Saturday, April 14, 2012

Winter Woes

It's sunny and warm today -- 69F (21C) with thin clouds in the pale blue sky. At last, I think I can safely say that winter is over. It's not that the weather was so awful this winter. Apart from the freak October Snowmageddon, which had me without power for 36 hours and left a trail of damage across New England, it was actually pretty mild with nowhere near our usual snowfall. However, this winter packed a punch on my wallet.

In February, Sadie the cat began having bouts of puking and diarrhea. These things are usually self-limiting in cats, but after five days of it I took her to her vet, who did x-rays (no sign of blockage) and recommended an ultrasound at Tufts Veterinary School. We had an appointment all set up for the next Monday, but Sadie took a turn for the worse and I drove her to Grafton on a Saturday morning and took her in through the ER. She spent two days in the Foster Hospital for Small Animals, where her team of five doctors and vet students got her stabilized on an IV, gave her meds to calm her tummy and chill out the diarrhea, and tested her from end to end. Based on the ultrasound, they diagnosed her with irritable bowel disease (not a real surprise, as this is a cat who has always had emotional issues) and sent her home with some nasty antibiotics and a prescription diet of new or "novel" protein -- venison and peas. She put up a stink about the antibiotics, but has really taken to the new food and is back to her old self. 

Just after I paid off the massive vet bills, I discovered that my 30-year-old refrigerator had died and everything in the freezer had thawed out. All those containers of tomatoes, peppers, and pesto that I'd put up last summer had turned to slush. I now have a shiny, new black Darth Vader-esque fridge, the bill for which I paid off in March, not two weeks before having to put new brakes in the Mini Cooper. I am now skint. 

At one point, between the vet bills and the death of the fridge, I was still holding out (slim) hope that I might be able to go to London in May, but quickly realized that wasn't going to happen. Much in need of a get-away, I'm instead going to take a little holiday later this month and mooch off my pals Jeanne and Tim in the swampland of North Carolina. Some of you might remember my posts about a long weekend I spent down there in 2009, puttering around New Bern and driving in the pickup truck through the lowlands and backwater towns. For this trip, I'm working up a list of sights that should be amusing, edifying, and full of photo ops, including:
I'll try to write a post or two or three while I'm there, so watch this page for further developments.  

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