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Sunday, October 23, 2005

bs called me the other night, concerned about my general health and welfare.

i was pleased to hear from him, as always, but a bit surprised by the palpable relief in his voice when i said i was fine. and several things struck me. writing that you need to clear your head, then being silent for a week? could be a bit ominous. and bs's observation that it's altogether too easy to lose contact with people is true. my thanks to him for calling, catching up, and reminding me of the importance of friendships.

it also hit me after that that it's been far too long since i've talked to my best friend. she and i have swapped voice mails, but that's hardly the same as a good sit down, is it? got me to pondering how our lives change, and for what reasons, and promising myself to drive down there this week. (Chica Beanie, if you're reading this - i *will* be in touch, and i owe you at least a lunch and some banana bread, not to mention some Serious Hanging Out Time.)

the silence, by the way, was nothing ominous at all. more, i've been feeling craptacular this past week, with all sorts of sinus problems. hopefully, i haven't picked up anything from hubby, but who knows. anyway, i've spent a lot of time shoving my head under a pillow, trying to ignore the problem, standing in a shower inhaling eucalyptus vapors, or downing sinus pills.

and then, there's been the switch from cable to DSL. you'd think, since DSL is no longer a new technology, that installing it would be routine. and you'd be wrong, at least for this household. *sigh* after hubby jumped thru umpteen hoops to prove it wasn't our problem, V3r!z@n did get their collective asses in gear and send out a tech, who spent the better (worse?) part of a day troubleshooting, splicing, rewiring, and probably swearing under his breath. fortunately for us, the upshot is a reliable (knock on wood) and perky DSL connection.

so the silence came largely from motivation and opportunity not coinciding.

meet alphonse pigwidgeonmmm. so. other developments. i was starting to feel a bit guilty about taking over Little Man's pet, snoozey. he's only here half the week, and has the attention span of the average 7 year old; i don't mind that most of her care was my responsibility. but i did feel badly that she was more responsive to me than LM, and that i was spending most of my free time hanging out with her. so i decided to do the reasonable thing: get my own hamster. :) because that makes sense, right? also, i'd been keeping my eye on this little fellow for a month or so. he'd arrived at the pet store the same time as snoozey, but nobody had adopted him. and it just felt wrong to leave him there. introducing alphonse pigwidgeon - pig, for short. he's a Campbell's dwarf, and immensely cute.

peek a boo sadly, there's a second chapter to snoozey's story. i'd set up a litter 'pod' for her, which she used religiously. LM went to clean it before heading off to school; that was fine. i didn't double check to make sure it was latched shut when he was done. that wasn't fine.

snoozey decided to go exploring, and found her way out thru the pod. the spray of litter along the table and across the floor pointed to a successful landing... and that's the last we've seen of her, altho not for lack of trying. after an unsuccessful search, hubby and i hid the problem from LM the first night, and set out all sorts of hamster traps.

queen of the castle a hamster trap involves food, a bucket, and stairs - as in, take a bucket (or other similarly sized object, like a wastebasket), put some tasty, good smelling hamster treats in the bottom, and build a hamster-sized staircase up the side, generally out of books. we were hopeful that she might come back, and that we wouldn't have to break the news to LM. sadly, it didn't work the first night. he caught on the next morning; i was brushing my teeth when i snapped to attention, because something about hubby's tone told me he was having The Talk with LM.

a watercolor version of my catfortunately, LM seems to have taken it fairly well. he was sad, for sure. but he was able to verbalize why he was sad, and talk about how he was feeling. as for snoozey, we've moved the bait around, varied the treats, built new staircases... and keep hoping. mostly, i hope she's found a safe place. and i'm surprised by how heartbroken i am over this charming, sweet little rodent.

one good thing is that, while strat is pleased that he's now top of the chain when it comes to handing out food, i know for a fact that he had nothing to do with snoozey's disappearance. (well... i have my suspicions as to who left the pod open...) seriously, strat is devotedly uninterested in the hamsters. he watches, he sniffs, but at the very geriatric age of 16, he could care less about the hamsters. that is, he could care less unless they're opening a can of food for him.

hammie hammie james pointy earsback to the hamsters... LM did take it well. and of his own volition, he asked me when i picked him up this past Friday if we could go to the pet store. i asked him if he was ready for a new hammie, or if he'd like to wait a few days. 'nah. i miss snoozey. can i get a new hamster? and we'll make sure she can't escape this time.' so off we went. i'd spec'd out the local stores just in case LM asked. we stopped at one that had a few dwarf hammies who looked a little like snoozey - no go. on the the next store, where we held every damn hamster until we found the right one. she's been incredibly docile from the outset, which is great, and LM is better at handling her than i am. i'm pleased to introduce Hammie Hammie James Pointy Ears - James, for short, and yes, she's a girl.

sparkly shoes!*sigh* so much going on... eh. hey, remember me mentioning new sneakers? well, i also decided it was high time to spend some money on clothes for me, without feeling guilty. i hit a good sale, and got several shirts, sneakers, and these very lovely sparkly shoes. i swear, it's been ages since i got anything for me that indulged the Inner Girlie Girl. and it's not even like i'm all that girlie, it's just that... with a mortgage, and insurance, and sports/school/aftercare for LM, and groceries, and hubby's business, and looking for jobs... well, i tend to forget that the occasional indulgence is healthy. if i don't look out for myself first, i'm not of much use to others.

frighteningly, for me, strat is one of the ones who needs me in a big way these days. (he, by the way, doesn't care for the shoes. mostly, i think he doesn't care.) i noticed recently that he's been ignoring his dry food, and yowling constantly when i walk into the kitchen, as if i'd feed him wet food at the drop of a hat. when i took him in for a nail trim the other day, i asked the tech to take a quick peek at his teeth.

lord almighty. i could see the hole in his tooth - the one that he would let her look at.

not only does he need that tooth taken out, he needs oral surgery, and may need other teeth taken out, and i'm crossing my fingers that the infection hasn't gotten to the bone, because as strong at a cat's jaw seems when they're fighting you about taking a pill, the bone is actually very fragile, and could end up fracturing if he lands wrong jumping off the couch.

as scary as all of this is, there are two things for which i'm grateful. one - he seems immensely healthy outside of dental issues. two - i managed to qualify for a payment plan that will cover up to $2K of expenses. i'm a bit whingey about not doing this for stanzi, but in her case, the vet couldn't guarantee that she'd survive kidney/liver treatment, or that she wouldn't be in pain. for strat, it's a bit more straightforward, and i'm hopeful.

feh. oh! other big news: we're landlords! it's a huge relief to have that done and over with, at least for now, and more details later. plus tons of other news, but for now, i'll leave you with this: does anyone else think that it's just wrong to have found these underpants in the boys' department of a local store? and yes, that does say Hummer.

yes, that does say hummer

:: scribbled at 11:31 PM ... ... o