Dreamer’s World December 19 2015



This is an outstanding day. I managed to get to Harris Teeter this morning and picked up a nice roast, some potatoes and white onions and some Worcestershire sauce in order to start a nice home-cooked meal for tomorrow. After slicing and soaking th potatoes in cold water to leech the starch out, I boiled the potatoes for about 20 minutes before putting them in the crockpot with the roast and the sliced onions. I will slow cook for 10 hours and then repeat overnight so things will be ready tomorrow.
Hal (person) just got home from work. We will find out if we’re going out at all this afternoon or evening. Personally, I hope that we decide to go somewhere, but I will leave Hal (person) to make his own decision. There is really nothing that we need right now, it would just be a chance to spend some time together away from home. It is very rare that we go anywhere these days, not a complaint, just an observation.
If there were a place that I would choose to go, it would be to check out bicycles. My doctor has strongly recommended that I get a bike and make riding a regular exercise for myself. The thing is, I don’t want to spend a ton of money on an expensive bike when a decent one will do. Thankfully, there are plenty of bike trails nearby that I can use on a regular basis. If Hal wants to go out, or asks me what I would like to do, I will mention this to him although I am not expecting Hal to get me a mountain bike for Xmas. I can afford one myself as Hal works on his own finances.
The evening has turned quiet. When Hal (person) dame home from work, he showered, ate a salad and then went to bed. Once again, my plans for trying to go out have been ruined but I don’t know what I can do about it at this point. I suppose I will just stay here and try my best to occupy my time and pay attention to The Stooges.

I hope that tomorrow I feel like going out while Hal (person) is at work, because I am really sick of being stuck here and waiting on him in the hopes that we will spend time together.

Gabby Giffords uses Sandy Hook anniversary to unload on GOP: “30,000 more Americans have been murdered with guns” since that day

The Fifth Column

Gabby Giffords uses Sandy Hook anniversary to unload on GOP: "30,000 more Americans have been murdered with guns" since that day

Gabrielle Giffords (Credit: AP/Elaine Thompson)


“This week, Congress will do exactly what its members have done every week since … nothing at all,” she wrote

In an op-ed memorializing the three-year anniversary of the mass-shoot at Sandy Hook Elementary, former Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords lit into Republican lawmakers for having done nothing to curb the violence in the years since.

“Since that tragedy three years ago Monday, about 30,000 more Americans have been murdered with guns,” she wrote. “All, like those kids at Sandy Hook, have left a hole in their families’ hearts that is eternal. Many of their deaths might not have made the headlines, but we must grieve for them, too.”

“I know that this week, Congress will do exactly what its members have done every week since those 20 kindergartners and first-graders were murdered in their classrooms,” she added.

“Nothing at all.”

“That’s cowardice, an embrace…

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Dreamer’s World December 14 2015

     Another Monday is here, and the weather is rather dreary, almost as if to match the mood of things. This will be the last full work-week of the year for me. I am not taking any extra time off, just Xmas and New Year’s Day, so the next 2 weeks will be 4-day weeks for me but most likely they will also be extremely boring with most people away. That is good because I also deserve some down time, even though I will be at work and on-call to deal with any crises that might erupt with any of the non-existent people who are on vacation anyway.
    For today, my goals are modest enough. Make sure that things are ready to roll for later in the day when the meetings start. Get tomorrow’s briefing in order to present, meet with my supervisor for my 1-1 for the week and generally keep ahead of the game here. Hal (cat) is keeping me company in the bedroom/home office as usual. I enjoy his presence because he is so good-natured.
     Hopefully, the day will progress smoothy, but Hal (cat) is here to help me through the tough times at work. Hal (person) has gone to the store. He has been gone for a while now, and I suspect that he might be doing some Xmas shopping. That is OK with me, I already told him that I am tapped out for the year after the medical expenses with Maxwell drained my savings account nearly dry. I told Hal to not spend any money on me this year, but I am sure that he conveniently didn’t hear me as well.
    Since I am going to work a little late today in order to catch up with my team lead, the afternoon will be a much slower pace. I have about 90 minutes to play with on today’s schedule since I don’t want to get into the hours worked arguments with HR at this time of the year. I will just shuffle the hours around and stay at 8 for the day.
    A big event just happened. Stevie Nicks and Hal (cat) were almost touching noses without lots of hissing and growling just as I walked back into the bedroom/office after hearing Hal (person) arrive at the front door. He bought wrapping paper and will probably begin wrapping presents today. I don’t know if we will go anywhere after I finish work, perhaps a nice dinner nearby. I will bring the subject up with Hal (person). After a quick consultation, we are going to Reynolds Street Bar and Grill after I finish work this evening for a nice dinner. Reynolds Street Bar and Grill is less than a block from us so we will just walk over there. No sense driving when we don’t have to.
    It feels great to actually have an evening plan for a change. We have become homebodies over the last several months and we deserve some time away from here. So our evening plan is all set. Now I can take it easy for a while here without feeling any guilt whatsoever. My next meeting isn’t for nearly 2 hours. I hope that no unexpected events cause chaos and confusion this afternoon, and that things will stay nice and calm for a change.
    I am glad to report that things are indeed calm this afternoon. I am ahead of the game once again and looking forward to this evening. I am all ready for my meetings with the team lead, and expect no problems with either meeting. The only drawback is that I will be working until 1900 ET since team lead is on the West Coast. Things like this happen from time to time, so I never think to complain too much. The first meeting went extremely well. Now I have to pass the time until the second meeting begins in about 90 minutes.
    As luck would have it, rain has started falling rather heavily at around 1730. This is not supposed to end until after midnight and effectively kills us going out. It is too much trouble worrying about getting soaked on the walk to the restaurant, and far too complicated to get the car out to go less than a block. We will go another evening. I am waiting for my last meeting of the day in about 20 minutes and after that we might just order pizza and relax at home together. I will definitely be glad to see the end of this day which has stretched to nearly 10 hours by the time it is over with.
The meeting ended early, which isn’t a surprise. The rain has subsided so Hal (person) and I will be walking to the restaurant after all in just a few minutes. I am glad that things have worked out for the best and I am glad that the workday is finally over with!     

Dreamer’s World December 13 2015

     I did get a good night of sleep once again. This means that I am going to start Sunday morning ready for anything within reason. I don’t believe that Hal is going to work today. However, Hal (cat) is wide awake and ready for adventure.
     Hal (cat) is still making adjustments to his new home. He still has growling episodes around Spartacus and Stevie Nicks, but there are not as many fights as there were the first day or so. It is taking a bit longer for Hal (cat) to adjust than I would like, but since Hal (person) is responsible, I am letting him take charge of the efforts. It will all work out in the end.
     I am somewhat surprised to find that Hal (person) is going to work today. That is his call to make, and I hope he is making the right choice. His back is still rather stiff, but he knows what is best for him until proven otherwise. He has to be at work by 1000, so he is nearly ready to leave here at just after 0900. We will all miss him today. I have no plans to get out for any long period of time today since Hal (person) will be at work. I might go out for a short trip, but that is by no means certain. There is nothing that I need today, perhaps it is best that I remain here at home after all. Today is the first day that I am here with the Stooges and Maxwell isn’t one of them. We still miss him, and we always will, but he is no longer in any pain and we must be happy about that.
    On a different note, I am still happy overall with things. The medical bills involving Maxwell are already paid, there will be no struggling to pay off those debts from a credit card. I will come through this battered, but not beaten. My savings plan paid off to deal with the emergency, and I am very happy about that. I think back to how sad and depressed I was this time last Sunday caring for Maxwell and realizing that there probably wasn’t much that we could do for him. Sadly, we were right. Today, I can visit Hal (cat) in the bedroom where he still spend most of his time.
     Another aspect of things is that Xmas will be very lean around here. Naturally, the money will be tight but we will survive and get back on our feet in 2016. I will take the time this afternoon with Hal (cat) and we will all be waiting for Hal (person) to get home from work later this afternoon.
     The evening has been quiet and peaceful. Hal (cat) is slowly getting used to the place and will eventually begin to venture out from the bedroom on his own to encounter Spartacus and Stevie Nicks more often. As some jazz plays softly in the background, it is time for a shower and then time to get ready for bed.  Good Night.  

Dreamer’s World December 12 2015 – A Different Saturday

Saturday has begun here and there is a noticeable difference. Hal (person) is here today since he is still sore after his Chiropractic visit yesterday. Since Hal (person) is a Massage Therapist, there was no point in him going to work today and hurting himself all over again before he heals up. Personally, I am glad that Hal (person) is here today as well as Hal (cat).
     Actually, we just returned from brunch at Shooter McGee’s, which is located across the street from us. Hal (person) had not been there for brunch due to his work schedule and he really enjoyed himself. 

Personally, I am glad that things are like this today. We seldom have days off together, I wish that our schedules were not as messed up as they are. It does make our life together very difficult and trying at times, but I think it also helps us to focus on time together and cherish it rather than grow bored of each other. Perhaps I am crazy, who knows? Since Hal (person) is still experiencing tightness in his back, I doubt that we are going anywhere else for the rest of the day. 
     Hal (cat) is also making adjustments to his new home. There is still growling me hissing between him and Stevie Nicks, but they haven’t fought today and that’s a good sign. Considering that Hal (cat) only arrived here on Tuesday night, this is very good progress.
     I am watching the UK basketball game this afternoon. There was no way that UK was going to be as good or as dominant as last season, so I am not disappointed with the team’s performance this season. They will be as good as they will be, they will get better as the season progresses or they won’t. Each game and each season is to be enjoyed. Thankfully, UK did win the game today and I am happy about that.
     This evening will be a change since Doctor Who is not on this evening. An early bedtime is not out of the question this evening for me. I recently changed the pillow out and I have slept much better for the last few nights. Sometimes it is the smallest changes that produce the biggest results. At any rate, it will be a quiet evening here at home with both Hals, Stevie Nicks and Spartacus. The time together is invaluable, and something to cherish deeply.
    I do not expect Hal (person) will go to work tomorrow, but he might go out of a sense of obligation. Personally, I think he deserves the break but it is his decision to make. It is supposed to be yet another mild day here with temperatures near 70 degrees. This is unusual for mid-December by any stretch of the imagination. THis warm weather has been going on for almost a week now. It is nice to get outside and enjoy it, so that is what I will plan to do regardless whether Hal (person) goes to work or not. I think that the warm weather is finally supposed to subside next week. I will be returning to work Monday for the last full workweek of this year. 2015 has been a year that has just flown past us, at least it seems that way to me.
     After a quiet early evening, I am now more sure than ever that there will be an early bedtime.

Dreamer’s World December 11 2015 – End Of The Week

The week is nearly over with. This morning I had to take Hal (person) to the chiropractor because he had somehow hurt his back and was in terrible pain. I worked around this by telecommuting, and I didn’t miss anything important at work. My boss is super, she told me that my main job was to make sure that Hal (person) is OK for the rest of the day. We are back at home now and I am technically back on the clock and will be until 1730.
 After work, I plan to go to the grocery store and stock up on items that we will need for the next several days. I will not be cooking too much, but I do want enough stuff here to be able to without trouble. Hal (cat) is still adjusting to his new home, and more importantly, to his new big sister Stevie Nicks. It is now apparent that Stevie Nicks will remain the Queen of the house even after the addition of Hal (cat). Hal (cat) is still spending most of his time in the bedroom to be alone, but things will change in the near future when we open the door for good and he no longer will have a place to hide. He will have to adjust at some point.

     On an unrelated note, I was notified by WordPress that I recently published my 1000th post! I had no idea I had become  so prolific, although not necessarily better as a writer. I look forward to my 2000th post in the future!
     I am settling down for the afternoon now. Hal (person) is having his lunch and relaxing after his visit to the Chiropractor this morning. I am making sure that there are no surprises awaiting me when Monday morning rolls around. It will be the last full week of the year on the job, and yet it is about 65 degrees outside right now. What makes this more unusual is that it is sunny as well. I wonder how much longer this will last?
     All things considered, I am very happy this afternoon. Hal (person) is feeling much better, Hal (cat) is adjusting to his new home, I am not broke before payday, and the weather is nice. I don’t think there is anything else realistic that I could ask for at this point. I have written several times this year about learning to be content and not always trying to chase down the next new and big thing. I believe that how I am feeling right now is a result of that decision I made some time ago to be happy with the way things are. They are actually so much better than I expected them to be. I told Hal that I really don’t want anything for xmas because of this feeling. I was able to pay the medical bills for Maxwell and not have to put them on a credit card and sweat paint it off later. That alone is amazing to me, but it is also an indication that my practice of self-discipline has paid off.
     As the afternoon slowly creeps past, Hal (person) just told me that he feels much better but that he will be taking tomorrow off from work. This only makes sense because he is a Massage Therapist and shouldn’t be straining himself so soon after his adjustment. It will mean a rare Saturday for us together as well. I am hoping tog get away from the job a little early today in order to get to the grocery store before the rush hour kicks in. I don’t think that will be a problem at all.
     And so, I am going to make certain of things being ready for Monday at work before I start my weekend. This evening, Hal (person) has said that Hal (cat) will be spending time in the pen in the living room in order to adjust to Spartacus and Stevie Nicks once again. I will observe things, but I won’t interfere with them. It will ne interesting, that is an understatement.


Dreamer’s World December 10 2015 – Another Step Forward















Today is an unusual day. Since we lost Maxwell, things have been a blur. Hal (cat) has adjusted well to his new surroundings in the bedroom here and later today he will get his first face-to-face with Spartacus and Stevie Nicks. There will undoubtedly be some kissing and possibly a tussle or two before they completely accept each other, but this is the last hurdle that Hal (cat) has to overcome to completely be a part of our family.
     Hal (person) has talked about how Hal (cat) has helped him to get over the loss of Maxwell, and I feel the same way. It is impossible to deny love to an animal because you lost another one. Hal (cat) had absolutely nothing to do with Maxwell’s condition, but he is also in need of a loving home and that is why Hal (person) decided that he was going to adopt Hal (cat) the other night. Personally, I wonder how my sanity will cope with having two Hals running around here, but I will find a way to cope with it. I certainly never expected this situation!
     Right now, Hal (person) is at work, which is unusual for him on an Thursday. When he gets home around noon or so, we will begin the introduction process with the new Stooges. We have a large pen that we will put Spartacus and Stevie Nicks into that will separate them from Hal (cat) as we let Hal (cat) out of the bedroom and let him explore the apartment for the first time. Eventually, Hal (cat) will encounter Spartacus and Stevie Nicks, but there won’t be any conflict, just some noise. After a while, we will open the pen  to let Spartacus and Stevie Nicks out as things calm down and the real bonding will begin. This process will at least lessen the shock of the first meeting for all of them. Hal (person) and I will be closely monitoring the situation to prevent any trouble, but we don’t expect any and hope there is none.
     I just finished my lunch while at work here from home. Hal (cat) is still sleeping under the bed. Hal (person) has not come home from work yet. My weekly meeting had to be canceled due to other peoples’ scheduling conflicts but that doesn’t upset me at all right now. The events of this week are beginning to wear me out, I hope that I can get a good night of sleep later but until then I have another 6 hours here at work to look forward to when I am not watching Hal (cat) get introduced to his brother and sister.
     Hal (person) just got home. It is 12 noon and I have about 30 minutes before the conference calls start up. Since Hal (cat) is still sleeping under the bed, the introduction will wait until both Hals (cat and person) are ready to proceed. I will let Hal (person) take charge of this. Until then, I will be listening in on conference calls and working until 1730. 

As you can tell Hal (cat) is awake now and will soon be meeting his Brother (Spartacus) and Sister (Stevie Nicks). I am slightly anxious about the event, but Hal (person) will be in charge of the festivities. In the meantime, the conference call drones on and on and on with no end is sight. Once this is over with, I should NOT have another meeting for the remainder of the day to worry about. It looks like tomorrow will be the monthly local team get-together in the afternoon and that will make the workday go by more quickly. For that I will be grateful.
     It is just after 1500 and Hal (person) is having a late lunch. I am still not sure when he wants to introduce Hal (cat) to Spartacus and Stevie Nicks, but I don’t think it will be much longer. In fact the 48 hour window officially passes in about 5 hours anyway. They have all gotten the scent of each other by now and we know that each of them is aware that there is another cat in the place. The only thing left to do is to let them meet under controlled conditions for the first time.
     The introductions have been made. Spartacus was almost afraid of Hal (cat) and made no noises at all while I was holding him. Hal (cat) was on high volume and letting everyone know it. When I brought Stevie Bicks into the room, both she and Hal (cat) started hissing and growling at each other. This was fully expected since Stevie Nicks is the Alpha of the household. Thankfully, neither she nor Hal (cat) really wanted to tangle right away, I took Stevie Nicks out of the room and she crept back in several times for another hissing/growling match with Hal (cat), but nothing physical thus far. Hal (cat) has retreated under the bed and Stevie Nicks seems determined to get to him very soon.
     At last work is over with for the day. Still no direct conflict between Stevie Nicks and Hal (cat). Hal (person) is letting them work things out on their own time and I agree with his plan. As long as there is no real fighting, things will work out just fine. Obviously, we are staying home tonight, personally this week is catching up with me and I am on the border of exhaustion right now. At least there is only one more day left in this workweek and it will be a short one due to a team lunch tomorrow. Sadly, I will return from that for a meeting, but it is better than no break at all.
     After the first 2 rounds, Stevie Nicks is the clear winner.

She has chased Hal (cat) around even though he is slightly larger. They might go another round this evening, but I think that Hal (cat) now knows who the Alpha is around here. Spartacus wanted NO PART of the argument and was content to sit and watch. Spartacus has always been a very smart cat.
     So much for now. I will tell more of the story as it unfolds tomorrow. I hope everyone has a great night. 

Dreamer’s World – The Agony and the Ecstacy



I want to apologize for not writing over the last several days. This has been a tough time. One of our cats (The Stooges) became ill and we were busy caring for him. Sadly, the vet finally told us that he had inoperable kidney cancer. He had dropped over half his body weight and was not able to eat. We tried everything until the truth was undeniable.
     Last night we took Maxwell to the vet for the last time. The staff was very kind, we stayed with Maxwell until the end. Hal and I decided that the last thing that Maxwell would see before he went on his way was us telling him that he was loved and cherished. Obviously, this was a very tough time and there are tears falling as I remember and am typing.

We will truly miss Maxwell. He was one of a kind. Spartacus, his brother from the same litter is in good health and we hope that he will be with us for a long time. Stevie Nicks is much younger and should be around as well.
At any rate, after we said our goodbyes to Maxwell, we walked outside the vet’s office. Hal indicated that he wanted to go by the nearby animal shelter to see what cats were available for adoption. I agreed to take him, I knew that it was just a matter of time until we would be ready to adopt another cat. We find that 3 cats balance each other out and prevents grudges being held between them.
We got to the shelter about an hour before closing time. Hal and I went to the room where all of the cats were in their cages to be seen. Hal initially went to an older male named Smokey, but the tech informed us that Smokey was on a special diet due to health reasons. That was something Hal and I were not willing to take on, we had just had to say goodbye to one pet and we were not willing to take on a special-needs cat so quickly. Since Hal had been the one who picked Maxwell all those years ago, I let him do most of the visiting and bonding with each of the cats.
As I wandered the large room, I noticed a black male cate, age 2. He was a stray that had been brought in. Then I looked at the name tag on the cage and it said “Hal”. I stopped and looked twice to be sure I was not hallucinating, but the name was Hal. I let Hal wander until he found me then he noticed Hal (cat) and Hal and Hal seemed to bond almost immediately. It was only after this that Hal (person) asked what his name was. At first he didn’t believe me, but I showed him the tag on the cage.
Today myself and Hal each had to go out for work at different times during the day. Hal (cat) has stayed in one of the bedrooms with the door shut as he adjusts to his new surroundings and it keeps Spartacus and Stevie Nicks from bothering him too much at first. Tomorrow we will formally introduce Hal to Spartacus and Stevie Nicks.
The key to all of this is that we went from depression and sadness to elation in just over an hour last night. It is amazing how much things can change if we refuse to be in a mood just because of something that happened. Maxwell can never be replaced, but life goes on for us and we have made our decision to share our love with another cat, another Stooge. More to follow.