Friday, 28 May 2010


You'll remember that we have a new flat screen 100cm (40in.) television.  We had to order a demodulator for satellite reception from England and it arrived yesterday.

As I write, I am watching a 2005 production of The Marriage of Figaro from the Royal Opera House on the BBC.  It's not like being there, but it is like watching the external broadcast in the plaza at Covent Garden.

Sigh.  So good.  I just had to write this.

This is why I don't argue with Nick about having a television.

Faits Divers

A while back, France introduced new license/registration/number plates which come into force when you buy a new or used car.  The plate design no longer carried departement numbers and there was a huge outcry from the public.  So the government gave in and said that a panel on the right side of the plate would have the number.  Any number; the number of your choice.  If it would make you feel better to have people think you live on the Côte d'Azur, then you just go ahead and buy 06 number plates, never mind you live in Alsace on the German border.

I have seen the urologist, anaesthesiologist and the dentist this week.  The anaesthesiologist looks too young to be a doctor.  This is a first for me.  With his youth and stubble, he looks as though he ought to be out on his motorcycle mugging old ladies.  But he was nice enough to order thyroid tests, so I won't have to go see my endocrinologist.

Teeth are O.K. and cleaner.

Van-Ly has just had a false pregnancy.  (And good thing false, too!)  I'm told that, in the wild, when a bitch in the pack is pregnant, the others have false pregnancies and produce milk so that if anything happens to the mother, the babies will survive.  How clever.

My little bitches, less clever, have no one to get pregnant for, although it did solve one problem.  We bought Nala a bed last week so that she would stop leaning against the wall and turning it black.

Of course, she hates it and won't go near it, but Van-Ly was in her nesting phase, so she used it.

Now, neither of them will use it, but it's still serving its purpose.  It's blocking the wall.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Everything scheduled

May 25:    Consultation with urologist and anaesthetist.
June 1:     Hospital - stents into kidneys
June 7:     Consultation with surgeon and anaesthetist.
June 22:   Surgery

Now if I could just get an eye appointment.  I have one, but I doubt I'll be up for it on June 24.  I'll throw myself on the secretary's mercy and see if she'll fit me in.  I'm not optimistic.

Then I'll throw myself on the mercy of the dentist.  I have more hope there; she's really nice.  You can't get your teeth worked on while you're having chemo because you don't heal.

However, even if the optomotrist doesn't work out, I can now watch television.  We bought a flat-screen 102cm (40 in) screen.  It's a whole new experience after watching our portable for the last couple of years.  I can see!  I can read the subtitles!  I don't need the subtitles!  I can hear!  (Better sound).

Lance Armstrong's foundation, LiveStrong, does fabulous work for cancer: lobbying, supporting patients and carers and providing information.  I entered their virtual Tour de California.  If I get placed high enough, Lance or one of his team will ride the Tour de France with my sticker on his bike.  I am a big fan of his -- as a rider and as a fighter against cancer.

You can push me up in the ratings by cheering for me.  You can cheer every day.  Please do -- and tell your friends and FB friends, too.  Thank you.  Link.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Meet the surgeon

Yesterday I met with the surgeon, the nice man who recommended Douglas Kennedy's books to me.  That worked out well.  I recommend them to you.

He says he's not going to know what he can do or how much he must do until he goes in and looks.  The tumor is very big and and he thinks he can't get it all.  The good news (I'm not sure why) is that it moves, which makes it a better bet for surgery.

Next I have a consultation with the urologist, then a day in hospital for him to go in with camera and double-J stents  Then I have another consult with Dr. Meeus, the surgeon, to make sure I understand what's going to happen and decide how many things I'm willing for him to take out. Even though he may or may not take things out depending on how they look.

That's three more visits to Lyon.  Dr. Meeus's secretary said she'd at least try to schedule the anaesthesiology consult the same day as the surgery consult.  Surgery is scheduled for June 22.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

My friends on Raw-Lite would understand

I hope Nevada Barr won't mind if I quote from Deep South, her ninth novel about the National Park Service ranger, Anna Pigeon.

As background to this excerpt, Anna's black Labrador is recovering from surgery, having had his leg amputated after an encounter with an alligator.

. . . she found a paper sack on the top of her patrol vehicle.  Inside were the dismembered parts of some small animal, probably a squirrel.  Grim and chilling images of The Godfather and waking up with the severed head of a horse on one's bed were stirring her hackles to the vertical when she discovered the note.  "Went squirrel hunting.  Nothing like good red meat for a sick dog.  Frank.

     On her way out, Anna thanked the maintenance man for the thoughtful gift, then surreptitiously dumped it in the garbage can in the tiny visitors center, careful to bury it beneath a layer of other refuse so Frank wouldn't inadvertently see it and get his feelings hurt when he collected the trash.

My reaction?  "Awwwww.  What a waste!  And Taco didn't get his treat."

We raw feeders are, maybe, a bit peculiar, but we think those of you feeding your pets dried up little pellets of chemicals and slaughter-house waste are the odd ones.

(Hey, do I often preach?)

Monday, 3 May 2010

Cat Got Your . . . what?

I may have to change the name of my blog to Ordinary Dog-Owner.  I can't even come close to this:

German man 'marries' his dying cat

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Checking In

Where have I been?  Sleeping, getting the car CD fixed, buying a sofa, sleeping, "gardening."

Our cassette player with the attached CD changer died and Nick went to get a new one.  Wherever he was, they don't do cassette players any more.  This annoys me more than I can say as the books we usually listen to in the car are on cassette which I obtain from BookMooch.  Now we're trying to get a portable cassette player with good enough sound to hook up to the CD player.

It's amazing how much furniture is sold these days that comes in your choice of one colour, maybe two.  Even expensive furniture, of the sort that we can't afford, anyway.  What ever happened to "I like that one and I'll have it in this colour"?  So when we stumbled into a furniture shop the other day with sofas that came in the pale lavender matching the chair we bought, we bought one.  Lavender cushions with taupe base and arms.  With all the pictures I take, I forgot to take a picture of it, but it's soft, comfortable, and Italian.  One day we will have a place to put it.

This is the Stokke Gravity Chair.  Ours has a dark wood frame with pale lavender upholstery:

We now have temporary cement pavement (sidewalks) in front of the house.  I hear that we will have new, pretty pavements in the autumn when the village has more money.  Yesterday we put all the plants back in front of the house.  I must be feeling better.

Isn't it amazing how you can get a whole blog out of nothing?  For something, I suggest you read Debunking the Myth of French Rudeness.