A photo of my daughter’s pug who was used in social media marketing for her college swim team. The swimmers on the sports marketing team posed Waffles around the pool wearing goggles, on the blocks and lifeguard stand.
As I think about Thanksgiving, it dawned on me that our last two pets, Olive and Waffles, were adopted Thanksgiving weekend. What a joy they’ve brought to our family.
My son left for college in 2011 and my daughter and I visited the animal shelter in Palm Springs looking at kittens. It was right before Thanksgiving that Olive came home with us. Because my son is allergic to cats we waited until he moved away to college to adopt Olive. We kept Olive hidden in our daughter’s bedroom for the four-day weekend and didn’t think my son would have any reaction from his room down the hall.
Olive’s baby picture taken around Thanksgiving.
Everything went smoothly. I cooked dinner for my kids, husband and dad. I remember a wonderful weekend spending time with family walking downtown and playing in the park.
Then my son called to let me know he was back at school safely. While we talked on the phone, the kitty snuck out the door into the backyard.
“Quick, get the kitty!” I yelled to my daughter.
“WHAT?!” my son said. “I knew it! I knew there was a cat in the house. I had allergies all weekend.”
Today, he can visit our home in Arizona with Olive inside, and doesn’t seem to suffer. I’ve installed an air filter in the casita and the new house doesn’t have the same issues as our 1930s Palm Springs house did for allergies like mold and a grassy back yard.
Then came Waffles. It was my husband’s idea to adopt Waffles as a companion dog for our daughter. She came home from college for Thanksgiving weekend, along with our son, and met Waffles for the first time.
I cooked for our family, my college roommate, who was visiting from Seattle with her mom and brother. Plus a former coworker of mine — and dad of course. Waffles was a hit with everyone — except Olive. I remember my college roommate’s brother thanking me over and over for a home-cooked Thanksgiving. They had planned to eat in their hotel restaurant.
Waffles was beyond cute and so tiny!
Pretty kitty Olive as a grown up.
Waffles as a middle-aged man, snaggle teeth and gray hairs.
Have a happy Thanksgiving with family, friends and your furry friends.
What is it about Thanksgiving and adopting our pets? I’m thinking our prior two, Sherman and Angus joined us in the fall as well.
Olive got into my suitcase while I was unpacking and began scratching and biting it. I got her message loud and clear.
After a week home, I’m starting to feel settled. It’s been a super busy week, filled with long to do lists. What is helping me avoid gripping anxiety is morning walks, a few swims at the YMCA and having Olive fall asleep on my lap.
I read an article about cancer the other day in the Wall Street Journal. I learned something new that I feel is valuable to share. Cancer runs in families.
The article was called “Cancer Runs in Families. Too Few Are Getting Tested.”
“I had no idea that this was possible for me,” said Ungerleider, 43, an internal medicine doctor and founder of End Well, a nonprofit focused on end-of-life care.
Doctors are recommending genetic tests to more cancer patients and their families. Testing costs have dropped, and the results are helping doctors choose newer targeted drugs and encourage relatives to confront their own cancer risk.
“We can test you for dozens of genes at the same time, and it’s going to influence your treatment,” said Dr. Jewel Samadder, co-leader of the Office of Precision Medicine at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center in Phoenix.
I’ve had cancer on my mind, obviously after my future DIL was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer and has undergone successful surgery. What this article told me is all too clear. In my DIL’s family several of her sisters were diagnosed and treated for cancer in their 20s and 30s.
I think it would be wise if you have had family members with cancer, to get tested, too.
Here’s more from the article:
Some 10% of cancers are associated with genetic inheritance, including the BRCA mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer risk in the 1990s.BRCA mutations have since been linked to other cancers, and dozens more gene variations have been shown to raise cancer risks.
Doctors have broadened guidelines for who should get tested, including all patients with ovarian, metastatic prostate and pancreatic cancer and some with colorectal and breast. Some are pushing for universal testing after some studies showed that around half of genetic cancer links are missed under standard testing guidance.
Olive in Palm Springs, hanging out by our pool, enjoying indoor/outdoor life.
Life is full of change. Look at Olive, our 11-year-old cat, who was able to roam free in Palm Springs since kittenhood and now is captive inside our house.
I was worried about how she would adjust. But with only two escapes outside in two-and-a-half years and frantic rushes back inside the house, I’d say she likes it inside. My daughter said that maybe she was always meant to be an indoor cat.
Olive’s baby picture when we first brought her home from the animal shelter.
I think Olive sensed danger when she escaped to our wild nature-filled yard.
This past weekend, I was taking out recycling. We have an enclosure for our trash and recycling bins with walls and a gate. When I opened the gate, I came eyeball to eyeball within inches of another cat who was standing on the wall.
I didn’t have my phone with me so no picture, but it was a teenage bobcat with blackish spots on a dark blonde coat. I turned and ran and glanced back to see the bobcat hightailing in the opposite direction. I looked at our video from the night before and found a few seconds of a bobcat walking by. But I’m afraid I’ve scared off the cat for the near future.
This is a photo taken by my SIL of our regular bobcat visitor. I think the one I saw a few days ago might be one of her kits.
“Change is the only constant in life.
Ones ability to adapt to those changes
will determine your success in life.”
Here’s a video of Olive’s new indoor life. She seems to enjoy it!
What are your thoughts about change and life? What major changes are you going through now or have in the past?
Olive blocked me from packing on my way out of town.
Whenever I get my suitcase out, Olive jumps in. She does’t like it when I’m gone. Usually it means she gets boarded. When we left for a week at Christmas, we took her to a new boarding place. The one she had been to before and was kind of used to went out of business. The last place was brand new and had three-story cat condos with holes to climb through to the different levels. The top floor had a TV.
Olive freaked out. I got calls that she wasn’t eating, drinking water which meant her other bodily functions weren’t happening.
Eventually they moved her into a storage closet, away from the other cats. That settled her down.
In Olive’s mind, when the suitcase comes out, something bad will happen.
Olive wasn’t taking any chances. She slept in the suitcase for hours.
Today I’m headed home to my husband and Olive. Thank you for helping me through my week!
We boarded Olive the cat for our vacation in Palm Springs. I got a call from the boarding place three days into our trip. Olive wasn’t drinking, eating, peeing or pooping.
It’s the first time she’s been at this boarding place, because the one we went to before closed. I was impressed with this new outfit. It was spanking brand new, had huge two and three level kitty suites complete with climbing towers and TVs! Cats can climb up and down through the suite through large holes cut in the platform levels.
I had left Olive with her Rx laxative, kitty soup and dry Friskies. She even had an old smelly t-shirt of my husband’s to make her comfortable. After a few phone calls, the boarding place said they’d take Olive to the vet if she didn’t settle down. They also put her in an empty bathroom, where she’d be all alone.
Our Olive isn’t exactly neurotic, but she’s a loner and trembles and gets frightened of new people and places. You’d think having a friend take care of her in our house would be the ideal situation rather than boarding her. But no, you’d be wrong. As long as my friend’s daughter took care of Olive she was fine when we lived in Palm Springs. The friend’s daughter got scared of Marco — our homeless guy who believed our house was his — so her dad took over Olive duty.
Olive doesn’t like strangers, but really doesn’t like men. The end result of the father taking care of Olive was a urinary tract infection — plus me purchasing two new comforters, sheets and mattress toppers.
I got a call five days into our trip that Olive was doing fine.
Now for the embarrassing part.
On our way home we stopped at the boarding place to pick up Olive.
They gave me her meds, foods and handed me her soft carrier. I insisted it was not the right one. Hers was black, I swore — and the one they tried to pawn off on my was gray with blue piping.
I had four frantic employees opening up every cupboard shelf searching for the black-sided carrier.
Finally, 25 minutes later, we came to the agreement that I’d take Olive home in their hard cased carrier and they’d deliver Olive’s carrier to our house once they figured out what happened to it. Maybe it went home with the wrong cat? Maybe the manager who was trying out new spaces to make Olive comfortable had placed it in a safe place?
Once home I decided to check on Amazon for my purchase of the carrier. This is what I discovered:
I had bought a gray carrier with light blue piping. Not black. I bit the bullet and called and apologized for being totally insane and a pain in the behind. Then I had to drive over there and exchange carriers and apologize profusely.
I realized my error. Waffles the pug and his carrier I bought six years ago. This is what I thought Olive the cat had too. She doesn’t get out much and Waffles get in his carrier daily.
Waffles the pug in 2016 with his black carrier.
Here’s to a New Year and sanity! What are your hopes for 2023?
I was listening to a podcast yesterday while driving to and from the post office with my Frango client gifts. I didn’t hear all of it, but what I did hear was disturbing. Our youth are in a mental health crisis. One in five contemplate suicide. Suicide is skyrocketing. Mental health has reached a crisis level and there is a shortage of mental health care professionals.
The podcast was quoting from a recent Washington Post article. (I’m not a subscriber so I looked for other free resources online.)
New research shows the number of teens with suicidal thoughts were already rapidly growing before the pandemic’s mental health impact.
The number of 5 to 19-year-olds who were hospitalized with suicidal thoughts jumped almost 60% between fall 2019 to fall 2020.
“We need to really start thinking about the root of it all and looking at how we can prevent and intervene a lot sooner for our youth,” said Dr. Brewer.
When I was growing up, I didn’t hear much about mental health or suicidal thoughts in youth. I’m sure it was happening, but not talked about. But I’m also sure it wasn’t at crisis proportions that it is today.
What do you believe the cause is? What has changed from decades ago to today that affects mental health? Was it isolation due to COVID? Is it isolation due to smart phones? Is it bullying online? What other causes? Please discuss.
One of our favorite restaurants, Pollo Lucas, across the border at the beach.
Yesterday I went to the YMCA to swim laps. I had to force myself to go because it’s been rainy, cold and gray. Not the ideal weather to jump in. I wanted to talk to the lifeguard, Wendy. I had told her about our Mexican getaway around a month ago.
She wrote down all my information about the rental agent, condo unit, restaurants, etc. Wendy said she was so excited to learn about the beach four hours away. She, like me, is a recent transplant to the Phoenix area.
Wendy made reservations for this past weekend — the same weekend my husband and I were there. I couldn’t wait to hear what she thought of it.
They were traveling with a couple who had recently retired. “Typical story,” Wendy said.”They worked all their life, finally retired and the husband got ALS and is in a wheelchair.”
She explained that her friend’s lives are very hard with the wife as the 24/7 caregiver and both of them homebound. She thought a trip to the beach was exactly what they needed.
I braved the cold to talk to Wendy and swim laps. I was the only swimmer there and had the pool to myself!
Last time we went to Pollo Lucas, this cat was sitting on the windowsill outside the restaurant.
Wendy was ecstatic! She literally thanked and thanked me some more. They loved everything about the beach and her entire family is planning on returning for Christmas. She said her friend with ALS cried he was so overwhelmed with joy.
I feel happy too, like I shared a bit of joy in someone’s life. I also feel good because I managed to get a swim in yesterday.
We did take out. One chargrilled chicken with the trimmings — but they (or we) forgot the rice and beans. This chicken dinner with homemade tortillas, pickled onions and salsa was $9 USD.
What has brought you joy this week? Have you done something that made someone else’s life brighter? What was it?