Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sick Kitty Again

At 6:00 this morning Misha woke me up meowing. He usually nuzzles me with a loud purr. No purr just insistent meowing. I got out of bed and stepped in diarrhea. "Oh, no Sasha." I run to the bathroom, pull off my pajama bottoms which got soiled, grab some Kleenexes, clean up the mess, then back to the bathroom for the pet stain remover all the time calling Sasha. I pull on shorts--with images of finding s very ill Sasha running through my head and feeling the need to be decent when I run out of the apartment to the emergency clinic.
I run to the living room, no Sasha. Misha is under the chair looking very worried. I am not sure if it was worry for Sasha or worry that his human mom was suddenly acting like a maniac. I go back into the bedroom and under their window stool, I find Sasha acting very quiet. We sit with each other for a bit and then he gets a cramp and low rider runs into the living room. Not much with this one. Seems like he emptied his system. I spray pet stain remover on the new spot, go back and clean the stuff before.
I get out his pipe cleaner and notice that he is perky enough to play. I decide to go on the Internet to see what I should do. This isn't the first time on the Internet with this for him. I run through my head and remember that he ate some cheese the other night--maybe that was the problem. Well, I didn't really give him the cheese as much as he took the cheese. I stopped giving them cheese after the first bout because I suspected that his tummy could no longer handle the lactose. So it seems that this also might have been the case. At any rate, the Internet says that if the diarrhea lasts for more than 24 hours then take him to the vet.
So far over an hour without incident. I can only hope that I don't have shell out another God knows how much. Sasha tells me to say that he is fine now and there is no need to get the carrier out, needles, prods or anything else. He just needs his tummy rubbed, ears scratched and a little bit more playtime with the pipe cleaner, that's all.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Madder Tea and Trivia at Lee's

I started the day off yesterday at Walmart picking up Scotch removeble hangers for the meeting room at the Canyon Country Library. There isn't a hanging system installed and since I wanted to hang garlands and pictures on the walls, I opted for the Scotch solution--what a fabulous time we live in! Ten years ago I would have been out of luck.
I headed for Canyon Country Library, spent about an hour and a half putting up the wall decorations, then I had luch at Baja Fresh. The manager remembered me from the many lunches that I had there when I was manager of the library. He is such a friendly guy.
After lunch I headed for the Goodwill to do my normal checking to see if there were any bargains to be had. Indeed there was. I got the final piece of art for my apartment. It has three French shops. I don't think it is a real oil. I think that it has been scanned onto canvas and then touched up with oil to give it some texture and dimension. When I was checking out one of the customers, oohed and aahed over it, lamenting that she missed it. She even took phone photos of it so that she could show her artist mother what she missed.
The tea party was a success. People always seems to say that I should become an event planner and that I missed my calling. I enjoy it as a hobby and I always get nice satisfying compliments that make me feel good. When you do it as a job and people are paying for it, they tend to be picky and sometimes they get very testy. I wouldn't want to walk into the landmine profession of event planning at all.
In the evening I walked over the Lee's Wine Bar, they have trivia night there on Tuesday's. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on it when I had the odd Tuesday off. I usually work late on Tuesday, so it wasn't an option. But I had such a good time, I am switching my evening shift so that I can become a regular. Finally, I am widen my social network some. We won a bottle of wine last night. My team--Dale and I--came in second place. It was a very smooth Castle Rock Pinot Noir.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Count Down to the New Santa Clarita Libraries

No one is clear what is going to happen in the coming months. The seamlessness that the Mayor talked to me about months ago quickly unraveled. The County plans to close the libraries on June 18th. The Santa Clarita website says that all three libraries will open on July 1st. This means that Santa Clarita will be without library service for a minimum of 13 days. But a LSSI told a candidate that interviewed with them that it is possible that the only library that opens on July 1st will be Canyon Country. The city wants to spruce up Valencia and the talks for Newhall were in a stall so the city might not purchase the Newhall Library property and may instead open up a storefront library until the big new library is opened. Another new hire admitted that LSSI and the city don't seem too terribly organized and seem to be flying by the seat of their pants. Yet, another new hire hasn't heard anything about anything and isn't scheduled to report until July 1st--the day the new libraries are supposed to open. Hmmm...I am still concerned. July is going to be a very interesting month for Library Service in Santa Clarita. I am interested to see what will happen.
Last Wednesday, I had the day off and took all my tea stuff to Canyon Country. Dot and I set up the meeting room for the final farewell for the Friends of the Santa Clarita Libraries which has decided to dissolve because the city and LSSI never actually sat down with them and made them feel that they would be a valuable organization in the new system.
I am looking at starting a PhD in Information Science and see this as the perfect case study on the future of library services.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Was My Guardian Angel on the Job Today?

This morning when I arrived I work, I found a 12 pack of broken beer bottles in the parking lot. I thought, "I need to call this in" which was followed by "It's Saturday...sigh...I'll have to clean it up." I went inside to get the day started there before I gathered up the broom and dustpan for the broken glass. Shortly after arriving we got a phone call from Newhall Library see what our coverage at the library for the day was like and would it be possible for me to cover the library? After a little bit of problem solving, I called back to say that I could cover the library and would leave soon. I got my bag together and headed out the door. I got into the parking lot among the broken glass and realized that I needed to get that cleaned up before I left for the day. I went back inside, dropped by handbag off, and retrieved the broom and dustpan. Many of pieces were still pretty large and a customer dropping off items in the bookdrop got out of her car and picked up the cardboard six-pack holders and put them in the trash can. She tsk-ed in dismay that someone would be so irresponsible. I agreed and thanked her, she responded..."I know you guys work really hard and do a good job, but you don't get paid enough to do this." What a nice thing to say. I finished the job, in all about 7-8 minutes worth of work. I got in my car and headed for Santa Clarita.
Right before the 118 near the Wheatland exit the cars started to bunch up. A CHP unit rolled by, lights flashing on the shoulder. I looked up head to see that the freeway was closed due to an accident. Sitting in my car, I realized that the accident happened about 7-8 minutes before--the radio said three cars were involved. All traffic was being diverted off the freeway at the Wheatland exit. Twenty minutes later, as I rolled past on to the exit, the Lexus SUV was being righted. It had clearly rolled and was in bad shape. If I hadn't had to stop to clean up the glass in the parking lot, I would have either been just past the accident when it occurred or right smack in the middle of it. Although I would have preferred to have been the former than stuck in traffic for 30 minutes, I clearly preferred the inconvenience of being stuck than to have chaos swirl around right in front of me and quite possibly involving me. So kudos to my poor overworked Guardian Angel that keeps vigilance over me.

Friday, May 13, 2011

How Very Strange Revised

Ok, I don't get it. I went to my blog in Firefox and there was the post from yesterday. I signed in and it wasn't there. What up with that? I just don't know.

But anywhere here is the Feline Follies post

Last Wednesday, I was home no more than 10 minutes when Sasha started to wretch. At first I thought he was hacking up a hairball but all that came up was some clear saliva. About 10 minutes later he started meowing in distress and vomited up more saliva. I walked around the apartment and realized that he had been throwing up for a while. Poor baby. I tried to give him some water but he wasn't interested in that. What to do? I thought about it for a while and decided that I might need to take him to the vet. My concern was that if he became overly dehydrated he might have kidney failure--cat systems are pretty delicate in this area. I didn't want to come home after a long day of meetings to a seriously ill cat. I looked on line and found the Emergency Pet Clinic in Newhall, I called and they said to bring him in.
I got out the kitty carrier and brought it inside. I shut the bathroom door and the bedroom door. Misha looked at the carrier with curiosity but no real worry. It seemed that he processed that he was not sick, there was only one carrier out so it wasn't intended for him. Sasha seemed to process this same information with the same conclusion because in the corner of my eye I saw Sasha slink under the sofa to the sweet spot where he was just out of reach at all angles. I pulled the sofa out, he moved, I pushed it in, moved again. This repeated for a while until he went under the chair. I had better access to the chair.
Basically with him kicking and screaming I got him in the carrier and got him in the car. Pitiful meows responded to what I hoped to be soothing "It's going to be OK." He seemed to be saying "No, it's not. I'm OK really let's just go back home. Please. Please." We got to the clinic just as the people ahead of me put their dachshund on the counter. The preliminary diagnosis was rattle snake bite. This meant that it would be a while before the vet was freed up to see Sasha. Later, the tech took him into the examining room and started with his vitals. The vet asked me if he had gotten into any poison, drugs, little items, etc. etc. I answered negative to my knowledge. She said that they could do x-rays or just give him fluids and a couple of shots. I opted for the shots and said that if he didn't perk up then I would go for the x-rays. They put a hydration pack under his skin, gave him two shots to calm his tummy and presented me with a bill for $250.
I got him home and he seemed to already be perked up. Sasha is my delicate cat. With his sometimes whisper meow and rabbit soft fur, he has a sensitive tummy. I had had the boy cats for about 2 months when at Christmas he seemed very listless and unresponsive. I took him to the vet who suspected that he had ingested a piece of Styrofoam or so something. Apparently he gets lots of these case during the holidays with all the various packaging that pets can get into. Then came the bouts of constipation and the worse bout of diarrhea. After that I change their dry food to Sensitive System food and things seemed to settle down for him.

The next morning as I was getting ready for my long meeting, I heard retching in the kitchen. "Oh, no he's still sick" ran through my head. I went to investigate, I found Sasha as right as rain but Misha had just vomited up clear saliva. I looked at him and said, I don't have another $250 to spend on you--you have to get well. I left the AC on which I hadn't the day before in hopes that if it had gotten too hot for them the previous day and that was why Sasha was sick, they would be nice a comfy that day.
I came home and both cats were back to normal. Whew!

How Very Strange...disappearing entry

Yesterday I posted an entry about the trials I had with Sasha last week, I even viewed it last night to check how much needed edited. All there but today when I thought about posted another entry--yes, I am on roll, yesterday's post was gone. Did I accidently delete. Always possible. Well enough of this. I will try to repost the travails and come up with another post tomorrow. It has been a long day and I have a DVD in the player.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tea Party Part II

The preparation for the tea was a process. At first I thought for the craft portion of the program, I would have them make felt butterfly magnets. I borrowed a multi-piece die from Lancaster Library. But when I tried to cut out the felt, it failed to cut all the way through. So I had to rethink my craft. I decided rather to have them make greeting cards using the butterfly die cut out of craft paper, felt mini-flowers, felt and paper mini hearts and felt and paper mini butterflies. It turned out well. I was pleased with the proto-types I made.

The party favor. I don't even remember what options I considered, there were many. In the end I settled on paper flowers made out of heavier two sided scrapbooking paper. I also decided to make them into magnets rather than putting them on to floral wire. This save a pretty good amount of time. Recently I requested a book on paper flowers and had already planned to do a program on how to make them. I realized while creating a couple of flowers for the program that I could use them as the party favor and advertize for my program next Monday evening at the same time.

Then came the food for the program. Thankfully my former supervisor Josie let me know through the grapevine that she would make me some of her famous lemon squares and brownies. I gladly took her up on the offer. I wanted to do something a bit different from my usual fare of Sam's Club mini quiches and a couple of other frozen nuke and serve dishes. This time I roasted some mini potatoes and then threaded them onto skewers with mini tomatoes and then popped them back into the oven for a bit. I also found a fast recipe for haricot vert (French green beans). At first I planned to grate carrots, and cucumbers and then add cranberries and mint for a refreshing spring salad but on the day of I realized that the carrots were too thin to grate so I improvised, cut them into large matchsticks and sauteed them with butter and brown sugar. I garnished them with fresh mint. Of course I made tea sandwiches but to add a little bit of variety I made (or rather had the volunteers make) grilled ham & Colby cheese sandwiches.

I bought a mini tea cake pan that I wanted to try out. I had the thought I might have time to do them up proper but in the end Friday night after picking up last minute ingredients I didn't have time to make the glaze for them. The recipe that came with the pan was a little bit too thick and I ended up with overflow that I had to cut off and bubbles, but they were cute. Instead of the glaze, I just dusted them with brown sugar. By the end of the tea, there was one lone potato and one tiny tea cake left on the table. So I am assuming that it was all pretty good or maybe I just didn't make enough!
I had fully planned to make a variety of scones for the tea but a night in kitty emergency (I will elaborate in the next entry)threw my timing off. But fortunately, my adult volunteer contributed scones for the fete.
The biggest success was the punch. I don't know where I got the punch recipe, I have been using it for a while now but everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. I used one can each of frozen orange, pineapple and lemonade concentrate thawed. I added two bottles of lemon lime soda--this time I used Squirt because it was on sale and then added about half to three quarters cup of grenadine to give it a nice hue. I added ice and water to fill up the punch carafe.

For entertainment I told stories that I titled "Stories My Mother Told". I talked a bit about growing up with bedtime stories that my mother wove for my and my brother. She would call Nightmare the luminous dapple gray horse to our bedside and take us to Nappies Town where we would run into literary creatures such as the Owl and the Pussy Cat, the Gumdrop Tree with the Chocolate Cat and Gingerbread Dog. We would always end our visit with milk and cookies at the Wise Old Owl's house where we could ask one question. I also talked about the time my mother sewed up the Easter Bunny when he fell and hurt himself on the barbed wire fence. My mother took the broken eggs off his hands for our baskets. I then told them that I host the Mother Daughter Tea in honor of my mother because I think she is an amazing person. I believe that my love for literature, librarianship and travel stem from those early bedtime adventures sprinkled with literary references that required no passport.

The last portion of the program is a free raffle. I collect little gifts either from donations or things that I pick up fairly inexpensively. I give each attendee three slips of paper, they write their name on the slips and then they place the slips in the the cups next to the prize they would like to win. At the end of the program I draw out the winning names. It is fun. This year the big prize was a Disney gift with a Tinkerbell butterfly shaped bag filled with a Cinderella Barbie and a fairy necklace. The daughters of the mother who won the prize almost came to blows over who got what. So again, I will assume that it was a success.
Now I need to start planning the winter tea party!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Mother Daughter Tea at the Library Part I

This spring was my third Mother Daugther Tea that I hosted at the library. I host them in both the spring the Saturday before Mother's Day and in the winter a few weeks before Christmas. The word is getting out that this is a good program to come to. This year I set sign up to begin on April 27th, the participants could e-mail me, call me or come into the library. By 1:00 pm the sign up list was full and the waiting list was being generated. I set the total at 21 mothers plus and daughters, granddaughters, grandmothers, etc that there might be. I actually increased the number to 24 mothers before I shut the list down--I have a hard time saying no!

There was one initial concern, we had a mother call to sign up right at 11:00, she wanted to register her and her son. I didn't quite know how to handle this, I explained that it was the Mother Daughter Tea but she insisted that she should be able to attend with her son if she wanted to. Yes, it is a library program so it is open to the public. Since this is billed as a family program and she is a family therefore she falls into the category. I told her that I needed to get with my supervisor and then I would call her back. I decided to check with other libraries that host Mother Daughter Teas. I trolled the internet for a couple of numbers, one was in Lousiana and the librarian there told me that sometimes they get mothers and sons but she just explains that if the son will be comfortable in the atmosphere then feel free to bring them. I also called Santa Monica who has been doing the tea for about 5 years, the librarian there said that she hadn't run into the problem yet and that she felt that the title of the program was self explanitory.
Why a Mother Daughter Tea? Why not just a Mother's Day Tea? I've have pondered this and other than well, it sounds catchy, feels right, and other people are doing it, too, I haven't gotten very far without getting philosophical.
Gender issues are always complicated. The whole reason I have put the tea together is that I would love to attend one with my own mother. I remember the times that my mother and did events together and still do, these bond us, create memories, and we can do girly things, talk about girly things. Yes, gender differences are alive and well in my mind. I don't think that gender differences have anything to do with actually equality. I personally think that there are certain areas that women wrongly and dangerously use their femaleness to their advantage--but I might explore this at a later date.

At any rate the mother and son duo was a no show. Oh well, I had wondered how I would handle this situation if it arose and next time I will be able to handle it better--it's all a learning process. I am still fairly new at the hosting the tea. Each time, I get a little better and the overall product is smoothers and more professional. One volunteer that helped me last year during the first tea, was astounded at how much better prepared I was this year. I still have a bit more polishing to do but again it is a learning process, I am figuring out when to get things started to minimize the chaos on the day of the tea. This year I had 68 people in attendance which is the maximum number of people that I can handle in the room.
In the winter, I have decided that I will handle the sign ups by lottery. Because the sign ups closed so quickly and a number of the attendees were repeaters that knew that they needed to get in quickly, I want to give other people that haven't heard of the tea a chance. So in the winter, I will have the entry time over a period of a week, then I will do the drawing, contact the winners and then hold the others on the waiting list. I think that this will be easier for me and the staff. The first 3 hours of Monday the 27th was chaos with people. I believe I will also be able to manage the list better. This year there were a couple of snafus in the list that I had to sort out during the seating period of the tea. Again it is a learning experience.