Thursday, June 30, 2011

Do you think he's learned his lesson?

This is how my morning started...

Which ultimately lead to this.....

You may remember Neko from this post. Neko is still a sweet and loving cat, but he is now an outside cat.  Neko decided earlier this year that he no longer liked litter boxes and that he was required to mark his territory by spraying on the furniture.  After several fruitless attempts to "cure" this problem, including a vet visit to rule out medical issues, Neko became an outside cat.  Now the world is his litter box and he can spray the bushes and the deck to his heart's content.

He makes a good outside cat.  We were worried at first that he would run off, but he pretty much stays around the house and comes to get his loving whenever we're outside.  He says goodbye every morning when we leave and greets us each evening when we return.  Which is why we were a little concerned last night when he didn't greet either of us when we got home, and by this morning still had not eaten any of his food from yesterday.

When I found him this morning, he wouldn't come to me, but he didn't run when I approached...until I tried to put a damp cloth on his eye to clean it up.  I decided a trip to the vet was in order and went inside to get the cat carrier.

Neko is not a fan of the cat carrier, but he can usually be cajoled into it without too much trouble.  He was having none of it this morning.  After desperately trying to get him in and hang onto him as he twisted and clawed, I finally decided that it was more important to get him to the vet than for him to ride in the carrier to get there.  So I put both the cat and the carrier in the car.  You see the results above.  He may look like he's having fun, but he's yowling at the top of his lungs.

The vet's verdict....a corneal puncture which lead to part of his iris prolapsing through the tear.  Yes, it looked much worse once he finally opened his eye.  Fortunately, the fixing of that is not nearly as expensive as it sounds.  Neko will be coming home tonight, where he will get to spend a few days in the basement bathroom until we can get him healed up.

Let's hope when he gets back outside, he's learned his lesson about fighting with the neighbor's cat.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why do you….?

I went to a meeting of my knitting group last night.  It was the first time I had been able to attend in about 6 months, so it was great to see everyone again and catch up on what's been going on.  We had at least one new person to the group last night, so rather than just going around and saying "My name is Susan", someone came up with the idea of everyone telling why they knit. 

Turns out a lot of us knit so we don't kill people!  In other words, we find it a great stress reliever and source of relaxation.  It's definitely that for me.  When my hours were so crazy, I sometimes went days without knitting a single stitch, and I could tell.  I was antsy to knit something! In reality what I was antsy for was to feel like I could relax for an hour or so.  As someone else expressed last night, I also like the fact that there is a tangible result of my knitting.  Something to show for the time.  I find this particularly true with lace projects.  It gives me a sense of pride to turn a few simple stitches into something that looks much more complicated than it really is.

I thought it was interesting though that the question was WHY do you knit, as opposed to when or how did you learn to knit, which is the more frequent question.  As I was driving home from the meeting, I started thinking, why do we do anything we do?  Or don't do for that matter? 

The answer is obvious when it comes to some things. I work because I need to make money to support myself. But why did I choose to be a lawyer, and why do I choose to work in the unique legal niche that I do? I eat because my body needs fuel to survive. But why do I choose some foods over others and, more importantly, why do I prefer junk and fattening stuff to things that are healthier? These are the types of questions I thought about last night while driving, and although I came up with partial answers for some, the answers to those questions are not my point at the moment.

The question that kept bouncing around my head is why do I keep trying to write creatively? I know that I am a good writer in a technical sense, it's more than 50% of my job most of the time. But determining the correct word for the intended legal consequence is very different from finding the perfect word to convey the imagery, feelings and tone you desire in a work of fiction.

I don't know that I can tell you why I keep trying, particularly when so much of the time it seems to end up at the bottom of the "To Do" list. I just know that I have to keep trying, even if it's in stops and starts. And if you're hanging around while I figure this all out, I'm grateful. And I'd be interested to hear….why do you….?

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Do you remember the Tilt-A-Whirl? It was one of my favorite rides as a kid. I loved the anticipation as you leaned heavily on those riding with you, trying to make your car move, and then, suddenly, you were spinning out of control.

My life has been like a Tilt-A-Whirl lately.

I mentioned earlier this year that the General Assembly hit the ground running and let me tell you, they sure kept up the pace. I haven't written much that wasn't work related in the past few months, unless you count a few scribbles here and there when a meeting got really boring and I felt I could tune out for a bit.

I've worked a ton of overtime lately. The first 2 weeks of June, most days I was in the office by 8 - 8:30 and didn't leave until midnight or later. When you add in an hour commute each way and working on weekends as well, it makes for very long, mentally draining, days. Rob hasn't really seen me much, and he's probably pretty tired of eating canned chili for dinner.

There has been a little fun thrown in here and there. My sister, Julie, got married in May and Rob and I spent a week in California for the event. We flew into San Diego the weekend before the wedding and visited his first ship the USS Midway and also saw a friend I hadn't seen since our wedding 11 years ago. On our way North, we also saw Rob's cousin he hadn't seen in almost 20 years and an old friend from the Navy that he hadn't seen in just as long.

We spent a couple of days in the San Francisco area helping Julie & Phil with last minute wedding preparations, and then drove to Healdsburg, CA, in wine country, for the wedding. It was a great trip and a wonderful wedding. Julie & Phil are great together and I've never seen Julie as happy as she is now.

Last weekend Logan and his wife, Michelle, came in from El Paso. Logan is in the Army and will be deploying in July or August so it was good to get a chance to see him before he leaves. Carey & her boyfriend, Nick, my parents, Rob's parent, and my brother and his family were all here over part of the weekend, so it was good to see everyone.

I do wish it hadn't come at the end of crazy time at work, so I could have planned a little more, but Logan didn't have a choice about when he could take his leave. Fortunately, I have understanding coworkers who were able to cover some things for me so I avoided having to work on Saturday, since that was the day they chose to wrap things up temporarily (more on that later).

I'm also very grateful for my mother who came over the Saturday before, the one day I had off in 2 weeks, to help me clean the house. Truth be told, she did most of the cleaning while I dusted and did general picking up and straightening of clutter. Logan and Michelle left Wednesday morning to drive back to El Paso (and got there safely last night) so all is quiet in the Sitze dome again.

No rest for the weary however, since I'm on the redistricting team at work. They have temporarily adjourned the regular session, but they will be back in July to do redistricting and some elections law issues. I spent most of this past week trying to get my desk cleared of all the "regular" session stuff and get my brain wrapped around all the case law related to redistricting, since this is an area of law that is new to me.

There was a round of public hearings Thursday that was 6 hours long, and there will be 2 more rounds in July of equal length. I have to attend each of those. There is also a lot of behind the scenes work to be done, so although I hope to have a little respite from the crazy hours over the next couple of weeks, I know there are more crazy hour days coming.

I may not write here as much as I'd like anytime soon, but I hope to write at least more frequently than I have so far.