Saturday, October 31, 2015

NaNoWriMo My Way

Not only is tonight Halloween, it's also the eve of NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month.  AND we get an extra hour tonight with the ending of daylights savings. So since I'm home, and the cute trick or treaters have all gone to bed (the non-cute, non-costumed and way-to-old ones continue to ring my doorbell, and I continue to ignore them...), I thought I'd get a jump start on pre-writing for this month's Great American Novel!

The truth is, I have no intention of writing a novel.  But I do have an intention of writing a book.  At this point though, I feel like the expectant parent who doesn't want to tell others what I'm planning to name the baby. I don't want anyone's inputs or opinions.  I'm just doing it My Way.

I'm also not necessarily writing the whole book in a month!  But, I'm thinking of the month of November like an ass-kicking boot camp.  I'm devoting hard core time, every day, to writing my book.

NaNoWriMo, my way...

Friday, October 30, 2015

BEWARE!!! TOMCAT Rat Poison!

Sometime last week, I saw a mouse run across my garage.  In the past, we've seen mice, and have used mousetraps because we aren't fans of toxins of any sort.  But since Fermin was about to go out of town, he bought some rat poison so I wouldn't have to deal with finding mouse bodies in the traps.  He told me to be careful and not let Lucy and Ricky sniff around in the garage.

The other night, I noticed they were chewing on something in the backyard.  But they do that all the time.  It's usually pecan shells during this time of the year... And they've got the stained teeth to prove it.

The next morning, I saw them in that same area again, chewing again on something.

I called them inside, and didn't really think twice about it.  They never stay outside long, and didn't that previous night or that morning.

I happened to go out to the yard a little later in the day and found this...
My dogs don't really chew things up usually, so I wondered, what was this and why the interest?!  I looked around a little more and then found THIS...
I could see the word "TOMCAT" on it... and that unfortunately, sounded familiar.

It was the container that the rat poison was in.  How it got from the garage to the yard, I'm not sure.  And where the poison went, and who ate it, I'm also not sure about.

After calling Fermin at his Las Vegas work conference, and working myself into a pure panic state, I put Lucy and and Ricky in the front seat of my car. Both dogs were looking a little weird to me, and I wasn't sure if was them just mimicking my emotional state, or if any poison was taking effect. Somehow, the 3 of us made it from the house to the vet's office.

A couple thousand dollars later, I have a public service announcement to make about this TomCat rat poison.
First of all, although it says otherwise on the box, IT IS NOT DOG RESISTANT. It apparently tastes and smells like peanut butter which could easily entice more than just rats. As you can see from my photos above, my dogs had no problem chewing through the casing.

Also, it's a kind of poison that causes neurological damage- The idea is that the rat or mouse will have so many seizures that they eventually (and probably pretty quickly) die.  So, if a cat or dog ingests it by mistake, same deal.  This isn't the kind of poison that makes an animal "bleed out" and organs shut down.  Although that sounds absolutely horrible, at least the vets have a antidote for that if you get to them in time.  For this particular poison I'm talking about, there is no antidote.  There is also no test to know for sure whether they've ingested it or not.

All that can be done is what we've done so far. The vet induced vomiting, gave them charcoal that maybe helps pull out toxins (but the downside is that it also pulls out nutrients in their systems...), they've had blood panels done to make sure the charcoal isn't having to many adverse effects, they've been given iv fluids, and they're being watched for any odd behavior that might be signs of neurological problems.

The scariest thing for us right now, is although they are absolutely fine, and show no signs of anything, it can take up to a week or more for symptoms to show.  The vet told me once they get to a point of seizures, there's really not much they can do anyway.

A walk outside sure feels good after the last 24 hours!!
So I'm cautiously optimistic. They're at home, and I'm watching them and coddling kissing on them far more than what would be socially acceptable. They're eating normal, pooping normal (although black!- ewww), and as rambunctious as ever.
Ricky Ricardo- happily on the road again!

Please stay away from that rat poison. (And all poisons in general!) And please ask that all your friends and neighbors do the same.  If a cat were to eat a mouse full of the poison,the outcome could be fatal.  My vet told me they have clients bring in pets that have somehow gotten into this poison on a very regular basis, and there's very little that can be done.

So it's back to traps for us.  Although honestly, if the mice decide they like it around here and don't destroy too much, they're free to stay.  Live and let live.  Let there be peace on earth...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


This may be a heavy topic for my blog.  But lately, I far too often think, "Oh, I sorta want to write about this- oh, but no!  It's weird to write that on my blog- Therefore, I haven't really written much recently.  But it is my blog.  And writing here sorta helps me think through things, and it's also is a recorded history for me.  So here goes.

At the beginning of the month, there was a little segment on Good Morning America that I happened to see about not just Breast Cancer Awareness month, but also something about Angelina Jolie and her experience with the BRCA I and BRCA II genetic test.  I had heard about all of it before.  Since my mom died of ovarian cancer, and her mom (a.k.a. my maternal grandmother) had breast cancer, my doctor and I had already spoken years ago about the possibility of me getting the BRCA I and II screening done.  At the time, I wasn't ready.  I figured that if I had positive results of some mutation, I would need to act upon the results, and it just seemed too stressful- and scary- at the time.

But for whatever reason, that morning, at the start of the month, while watching GMA, it seemed too stressful NOT to get the testing done.

So I went in to my gynecologist and she ordered the BRCA testing for me and took the blood sample.

Then today, I got a call from the doctor's nurse saying my insurance company requires that I do genetic counseling prior to getting my results.  Genetic counseling?!  I'm not even sure what that means.  Is it just to make sure the patient is prepared for whatever results the tests spit out? Regardless of what it is, I have to do it if I want my insurance to cover my costs.

The nurse told me I could either schedule an appointment with a genetic counselor in person, or I could do it online and on a phone call.  Of course I opted for the online and phone call route.

I just filled out the online portion of my family history.  And how odd that was!

I, of course, know all about when Mom got ovarian cancer, the treatment she had, the age she got it and the age she was when she died. It wasn't that long ago, and I was there for all of it.  It got a little trickier when I answered the questions regarding my grandmother.  I was a kid, so she seemed "old"- But I don't really know what her age was at the time, so I just took a guess. Also, I know she had a mastectomy but I have no idea if she had radiation or any other treatment.  I just remember going bra shopping with her and mom so she could get a special bra with a little bean bag-like thing to put in one side of her bra. I also remember swimming at her pool- Swimming a side stroke was part of her recovery after her surgery.  I was around 8 years old, so that's about as deep as it goes for me regarding my grandmother's breast cancer.

The online questionnaire went on to ask about all the obvious branches in a family tree.  Because my tree is not only small, but also disjointed, I realized I had very little information, and there's really no one I can ask at this point.
But I probably know the most important things- I know everything about Mom, and at least little about my grandmother.  It did make me wonder though, is it weird that I know so little history about my family tree?


Thursday, October 22, 2015


This quote popped into my Facebook feed the other night-- right after I returned home from my little Improv class I've been taking for a few weeks now.  Thanks, Lucy-for the inspiration.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Here We Go, Improv!

After attending a songwriting workshop last month in Nashville, I made a little pact with myself to step outside of my box on a more regular basis.  I know how good it is for me to do that, but being the little creature of comfort that I am, I sometimes shy away from taking those steps. 

One of those steps outside of my comfort zone starts tonight--
I've signed up for a 8 week Improv class that meets weekly.

My friend, Guy, who takes acting and improv classes had planted the seed in my head many months ago.  He would often talk about his classes to me, and they all sounded so fun and also kind of intimidating.

So after coming back from Nashville I was trying to come up with some new thing I could try- and taking an Improv class, for whatever reason, was the first thing that came to mind.

I am excited, but surprisingly, I'm not nervous.  I have absolutely NO expectation.  I am an absolute beginner and I am going to be totally okay with it all even if I'm the worst student in the class and the last one to catch on.  This is so outside of my box, that the fear factor of it isn't even there. At least not yet.  Perhaps I'll vomit the whole drive to the studio tonight, but as of now, I'm feeling fine. 

I'm looking forward to giving my brain a new workout, and meeting new people I otherwise would probably never have come across.