Thursday, December 20, 2007

One of These Days...

...I'll be a grown up and start doing mature things like sending out Christmas cards. Like I mentioned last year, I love getting them in the mail but just can't bring myself to fill them out and send them. This year amid finals, research deadlines, dissertation-writing and clinic visits I got the added bonus of trying to catch two litters of kittens and find foster homes for them (or in the case of Dixie, a permanent home!). So here is my Christmas card once again, sending you all holiday greeting and wishing you safe travels. This is an old picture, taken over the two day span once when we had a Christmas tree, before it was dragged all over the house by our ferocious hunter.

I'm leaving for Minneapolis today. Due to the crazies threatening to erupt over the prospect of my dissertation and job hunt, Dean and I have made the executive decision that I need to just leave my computer at home and have a real vacation. So I will visit you all and check email as time and opportunity permit, but be warned they may both be infrequent. In the meantime:

Merry Christmas!
from Deano, Natalie and the Monsters

Friday, December 14, 2007

I am Unremarkable

There doesn't seem to be anything seriously wrong with me. It seems one of my nasal passages is slightly obstructed by an enlarged bulla, but nothing impressive. Interestingly, I make thicker mucus on my left side than my right. I had never stopped to contemplate any deviation from complete mucus homogeneity, but now that is something else I know about myself. So my options are to keep taking the nasal inhaler the doctor gave me for awhile and see if it helps or consult an ENT about tuning my allergy medications more. I think I'll wait a little bit and see if I get better. If things are still the same after the holidays, I will call the ENT. Thankfully, I have awesome grown up insurance.

Check out the results (click to enlarge). I especially love the highlighted part.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Update from the Land of Chaos

I don't have anything particularly interesting or important to share, I just wanted to let you all know what is going on in my hectic world.

Well, you may (correctly) guess that caring for a 2 1/2 month old kitten adds a certain element of chaos and stress to one's life. Yes, we've done this before taking in one adult cat and two kittens in the past five years. But Dixie has been a little different. At first I was completely stressed out that she wasn't ever going to be a "normal" kitten. I read several pages on the internet about socializing kittens and it seems that any kittens older that 6-8 weeks may or may not be socialized. I followed all the suggestions - unfortunately one suggestion is to keep them separated from siblings which we've done by being thus far unable to trap her sibling who is still somewhere out there. I kept her in the bathroom with a covered, warm bed and the radio on tuned to a talk station. I gradually let our kitties in to let her see how socialized cats behave and my kitties were embarrassingly misbehaved around her. For days she wouldn't come out of hiding unless dragged out. She'd enjoy being held but then run right back to her hiding spot once she was set down. I knew my mom would still take her and love her if she turned out to be socially dysfunctional (she kept me and loved me after all, haha!). But seeing her frightened and away from her mom and litter mate was distressing no matter how much in the long run she is better off. Then Friday night she did a complete 180 and just exploded, running all over the apartment, playing, pouncing, being a typical rambunctious kitten. And then this morning she found a hiding spot so tiny and so diabolical as to leave Dean and certain she was gone forever. I spent part of the morning in hysterics over the prospect of not finding her and having to explain to my mom how I lost her kitten. Then, over course she appeared innocent, curious and impossibly cute. I think in the past week this 1.5 pound critter has taken 10 years off of Dean's life and mine. Good luck, mom and Tom!

Speaking of cats, I'm getting a CT scan done tomorrow of my sinuses. Remember this whole episode? Well, I'm still not better. I've never been a sinus sufferer and my doctor is worried there is a blockage leading to reinfections after my last two rounds of antibiotics. Really, very fun stuff. I can't wait to hear if I have to have a "procedure" or just "stick it out." Neither prospect seems appealing.

This week will mark my very last final EVER. I'm so excited, you'd think I already took it! But I haven't. Fortunately it is to be taken online on my own time and can be repeated up to three times. It doesn't get much more reasonable, which is about all I can handle right now.

Oh yeah, and there's this thing called MY JOB which consists of a rapidly mounting pile of data that needs analyzing and my dissertation that isn't exactly writing itself right now. But fortunately I'll be able to devote more time to it this week, after my final is done and my nervous rest up a little bit.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


This is Dixie. She is nine weeks old and I'm working hard to socialize her. And in two and a half weeks I'll be bringing her to Minnesota with me so she can live with my mom and step dad. Turns out my mom was so utterly, completely in love with her picture that the only option was to keep her around. Which is just fine with me because she is a sweetheart. (See, Jeni, it doesn't matter if you're hundreds of miles away...) Unfortunately Dixie still has a sibling somewhere out there that we are trying to trap and get into foster. Worse still, we found Dixie and her sibling while trying to trap another litter of kittens. We are fairly certain there are only two unspayed females living back there, and they will both be targets for next weekend's Spay Day. There is a lot of work to do in the immediate future, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. And no matter what, thanks to little Dixie I'll be reminded of my efforts for many years to come.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Cuteness is Unbearable

Not mine. He's a rescue from this weekend that I'll be taking to foster either today or tomorrow. The whole story to follow once the kitten storm passes.