Goodbye and good riddance!

goodriddanceMost people love ringing in a new year.  A fresh start, new resolutions, a celebration of things to come!

I cannot wait for this year to end.  This past year has not been kind to my family.  A year ago my BIL died.  Then I had my hip replacement in May, which to this day is still infected and may at some point have to be removed.  Then my niece’s fiancée was killed in a horrific accident, leaving her little girl without a daddy.  Then my sister’s two beloved cats were eaten by coyotes.  Then my little great niece cut off her long beautiful hair down to the scalp, just in time for Christmas!  (which is no big deal compared to the other things).

My hip replacement has colored my world every day.  It was painful, it was expensive, and it is ongoing.  Don’t let the doctor’s fool you…..when you saw off your femur bone and then pound a stake into it, IT HURTS.  FOR A LONG TIME!  Those sadists at the hospital are poking you, prodding you, and making you walk all the time!  They love to see your pain, and tell you to work through it.  Yeah right, ok.  I did it, did everything they said, and went home from the rehab hospital with an infection that is still with me to this day as a reminder of a horrid experience.  Granted, this doesn’t happen to most people.  Very few people, in fact.  I am one of the lucky ones.

I was at my ortho doc on Wednesday.  We were talking about shots, and I asked him if it would hurt.  He said yes.  I asked him if it would make me cry.  He said “You are the bravest woman I know.  With everything you have been through this year, I have never seen you cry.  You have been through hell and back and keep on smiling.  All the nurses and therapists are amazed by you.  In all your hospital reports they make notations about your positive attitude and smiling face.  They wished all patients could be like you.  You had 4 surgeries and home health care nurses for months, and they all fought over who got to service you.  I think you made friends with every nurse and tech at Lake Forest Hospital!”

And you know what?  I did.  Why not?  I was stuck in the hospital a lot this summer, and those nurses and techs were my best friends.  They took wonderful care of me, and attended to my every need.  Trust me, you are totally helpless the first few days after surgery, and really need compassionate people!  They all were angels from heaven, and if a smile from me made their day better, I was happy to do it.  I felt my recovery would go better with a positive attitude, and it did.  The nurses treated me like I was special, and that made ME feel special!

Granted, I would like to never experience this kind of thing again, lol.  Luckily I had insurance, but wow did I get screwed!  I had the state of Illinois Pre-Existing insurance for the first 6 months until they went bankrupt and then forced me over to the federal insurance.  I had to start from scratch with deductibles and co-pays in the middle of the year.  All told, I paid approximately $20,000 for insurance this year.  I know my hospital bills were a lot more than that, and I was grateful to have the insurance, but geez.  That’s a lot of money for someone like me.

My sister and my niece are doing better, but it is still hard.  Luckily my great niece Brianna is very resilient and has taken the loss of her daddy in stride.  She has other male figures in her life who have stepped up, and she is a very loving child.  She is the best thing that has ever happened to our family!

The two cats are greatly missed, but Bri rescued a kitty and named him Lucky, and he has wormed his little way in our hearts and helped heal them.  He is quite naughty, and I’m sure Bri’s Elf on a Shelf has all kinds of naughty reports on him for Santa!

Thank goodness I don’t have an Elf on a Shelf, because my two cats are the naughtiest Christmas tree destroyers ever!  They have literally eaten the lighted Star off the top, and many strings of lights and ornaments.  It is their napping spot and climbing pole.  The top of the tree is now slanted, and they broke the stand too.


Oh well, lol.  There’s always next year!  And next year will be better, I just know it.  My hip is better, I got to go to a family reunion wedding and see all my long distance relatives, my cats are fine, I have a warm house, a job of sorts, and family and dear friends.  I will try to stay on a positive path, and keep fighting the good fight!

Merry Christmas my friends, and I hope you all have the happiest of New Years!


There are advantages…… REDUX

Wow, it sure is funny how things can change in almost a year.  The Jenni I am referring to in this post is now pregnant and has a Superman boyfriend.  My Ozzzy is all grown up and has a baby kitty sister Izzy, who he loves so much.  Life goes on…..



My blogger friend Jenni got me thinking on this subject.  Another douche bag man…she’s thinking of getting a kitten instead.

Worked for me. I don’t need no stinkin’ man I got me a baby kitty…..Ozzy.  Let’s see, what are the advantages?  Snuggles on my neck every night, doesn’t go out “catting” around, always happy to see me, and never leaves the toilet seat up for starters.  Clean as a whistle, doesn’t leave dirty clothes hanging everywhere, doesn’t take up much room in the bed.   Doesn’t have any bad habits, like smoking, drinking, or doing drugs.  Likes reality TV shows and Animal Planet.  Gives you hugs and kisses whenever you want.

Any disadvantages?  Sure, as in any relationship, you have to take the bad with the good.  Ozzy expects food and water in his bowl at regular intervals, and expects me to clean his waste every day.  Also uses me as a springboard for his nightly gymnastics.  Chews up all my strings that dangle.  Occasionally has bad breath.  Gets a little carried away with smurf bites.  Tongues a little raspy on the face.  Likes to try and trip me.  And, yes, he is an animal, not a real man, who does have an occasional use.  There are obviously a few men out there who could trump my cat, but they are just delusions illusions of reality for me, lol.

But overall?  For unconditional love?  Please, no contest.  A cuddly kitten or puppy will win every time.


Top Ten Books

I am a voracious reader, along with my sister.  We love all manner of books, and share them back and forth.  As young kids we would read in bed with a flashlight.  Summer reading lists from school were done in the first week.  We couldn’t get enough. 

I’ve read some great books in my day.  In compiling this top ten list, I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of the best, but my brain just can’t remember them all!  So my current top ten is sitting on my bookshelf or in my Nook/Kindle.  Here it is:

1.  Jean Auel’s Earth Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear 

2.  Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series

3.  P.C. Cast House of Night series

4.  Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series

5.  Nora Roberts as J.D. Robb Death series

6. John Grogan’s Marley and Me

7.  Garth Stein’s Racing in the Rain

8.  Bruce Cameron’s A Dog’s Purpose

9.  Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series

10. Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants

And so many, many more!  In different phases of my life, I had different favorites.  These are a list of my current favorites.  I would love to hear about YOUR favorites!  I’m always looking for a good book!

Simon the Siamese Scaredy Cat

Simon was the cutest, tiniest baby kitty I had ever seen:

Only problem was, he wasn’t mine.  He was my sister’s.  My sister collects cats like I collect ex-husbands.  But Simon and I always had a bond.  He spent most of his time hiding under the bed, or napping on top of the bed, away from dogs and babies and everything that scared him.  And everything DID scare him.  He ran and hid under the bed all the time.  My sister had two other cats, who ventured outside every day and brought home birds and mice and squirrels.  Simon accidently went outside one day, and his shadow frightened him and he scurried back inside, never to venture out again!  The funny part is that Simon grew up to be a stunningly beautiful cat, all cream and smoky grey, big blue eyes, and at least 20 pounds!  Too big to be a scaredy cat!

Simon always came out to greet me whenever I came over, which was most days.  He would brave all the obstacles just to wind around my legs, or jump on a chair, crying to be petted.  I always said, Simon, when I lose my dogs, I’m taking you home with me.  My sister said, take him now, there too many people and animals here in my house.  So I thought I’d try it, over Christmas vacation, since I would be home for a few weeks.

I had two dogs at the time, Maddie the Golden Retriever, and Mollie the Yellow Lab.  I had an old cat I inherited from somebody, Vanna, and Vanna was mean as could be and those dogs let her be.  In her final couple of years, she learned to share the bed with Maddie, and the two became bed buddies.  After she passed away, Maddie was lonely for her.  Maddie then got very sick with kidney failure at the young age of 7, so I thought, maybe Simon could be her new bed buddy. 

So at Christmas, Simon came home with me.  He immediately ran under the bed.  I wasn’t sure how Mollie would react to him, since Mollie was a hunter and killed everything she caught.  All manner of creatures….especially rabbits.  I was afraid she would think Simon was a rabbit and kill him.  So the first couple of days I kept Mollie out of the bedroom.  Simon and Maddie slept together like the best bed buddies ever.  I felt guilty about locking Mollie out, and on the third day, the door was opened.  Simon was sitting on bed.  Mollie came in.  They stared at each other for about 5 minutes.  Simon slowly slunk under the bed.  That night he disappeared and I searched the house for him.  Never found him for three days.  I knew he was still around somewhere, as the kitty box was used, and some food gone every day.  Finally found him hiding in the basement, and it took three of us to get him out, and back home, where he was traumatized for days.

My little Maddie died shortly thereafter, so it was back to just me and Mollie.  I started taking Mollie over to my sister’s and she got used to all the cats there, and didn’t chase them.  So a couple of days ago I brought Simon home for trial #2.  The first day Simon spent under the bed.  Then he finally ventured out into the bathroom for his box and food and water.  Mollie came to the bathroom door, and Simon hissed at her and wapped her across the nose for good measure.  Mollie just turned around and went away.

Simon is now laying on my desk, helping me type with his tail.  Mollie is laying at my feet, sleeping.  Simon walks right over the dog now, and the dog barely registers it.  The dog just ignores Simon.  So now Simon thinks he is the King of the Castle, and is so happy!  His tail wags like a dog’s, and he the happiest cat on the planet!

Harmony now resides in the Heath Household!