shows in the same way people tune in to whatever their favorite sitcom happens to be.
What I do not get about these shows is why on earth anyone would want to display their junk for the world to see. Some of these places are hideous, and quite honestly, I’d be ashamed to let anyone see crap piled up in every single room in the house. There is no way I’d be able to live like that – just looking at it gives me the creeps.
At the end of all these shows, the result is pretty much the same: the house is in order, nice and clean, and the people are happy to have their junkiness taken care of for them. What I’d like to know is what happens six months down the road. Does anyone know if these shows go back to the places they’ve cleaned to show what these people are doing now?