shakatany: Sleeping woman plus moon and stars (Default)
Last Saturday we were at a surprise birthday party for a friend and the next night I was GOH at dinner (a bit less grand then it sounds as they had a lot of extra vegetables in their garden and used me as an excuse to give a small dinner party *g*). I returned to NYC on Wednesday after 2 glorious weeks in Fargo. The contrast is jarring - one minute you're in nice, peaceful Fargo and a few hours later you're in the big, bustling city.  All in all I had a great time. The most memorable moment was the rides on the Zipper but the most satisfying thing was the sending of care package to the soldier in Afghanistan (which I'll probably do again later this fall). I'm already looking forward to next August.

Fargo

Aug. 23rd, 2008 02:01 pm
shakatany: Sleeping woman plus moon and stars (Default)

There are people who rave about shopping in Manhattan but I am in love with the stores here especially the supermarkets. Back home the supermarkets aren't very super being small with a relatively limited selection. Here in Fargo we shop at the "small" Hornbacher's which is humongous I shudder to think what the big ones are like. It has practically every brand and every variety of brand available. There is a bakery on the premises and for me, the biggest draw was the tea selection. There are places in NY where you can choose among a variety of coffee beans that you can fill bags with to bring home and grind yourself. They have that here but they also have the same for teas - offering a variety of loose teas that you pour into paper bags and bring home a steep yourself with or without a tea caddy. I've tried a blueberry blend and one with mango and I love them. I may have to ask CM to send care packages to me *g*

shakatany: Sleeping woman plus moon and stars (Default)
I've been very busy the past few days plus CM's internet connection has been fickle so I haven't been able to update until now.
On Wednesday and Friday we were back at PAAWs. I now know the proper way to hold a cat while it's being given it's shots (sometimes using thick leather gauntlets). I also broadened my repertoire to include cleaning up cat vomit (it's not all joy and kittens) and assisted in a few more surgeries. One of the volunteers has an 11 year old son who was there for a while on both days. He's been there a lot helping out the past few months and I do mean helping out. He'll thoroughly clean the cages recovering animal have been in and do other semi-yucky stuff, cheerfully and without complaint. Part of it is the kind of boy he is and part of it is that he's really doing grown-up stuff and is treated with respect for what he contributes. 
Thursday evening we accompanied the vet, Dr G and his 13 year old granddaughter to the Mahnomen County Fair where he had to look at the animals. The granddaughter was a sweet kid who was handling accompanying 3 boring adults quite well. She really wanted to go on a ride called the Zipper which requires 2 people in a "cage" so I bravely volunteered and boy did her face light up. Now I haven't been on an amusement park ride in decades so I'm pleased to report that I lived through it (look at a YouTube vid of what the Zipper is like) and was able to walk away at the end of the ride without any ill effects though the ride handler had to tell me to let go of the padded bars when he opened the passenger "cage" and I confess to keeping my eyes closed through most of it *g*. Not only that but she was so sweet I volunteered to do it again (!!!) just to see her face light up once more.
There'll eventually be some more pics once we get our act together.

Spam

Aug. 18th, 2008 07:54 pm
shakatany: Sleeping woman plus moon and stars (Default)
CM found a batch of spam this morning in a style that was new to me:

msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Bush Says He Still Believes Iraq War Was The Fun Thing To Do
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: McDonald's Happy Meals In San Francisco To Include Gay Marriage License
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: [audio] Mccain Vows To Withdraw All Troops From The U.S.
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: The Incredible Hulk: George Bush
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Existence of Poor People A Surprise, Says Bush
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: "brainstorming" To Be Banned Under Equality And Diversity Rules
msnbc.com -
BREAKING NEWS: [audio] Church Group Offers Homosexual New Life In Closet

Someone out there is spending a lot of creativity on making up these headlines.  Would that he put his creativity to better use *sigh*

Today

Aug. 16th, 2008 03:57 pm
shakatany: Sleeping woman plus moon and stars (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ginmar's CO is now in Afghanistan and a number of us on her flist have signed up to send him "care" packages including me so today CM and I drove over to the PO to pick up a box and then drove to a few stores to buy goodies to put into it (I already have several books and CDs) and sometime next week we'll send it off.

CM just walked in with these long (18"?) filet beans she'd planted - it almost looked as it she'd gotten a green little brother for her cornsnake Maizie Mousebreath *g*

I'm busier on my vacation than I am in RL but boy am I having fun.

Scrubs

Aug. 16th, 2008 03:31 pm
shakatany: Sleeping woman plus moon and stars (Default)
Yesterday at the crack of dawn (well 6:30 am which is pretty early for me as I'm an owl not a lark) I woke and donned my borrowed scrubs and about an hour later we were at PAAWs where a delegation of cats greeted us at the door. At PAAWs the cats waiting to find homes are not kept in cages but have their own room to live and play in with practically everything a cat could want except for that forever home (of course there are cages for newly brought in or sick cats until they are ready to join the general population). My first job was to scoop the poop which I did until I was called to help elsewhere. The vet arrived a short time later and soon patients were showing up for their operations. It was fortunate that I was there as they were extremely short-handed that day. Once again I got to assist the vet as he spayed or neutered 3 dogs and 10 cats. This year I learned how to glue the wounds shut which the vet now does to keep the wound closed over the stitches as added protection. One tiny cat had three huge cysts on her ovaries and one dog was monorchid so he had only one descended testicle so the vet, with CM assisting him, had to go digging in the body to find the other one. I moved the post-op patients to the heating pads that kept them warm while they recovered from their surgery. The anesthetic is a diuretic so a few patients let loose floods of urine, and once, trying to move a recovering cat out of one carrier into another, I got a mouthful of spray of some mixture of body fluids so I rushed to get a Coke to wash out the taste (it was my third soda of 2008 - ordinarily I am not a soda drinker). Aside from a few scratches that was the worst of my "wounds". Finally when most of the patients had left I got to play some more with the cats and kittens. One kitten, apparently weaned to soon, loves to nurse on my hands and arms and I get tiny kitten hickeys. A couple of volunteers were also there to play with and socialize the kittens - some of the friendliest kittens and cats have become so due to their patient efforts. We returned home by 6 and were so exhausted we simply bought a couple of Papa Murphy's pizzas for dinner. 
cat roomHere is part of the cat room. A couple of their litter boxes are hidden in the wooden unit.
Cat in tree

Here is a cat sleeping in a "tree" in the cat room. You can see some of the walkway shelves that are all around the room.
surgery pic1

The operating room
kitten room1

One of the kitten rooms (they currently have two though one may be turned into another OR).
where's Cooper?

Here's Cooper, a recent addition, who's still very timid.
Thief hiding

Here's Thief who loves to suckle.

PAAWs is a wonderful place for cats and people who love them.


 
shakatany: Sleeping woman plus moon and stars (Default)
I arrived in Fargo, ND on Tuesday afternoon after a relatively uneventful journey with just the slightest case of travel fatigue caused by not really sleeping the previous night, getting up early and dozing on the planes. My friend CM met me at the airport and we fell into our rhythm, picking up where we left off last August. 

Yesterday was Summerfest, the annual picnic for the Cass County Democrats and as usual CM had volunteered to help with the meal and drafted me and her husband, the Prof, to help out too. We spent the morning baking a chocolate chip pie for the silent auction and putting together a fruit salad for the picnic itself. Later we drove around buying the hamburgers and hot dogs and buns and condiments for the endeavor, arriving at the picnic place around 4. The Prof arrived a bit later to barbecue about 120 hamburgers and dozens of hot dogs. Four hours later we were back at the house exhausted having served some 150 people and raising over $2000 for a good cause. 

Today we went to PAAWs so CM could do a few chores around the place. We entered and I was in cat heaven. Cats rushed out to greet us and check us out. Beauty, the resident cat and Stella were especially friendly and required lots of petting from me. Some came by for a bit of petting and the rest stayed in their safe places. All, at some point, had been feral cats, living on the streets so to speak, until caught and brought to PAAWs. Some would find homes and the ones too untamable would be neutered and rereleased. In another couple of rooms were kittens, small adorable balls of fluff especially 2 white ones named Thief and River who purred up a storm. At the end of a couple of hours my black pants were covered in cat hair but it was worth it. Tomorrow is surgery day and I get to wear scrubs!   

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