Monday, April 18, 2016

A Much Needed Retreat

The timing could not have been better from a mental point of view; my sweet little Djuna had only just passed away and I was still very sad. From a financial point of view, however, it was not so good. It was another $300.00 added to my credit card bill after all. But, it was so nice to retreat from the world for a while and leave all my troubles at home.

Bryan drove me out to Wasilla Thursday night after work. I had packed everything up the day before so I was ready to go almost as soon as I got home from work. It was hard leaving my Thing, however – she is not taking Djuna’s death very well at all. Bryan offered to stay at my house to keep her company while I was gone, so I felt better about that.

Once we got to the Pioneer Ridge Bed & Breakfast, Bryan helped me haul everything in and get set up in my room and at my table. He got the grand tour of the place since he’d never been there – and then headed on back home, leaving me to my crafting overdose.

There were only 5 people there that early, and thankfully my friend Tammy was one of those people. She and I sat across from each other so we could chat while doing our craft work; she does actual scrapbooking while I make my cards. Friday afternoon saw most everybody else arriving, bringing the total attendance up to around 12 people (give or take a few who came and went).

My typical day at a scrapbooking retreat is: I get up at 6 and make my first cup of tea and then sit down at my table and start crafting. Eventually everybody else wanders in and joins me, but since they typically don’t go to bed until the wee hours of the morning, it’s usually a bit later. Lunch is typically served around noon, which I eat at my table. We all continue to do our crafting while gossiping about whatever comes to mind and listing to music. Dinner is served around 6:00 or so, which I eat at my table while others actually gather at a communal dinner table away from their projects. Eventually, around 10:00, I head on back to my room to go to bed, only to repeat the process the next day. Once in a while somebody suggests a walk outside to stretch our legs, but for the most part I spend my time making cards. And I love it!

This time, my total card count came to 42. I came home with only 32 however, since I actually sold 10 of them there at the retreat. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Little June Bug

We took her to the vet on Saturday: a new one she hadn’t seen yet. Dr. Coyne is so VERY nice: she spent a good hour talking to us about all the options available, and was sincerely caring and concerned for Djuna’s health. She was also taken by how sweet Djuna is, and made several comments to that effect.

Here is a quote off the website for The Pet Stop:
Dr. Kathryn Coyne received her veterinary degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She practiced in New York for a year before moving to Alaska. Her special interests include emergency medicine, pain management, endocrine and infectious diseases, and working with pet owners to manage behavioral issues that affect quality of life and the human-animal bond.

Basically, Djuna’s potassium levels are alarmingly low. Dr. Coyne recommended adding it to her IV bag to replenish what her kidneys are losing.

Also of great concern is her heart. Apparently a cat’s normal heart rate is around 200 beats per minute – Djuna’s was about 60 beats per minute! Dr. Coyne did say that the low levels of potassium were most likely the cause and the added amounts in her IV bag should help bring that back up.

Djuna’s lack of appetite is to the critical point: she simply does not want to eat anymore. The doctor gave me some anti-nausea meds in case that was the issue, and I’m continuing with the vitamin B12 shots. Sedating her and inserting a feeding tube was briefly discussed: just long enough for me to say “No”.

And, last but certainly not least, my little June Bug is severely dehydrated:  she’s no longer eating so is no longer getting that extra boost of liquids that I have been putting into her food. This means that her IV treatments have been increased to every day rather than just twice a week. I have to admit, this is taking a toll on both of us. Djuna hates it and I hate having to make her do it.

That all took place on Saturday; it’s Tuesday now, and she still has not eaten but maybe a bite or two. I have her set up on my bed with an electric blanket and wooly babies blanket over the top of her. She is happiest when she’s with me and still wants to be held if I’m at home. Bryan is a fair second choice, but if she sees me, she starts crying until I hold her.

I’m sorry I have no good news – it’s only a matter of time now, I think.


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Summer Hiking Schedule

I got inspired last weekend: not only was the weather just absolutely gorgeous (don’t look now, but I do believe that summer might actually BE HERE!) but we got to attend a talk up at the Eagle River Nature Center on Sunday on Hiking in Alaska! 

The speaker was Susan Beeman Sommer, a freelance writer and editor for the Alaska Magazine.

She has a blog documenting her hikes: True North Alaska

She has her own website, as well: Alaska Writer

She showed pictures from a few of her favorite hikes that she’s been on these past few years. She talked about how to plan for the hike, what gear to bring, and even how to determine when you should just turn around and go home. From the sounds of it, she goes on a lot of hikes and is a pretty hard core hiker. Kind of like what I would LIKE to be, but sadly am not.

Best of all, she totally motivated me to create our schedule for the summer. I scaled back considerably this year, though. Last year I put way too many hikes on the calendar and ended up doing barely half of them. This year I’m being more realistic and have only 7 hikes planned – always allowing for more, should the mood strike us, of course.

So here’s the plan:
May 28-29: Caines Head Trail
April 11: Hilltop trail System
June 17-18: Spencer Whistle Stop
July 9-10: Byers Lake
July 31: South Fork Eagle River
August 7: Reed Lake up in Hatcher Pass
August 12-14: Blueberry Picking up at Denali

The more observant of you have no doubt noticed that several of these have multiple dates listed. We will be camping out on those hikes; either car camping or packing the tent in and finding a spot somewhere along the trail.

It’s going to be a great summer!