"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WOTW: Diabetes

Diabetes: noun, a disease that causes high blood glucose levels

About a year ago, my aging cat was diagnosed with diabetes.  It all began when we took her to the vet for a flea allergy.  Every time that our cat happened to get a flea, which happens often here in the Pacific Northwest where fleas live year-round, she would end up covered in scabs and open wounds.  We took her to the vet.  Yes, it was definitely a flea allergy, and the best solution was a shot of cortisone.  The shot was amazing.  It definitely worked, and soon our little kitty was scratching less and her scabs were healing.

No one can say if the diabetes was already in her system or if the shot caused the disease.    Cortisone can raise blood glucose levels and trigger diabetes in cats. Our kitty had always been small, but she became absolutely scrawny.

Then came the morning that changed all our lives.  Kitty could not control her bladder.  When I fed her, she took  one bite, then sat back and urinated.  She urinated on every blanket and chair that normally brought her comfort.  She was obviously in pain and could not stop, even though she wanted to.  My husband and I had to go to work, so we locked her in the bathroom with all her necessities and headed out the door.

I had my official evaluation and observation at work that day, so I had to be there for the morning.  I scheduled a vet appointment for the afternoon and put in a sub request for a half day, then continued with my planned observation, all the while thinking that my cat was sitting at home dying alone.

Both my husband and I took a half day to take her to the vet.  Neither of us truly believed she would survive the experience.  The vet took a urine sample, something that no cat will ever enjoy, and reported back that she had a bladder infection.  He added that based on the high sugar levels in her urine, she probably was diabetic.

And so began our new life:  daily shots of insulin, occasional blood glucose tests which involve pricking the cat's ear to get a blood sample, new expensive food, and infections anytime we miss more that one insulin shot.  With treatment, our kitty has gained weight, acts like a kitten again and seems like she may live a few more years.  We had a recent scare when her blood glucose level fell to 59 (normally it should be around 180), but we got it back to normal with a little corn syrup and some food.  The rest of her life will involve more work than we expected, but we do love her, so it's worth it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

ROW 80 Check-in #1

 I have decided to join ROW 80.          
ETA:  I will use these same goals for NiNoWriMo

My goals:
1.  Write 250 words a day.
2.  Blog frequently (these posts will count towards my daily word count)
3.  Complete 2012's NaNo (ZF), then complete my earlier attempt (DoVH)

My progress for week #1:
Tuesday:  WOTW blog post (apx. 100 words)
                 Wrote 253 words in ZF
Wednesday:  Wrote 233 words in ZF
Monday:  Wrote 394 words in ZF

I did not make my goal of 250 words each day this week, and I have an excuse.  I was planning a surprise party.  I never said it was a good excuse or that it actually excused my lack of discipline.  I just said I had an excuse :)  Anyway I plan to do better this week.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

WOTW: Equality

Equality: noun, the state or condition of being equal

I have been thinking about this word a lot after the inauguration yesterday, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. President Obama mentioned equality frequently during his speech, and the topic was all over my local NPR station.

"We the people declare today that the most evident of truth that all of us are created equal -- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
"It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began, for our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.
"Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.
"Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.
"Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. 
"Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm."               --President Obama
It made me think about what equality means to me.  I agree with everything the president listed, but I think there is more to add.  Equality exists when we stop talking about an achievement gap based on race, socio-economic status or gender in schools, when all schools can afford the resources and technology that they need, when teachers are once again respected and trusted.  Education should not be ignored or pushed aside.  Education can make all men equal.
What did you think of the inaugural address?  Did you celebrate MLK, Jr. Day?  How do you define equality?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I'm Reading Wednesday #1: Emma

Image from Amazon.com
I just started reading Emma by Jane Austen a couple of days ago.  It took me a while to get used to the language, but I am now enjoying the read.  This is the first book towards my goal of reading more classics this year.

Image from Amazon.com
Before Emma, I read A Feast For Crows by George RR Martin.  I love this series of books.  Martin has created such an amazing world and fascinating characters.  Every book leaves me wanting more.  I will not reveal any spoilers, but I have to say I am very happy with the way that Cersei's life is progressing.  She is not my favorite person :)

What are you reading?  Have you finished any great books recently?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WOTW: Bandy

Bandy:  verb; 1. to pass back and forth; 2. to exchange in a hostile manner

I found this word in A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin.  One of the characters said that he was not in the mood to bandy words.  The phrase instantly caught my eye and my curiosity.  I had to look it up.  I believe that it was meant in the sense of the second definition.  I don't mind bandying words, but I don't like hostility, so I'll go with definition number 1.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WOTW: Thugee

My word of the week posts took a long break for the holidays, but they are back now :)

Thugee:  noun; Thugee gangs roamed India for hundreds of years.  They would join travelers, gain their trust, then strangle them and steal their valuables.  The gangs worshiped Kali and believed that they were doing her will by murdering people.  They were finally taken down by the British when they took over India.

Why did I decide to choose this word?  I recently rewatched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  If you've seen the movie, you probably know that the bad guys in the movie are Thugee.  For some reason, after watching the movie so many times I have lost count, I suddenly had to know more about the Thugee.  I love being inspired to do research :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Books I Read in 2012

I read 35 books total this year.  Here they are:
  1. Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells
  2. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  3. Eragon by Christopher Paulini
  4. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  1. The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
  2. Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life by James Patterson
  3. Beachcomber by Karen Robards
  4. The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
  5. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
  6. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
  1. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  2. Under the Dome by Stephen King
  3. Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews
  4. A Painted House by John Grisham
1. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

  1. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  2. Audrey’s Door by Sarah Langan
  3. Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
  4. Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
1. 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson

  1. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
  2. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  1. It by Stephen King
  2. All Will Be Revealed by Robert Anthony Siegel
  3. Cosmic Banditos by A.C. Weisbecker
1. A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin

  1. Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore
  2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  3. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
  4. Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore
  1. Write Good or Die edited by Scott Nicholson
  2. You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins
  3. The Successful Novelist by David Morrell
  1. Gold and Gods of Peru by Hans Baumann
  2. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame Smith

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year (IWSG)

Today is another post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Visit the link and check out some other bloggers and maybe join in the fun!

This first Wednesday of the new year has me thinking about my goals.  I wanted to complete my current novel by the end of winter break.  Now I have only four days left of my break and I have yet to even glance at the manuscript.  When my regular schedule is gone, I have a very difficult time focusing on things like my writing.  Maybe I can take the rest of today and lock myself in a room and make myself write.  I am very easily distracted but work well with deadlines usually.  I think that's why I like NaNoWriMo. I may not make the daily goal every day, but just having the goal and the accountability keeps me working and focused.  Maybe I need a self-imposed daily word limit.  Now if only I had someone to hold me accountable to that goal.  Hmmmm.

Anyway, here are my resolutions for 2013.  I achieved 50% of last year's resolutions.  Hopefully I can do better this year.

Resolutions for 2013
1.  Read more of the classics.
2.  Start my Etsy shop and do some craft fairs
3.  Work on branding my blogs
4.  Complete first draft of my novels (no NaNo this year)
5.  Diet and exercise
6.  Try more new things, especially designing.
7.  Participate in WIP Wednesday, FO Friday and Ravelry challenges

Do you have any goals for this year?