family


Today was listed as labor day and as such many received a vacation day.  My work was closed, so I took the opportunity to labor at home.  I installed shelves in the garage, pulled weeds, did laundry, planned a Kairos weekend, and got ready to paint the back fence.  Not too bad for a few hours without my regular work to do.

We have a  flag pole out front and I left it empty today.  Actually, the labor day was a result of the organized labor movement in the late 1800’s and commemorates the formation of unions and their power.  I don’t have a use for the unions.  After all, their initial purpose has been supplanted by labor laws and OSHA and they serve to protect poor workers and increase wages above market rates.  That is the real reason for the increases in minimum wage – the unions use that figure and argue that their skills entitle them to x amount above the minimum.  Any politician pushing minimum wage increase is doing so to pay off the unions.  Broad brush, I know, but too easy to show as well.  Therefore, I didn’t raise the flag.  Tomorrow, the Texas flag will be raised as my usual tradition.

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Spouseinbox got inspired this evening and we all received benefit therefrom.  The object of a bit of preparation was a chicken dish consisting of green beans, chicken, and potatoes with a topping of ranch dressing mix.  The result is shown below:

supper 90417

From spouseinbox: I found a simple recipe on Facebook, and decided to try it for supper tonight. I used about a pound of chicken tenderloins,  and cut them in about 4 pieces per tenderloin. I cut up about 6 small potatoes, and put in 2 cans undrained green beans. I then used ranch dressing mix packet rather than Italian dressing mix packet.
Overall it was good, and everybody got seconds. However, I will do a few things differently next time. I will use canned green bean and potatoes drained, and mix in the chicken rather than lay it on top. It had a lot of juice this time, and I feel the seasoning seemed to be “washed off” the food into the juice.
I will look forward to next time.

The surgery is done.  The cancer is removed.  Spouseinbox stated that the doctor lied.  I was anticipating it, but tried not to say too much.  The presentation was sort of like this comic:

http://www.nurstoon.com/fertility-4/

“You will be a little more sore than when they did the biopsy.” We were given Norco 7.5’s and morphine IV in the hospital room.  Yeaaaa, just a little more sore than post needle stick.  Now, I know how practitioners like to downplay the bad stuff.  We are trying to help expectations.  That strategy doesn’t really work with someone in the business.  That comic is so accurate.  Don’t think I don’t notice the preparatory medications either.   Just saying.

I had out my appendix many moons ago.  What I discovered was that lying was fine, standing was fine.  Going between them was horrible.  That said, I only took one pain medicine that first night.  That shot changed the way I give shots to this day.  I wasn’t even a nurse at the time.  Tell the patient they are going to be stuck.  I was waiting for the verbage and received a poke instead.  I jumped, looked at the nurse.  He gave an odd face, completed the injection and then told me I had just jumped off the needle and back on it again.  I got stuck twice for a single shot.  There’s nothing like personal experience to change one’s mind and approach.  That said, I decided the nurses were going to make me walk and I didn’t want to get out of bed any more than was necessary – as getting up was the worst – so I decided that I would walk out in front of the nurses station any time I had to get up for the bathroom.  It worked.  The nurses came and provided such compliments how I was energetic and walking wonderfully and they were happy with such progress.  I didn’t tell them I was just doing it so they would leave me alone.  Keep that in mind if you ever have to go to the big house.

Spouseinbox discovered that post surgery, standing was fine, lying was fine, going between them hurt.  That sounds so familiar.

Spouseinbox and I were having a discussion the other day.  Spouseinbox is facing surgery for cancer.  I am having my first meeting Friday about a broken wrist which will probably require surgery as well.  We were noting various issues – my knees were bad and spouseinbox’s feet were.  Other physical ailments were mentioned and we decided that if we placed all our good parts together, we could probably make a single good person.

This month has been intense.  Both spouseinbox and I have physical problems awaiting treatment and kidinbox has now been observed to have potential blood sugar problems.  A live bedbug was found in the hallway while we are still working on cleaning the house to get rid of those things.  When feeling a bit overwhelmed, I had a patient call noting death of a relative and malignant cancer in another.  Another associate sent an email with request for prayer as a spouse had stage 4 renal carcinoma.  Between these and other things heard it occurred to me that everyone is having problems.  Only the type and severity differ.  There is a sentence in the Bible, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”  That seems so true.  There is enough rough stuff happening right now, we don’t need to borrow from either our neighbors, or tomorrow.  Let’s consider today and in the midst of issues say, “this is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  That stated, I am glad to be here working on music projects, to have spouseinbox helping with those projects.  I am glad to have a job with good working coworkers.  We have a wonderful church family as well.

We have three felines.  They are each distinct characters.  Jake has been around these parts the longest and is the male.  He has been surgically altered, but is still the male cat.  (Funny how that doesn’t change things much.)  Next came Pearl.  She is the silent one of the group.  We have actually been training her to speak.  If she wants a treat, she has to meow.  She mostly would rather avoid confrontation with any others and stays by herself.  We have been working with her for a few years and she is actually starting to come up and spend time with us.  The tail end is Whiskers.  She is the youngest cat, and a hormonal teenager.  (in cat years that is)  She hasn’t been surgically altered, but that is in her future.  We’re hoping it will quiet her cycles.  Quite being the operative word.  That would be associated with sleeping through the night.

Anyways, what these three have in common is basic life needs: food, water, cat pan.  The food dispenser is a battery powered unit which was programmable and provides three meals per day.  With much battle, a water bowl was added to the automated list and has been operating for a couple of months.  The last item needed to attain full automation would be a cat pan which would scoop itself.  Well, there is one which comes close.  It is the Cat Genie.  The thing had promise of small pellets which would be washed and dried daily to allow a continuously clean cat pan.  No scooping.  Yea!  Once the opportunity presented itself, we obtained a unit.  It does take up a bit of floor space – about two feet by 19 inches.  The bowl is round in front and the mechanism is box-like on the back.  Amazon has them and one was showing the other day cheaper than we paid for this one.  Anyways, we unpacked it and started assembling it on the bedroom floor.  Jake immediately started to use the unit.  We moved him off and started the hook-up in the bathroom.  While there, before the hook-ups were finished, Whiskers blessed the unit with its first baptism.  We finally got the hook-ups and spouseinbox started programming it.  The unit ran its first time.  The scooper moved down to the pellets and the bowl started to turn.  The valve for the water opened and all the retained air in the line made an immediate exit with the appropriate pow sound.  All the cats jumped.

After that first cleaning, all three felines sat at respectful distances and eyed the unit.  Whiskers proved more brave than the other two while approaching with back feet stretched and back low to the ground.   She inched forward until her nose was near the front and just as her nose was about to touch the rim, jumped backwards just like rubber bands stretched from the bathroom door had done their deed.  Jake maintained his superior stance on the counter overlooking the unit and would sit there and stare.  Pearl just avoided it and would hop on the toilet, then over to the food and water.  The automated cat pan was off to a bad start.  Nothing like scaring the crap out of the users to set up a new relationship.

The booklet which came with the unit advised to leave the old pan there, but not clean it.  We tried that stance and were rewarded with poop on the bed.  No one can say the cats don’t know how to express themselves.  Since there were three, we had no real idea who the real culprit was, but had a guess.  Now what to do.  We started locking the cats up in the bathroom with the unit for most of the day.  That way, they would be there when the machine did its cleaning and have to experience its behavior.  This would also assure us a clean bed.  Win, win, I thought.  We would let out the cats when we were home and washed full bedding two more times – for urine.  I was having pictures of placing wires across the blankets and hooking them up to an old Ford spark coil.  Of course that would be a lot of work and I didn’t have the time.  Oh well.  We kept doing the cats in the bathroom for a while and as of last weekend, I took the horrific old cat pan out to the garbage and dumped the residue.  If anyone wants some material for biological warfare, I know how to supply.

We kept in the cats for a couple more days, and started to notice first Jake, then Pearl, and finally Whiskers used the automated unit.  As of today, the cats were provided freedom and the bed is good for us to sleep.  Yea!  We finally have the cat care automated.  It only took about three weeks of retraining.

Addendum: I found a video of the cleaning cycle so you can see what freaked out my clan.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeJ7hU5zcuQ

The longer I am on this circumnavigational sphere, the more I realize that problems are a part of everyone’s life.  I previously mentioned the new finding of cancer in our household and shared that with the Kairos group this weekend.  When split in to prayer groups, represented in our group was cancer, loss of a family member, and horrible problems at work – interpersonal and spilling into family life.  It struck me that as problematic as our particular issue may be, we are no different from someone else – only differences in form.  That being stated, there is only one answer for everyone’s issues – God.

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