Caturday quickie: I got nothing

Yup. As the title says, I’m running on empty this weekend.

So instead of posting nothing at all, here are some pictures.

Phil made me this new garden. Next spring, watch out!

Phil made me this new garden. Next spring, watch out!

Of course there are a lot of power lines and cable lines in the way, but this is the sky, after the rain. And it's been raining all day.

Of course there are a lot of power lines and cable lines in the way, but this is the sky, after the rain. And it’s been raining all day.

Hope to be back on the blogging horse next weekend.

And, of course, we’ll see you for Tipsday!

Caturday Quickie

Caturday Quickie: Honey, I’m home!

Actually, I got home Wednesday afternoon. It’s a six hour drive from London, Ontario back home to Sudbury.

Upon arriving, I immediately got to the unpacking and setting aside of laundry and completely forgot I had an appointment for a massage. It would have been nice after two plus weeks of standing and delivering.

I’ve left a message to reschedule, but haven’t heard back yet . . .

On Thursday, I started by new position. It’s another consultant position, but this should not be as crazy-making as the last one I was offered.

Since then, I’ve been trying to get back on track.

It hasn’t been going so well.

I discovered back in the spring that travelling for the purpose of delivering training no longer serves me well.

I used to be able to write in the evenings and get something done. Now, not so much. And it’s been a challenge also, because I’ve been sharing all sorts of posts and articles about writing process recently. Most of the authors espouse a write anywhere mentality. So I feel guilty for not having written (much) since I left on August 10.

I’ve fallen into the trap of comparing myself to other writers, most of whom have the privilege of writing full time.

That’s not me. I still have a day job.

Also, I’m an introvert. Training all day, while I am good at it, is draining. The group we had to train this time around was lovely. And social. My co-facilitator and myself were invited out once each week. A full day’s training followed by an evening of socializing and then another full day of training is deadly for me.

I probably shouldn’t have accepted every invitation, but I didn’t want to be rude. Plus, this particular group of trainees had all come from away, in two instances leaving family behind until they were settled and established in their jobs. In one case, the trainee’s family remains in Taiwan.

So I went, and I can’t say I didn’t enjoy myself. They’re great people. I just didn’t have the time I needed to recharge by myself.

So all the writing I did while I was away was to revise and submit one short story and to revise my query letter following a webinar (with the fantastic Kristin Nelson—squee!). I’ll share more about that in my next chapter update next weekend.

So now I’ve just about caught up on all of the videos and newsletters and social media I deferred while I was away.

And now I’ll get back to writing.

By the way, London, Ontario is a lovely city. It’s called the forest city and here’s why:

The forest city

The view from my hotel

But I really enjoy being home with Phil (whom I missed enormously) and being able to sleep in my own bed, and getting back to my “normal” life.

Also, it’s nice to be able to help out my mom, who’s had cataract surgery on one eye while I was gone. This week, I get to take her to the second surgery and follow up appointment. It’s more than nice to be able to be here for her.

I’ll get back to regular weekend posting shortly. I have Series discovery and Mel’s movie madness posts in the works. Fun times 🙂

Caturday Quickie

Caturday quickie: Pupdate

Crash puppydog

What Nuala spends most of her time doing these days 😦

It’s been a while since I’ve had to offer a proper pupdate of this nature.

All was going well with our Nuala until a week ago last Friday. Previous to that day, our dear little pup (DLP) was handling her medication well, without apparent incident. She would snarf down her food in thirty seconds, consume carrots, apples, and cheese with wagging abandon.

In short, she behaved like the pup that she, at ten years of age, no longer is.

Then, on Friday, she stopped eating.

It started with her carrots, her mid-day and evening snacks. As a dog with food allergies, it was the snack (outside the hypoallergenic treats) recommended by our vet. Nu left a carrot uneaten.

As the weekend progressed, she ate less and less of her food.

Come Monday, she puked and wouldn’t eat any of her food at all.

Tuesday, we took her in to the vet and he examined her, performed blood tests, urinalysis, and took x-rays.

That evening, we were given the news: the only obvious issue was a urinary tract infection. We would be getting antibiotics for that.

Her blood work was troublesome, though.

Her kidney and liver enzymes were both elevated, indicating potential failure of either or both organs in the future.

There’s nothing that can be done for kidney or liver disease in dogs.

They’re starting dialysis trials at the veterinary college at the Univerity of Guelph, but it’s an ordeal for the animal and a great expense for the owners. At this point, our vet did not recommend it.

So we’d continue with the Fortekor, get Nuala back on the kidney support diet, and see how things went.

She left most of her food Tuesday evening and didn’t eat at all Wednesday (Canada Day). This is not a good thing for a dog on insulin. She needs food to process the drug. And she continued to vomit.

On Thursday, I resorted to canned salmon and plain rice. She ate. I was relived.

On Friday, Phil picked up an appetite stimulant and another medication to prevent ulcers from the vet.

When he returned, Nuala licked at her empty food dish and Phil gave her a serving of rice and salmon. She ate. He filled her bowl a second time and she ate again. Friday evening, she ate a full can of the kidney diet without being prompted.

Better days

Better days

This morning, she picked at her food and we tried the appetite stimulant. It didn’t appear to work, but then, at noon, she ate her food. And vomited it up two hours later.

The weird thing is that the UTI shouldn’t put her off her food. No obstruction was apparent in the x-rays. Her kidney and liver situations were not far enough advanced to depress her appetite.

So we’re all at a loss (even the vet) and Phil and I have the vet emergency service number in case something dire happens over the weekend.

It’s so distressing to have a sick pet. You just wish they could talk.

So that’s the latest health crisis for our DLP.

I’ll keep you posted.

Caturday Quickie

Caturday quickie: Progress? Not.

So . . . when last I wrote about this, Phil and I were optimistic about getting the work on our yard and driveway done. It was October and the road work was to continue until November 15th. We had the beginnings of the retaining wall, and a promise from the city engineer that everything should be completed.

Then it snowed October 31st.

retaining wall

retaining wall 2

retaining wall 3

What we have:

  • a mostly completed retaining wall; and
  • compacting fill in the driveway.

What will be done in the spring (otherwise, Phil and I might not be as understanding as we have been):

  • finish the retaining wall (further wrapping around and steps);
  • install railing on retaining wall;
  • new front steps;
  • old front steps removed from out back yard and disposed of; and
  • driveway paved.

We’re waiting to hear from the engineer about something we’d like to have added to the work order (and which we will pay for because it’s on our property). Since the driveway is all gravel anyway, we’d like to get a contractor to replace the sewer line. We have roots in the line and think it would be a convenient time to get the work done, rather than pay to have the drive dug up, the line replaced, and the drive repaved at a later date.

So that’s where we are.

Will let you know what happens when work resumes in the spring.

Caturday Quickies

Caturday quickie: One lovely blog award

I haven’t received one of these in a while and so it was a pleasant surprise when Cassie of My Etch-a-Sketch Life nominated me for the One Lovely Blog award.


Awwww . . . THANKS!

So I have to share seven things about myself (I’ve decided to list seven things that make me happy):

  1. I met my BFF in grade three. Yes, we’re still friends, and no, I’m not telling you how long it’s been.
  2. My university roomie, after a decade (at least) during which we lost contact with each other, got in touch with me recently.
  3. I’ve just joined a writing/critique group with five other women. Our second meeting will be on Sunday.
  4. My husband of twenty years (whee!) does all the cooking and consequently all the grocery shopping. This is a real blessing for writer Mellie.
  5. I have three novels drafted and two more in progress. All are fantasy of various kinds.
  6. This year, I’ve had two paid publications of science fiction short stories and won a second place prize for another short story of a paranormal bent. Writerly income (even a little) rocks 🙂
  7. Writing. It’s who I am and what I do. It makes me Snoopy-dance happy, #furiouslyhappy.

Now I’m supposed to nominate people to continue the chain. Most of the time the people I nominate don’t play along. So I’m going to take a page from another (much cooler) writer, Veronica Sicoe, who was also asked to participate in this blog award challenge.

You are all hereby nominated. Yes. I’m a big, fat cheat. Participate if you are so moved. Otherwise, I hope these seven bits of my incredibly boring life entertained.


Caturday Quickies