"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cats and Dogs and Christmas Trees

I did two more blocks from Carol Doak's Fifty Paper Pieced Stars book - this time, Montana. I've done quite a few of that pattern. As before, I made two blocks using mostly the same fabric only in a different configuration. I am kind of enjoying the exercise. Here are all four yellow and blue blocks, to date:

I wasn't sure about using the darker blue with orange. It certainly makes this second pair more dramatic.

I had court this morning and had to leave Evelyn, again. Court went fast, as expected, and I planned to make a quick stop at the grocery store (haven't been in over a week) before dashing back home to Evelyn. My plans changed because one of my cases involved a child in fostercare whose young mother is a heroin addict. The mother is facing a multitude of criminal charges (forgery, distribution, stuff like that) and is more than likely going to be spending a significant time in jail. She relapsed a few months ago and has not seen her child since last spring. All that being said, she is young, she loves her child, she is deeply ashamed, she is feeling overwhelmed and ... damn it... her little girl is calling the fostermom, "Mama." When the social worker asked if we could all meet at her office to discuss where we go from here, I couldn't refuse.

Lots of tears at the meeting.

One of the judges called me back to chambers and asked me if I would be willing to train one of his children who is a lawyer just starting out and interested in doing guardian ad litem work. I appreciated him thinking of me. I told him about losing Jezebel. I am sure everyone will be happy when I get my grief under control.

I got back home before noon even though I stopped by the grocery store on the way home. Evelyn seemed okay but didn't want to let me out of her sight, at first. After an hour or so, she drifted off and pretty much ignored me all afternoon. My neighbor invited me to come over and bring Evelyn so I dropped by around 4:00 p.m. They have small children and Evelyn loves to play with them.

They also have a cat. That cat was the only thing that kept Evelyn going the first three days after losing Jezebel. The cat would creep by the deck and Evelyn would cuss at it. She has quite a potty mouth when she gets going. During the visit, the cat came in from outdoors and Evelyn went wild. At one point, she chased it under the Christmas tree which started swaying. The cat was hissing, Evelyn was cussing, I was calling Evelyn, the kids were giggling, the neighbor was saying, "Don't let the cat bite Evelyn!" (I suspect she was really thinking, "Get that hellhound under control!"). The cat was banished to the basement for the duration of the visit to Evelyn's displeasure.

Evelyn got a Frosty Paw they'd saved for her.

My friend and I chatted a bit while Evelyn chased the shrieking kids back and forth through the house ("Chase me!! Chase me!!"). After awhile, I started hearing Evelyn barking. I went to find her and she was nowhere in sight. We looked upstairs, downstairs, in the basement - no Evelyn. But we could HEAR her. Finally, we discovered that she had somehow managed to shut herself in the bathroom.

Normally, she has better visiting manners.

What a lie - I am surely going to hell. Our dogs are sweet savages.

The oncologist was kind enough to call, last night and while I am extremely grateful and appreciative that she did, it was hard. She was able to answer a few of my medical questions and cried along with me. I asked her if they'd used the same anesthesia that they had used successfully, before. She assured me that they'd used exactly the same anesthesia but this time it just went ...wrong. She told me that the staff had been in tears most of the day after it happened and that even though she is an oncologist, losing Jezebel, "Was the worst." We just didn't expect to lose her. I asked her if she thought Jezebel suffered and she said,"In my heart, I want to believe that she did not." That broke MY heart but I can't dwell on it.

I got an e-mail from Caleb's mother (see my side picture - Caleb is fighting brain cancer). He is in chemotherapy and his hair all fell out. They hadn't expected that to happen. He went in and had his head shaved and his three brothers (one older, two younger) had their heads shaved right along with him. What a wonderful family.

I was pretty blue most of the day. Now that husband is home and the day is winding down, I hope I cheer up. I made some really cruddy tuna casserole this afternoon and maybe eating it will bring some comfort. I even put crushed potatoes chips on top. Yeah, I still have one foot in the trailer park.


Holee said...

I can't help laughing about the cat chase. Evelyn does have a sparky side and looks like a cat will bring that out of her!

Try to think of the puppies that are about to arrive as a gift to comfort you from Jezebel...someone was looking out for you with litters being so hard to come by.

I can't help thinking that with a puppy in the house, Evelyn might change and you might find her under your feet all the time. I think they are pretty much like Eskie's who being the "house" dog will never allow a puppy to take charge of "their" people. Her loving side just might come out pretty quick!

Anonymous said...

Penny, have you ever thought of a writing career?

You can bring me to tears and then have me giggling over the last line in your post.

You are doing fine. It just takes time. Oh, and puppy breath to look forward to.


Infinity Quilter said...

OMG, I thought my mom was the only one who put potato chips on the tuna casserole!!! That was the only way she could get me to eat it when I was young. Every now and then I put chips on too.

Linda said...

Mmmmmmm tuna casserole with potato chips--how wonderful. The other good one is home made mac and cheese with sharp cheddar and canned tomatoes, mmmmmmmm. So glad Evelyn is 'perking up' even if it does make her a poor guest! Obviously the kids didn't think she was bad!

I agree with MAR, you certainly could write a book or two--you're really, really good.
Hope you're all getting better.
Lurking Linda

ranette said...

Penny...you brought me from tears to laughs in just this post. Yes, please do consider writing as a second career. The second set of blocks that you are making really do "pop". Love them!

Nancy said...

As I laughed at your trailer park quip, I felt you were surely beginning to feel better. I agree with everyone, you could consider writing. Sounds like Evelyn had a great time today. And the tuna casserole sounds great. It's spaghetti and meatballs here tonight.