Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I'm Trying to Catch Up!

Sometimes I feel like this guy- stuffing my cheeks, trying to get everything done. It's all ready coming up on two weeks ago since Matt and Linda from Pennsylvania stopped in at Hasty Brook for a visit during their vacation. I have to say first, that I was so flattered that they wanted to see our place. Art and I waited Sunday morning, talking about the visitors to come, wondering if they'd see what we see in Hasty Brook. We don't have much in the way of amenities, a cramped camper. We wouldn't be able to invite them in, but really, to see Hasty is to be outside. When they pulled up the driveway there were greetings all around (except for the teens who slept through all of it!). Eventually we all sat in the camp chairs in the shade of the awning. It was a beautiful morning, mild temperature, low humidity and quite breezy. The mosquitoes weren't even that bad! We chatted for a few hours outside, watching the birds and butterflies. Sadly I never took a picture of Matt and Linda at Hasty. In fact the chipmunk was the ONLY picture I took that weekend. We did see both a female Red-breasted Grosbeak and a female Purple Finch. Even though I know better, I still confuse them. The Goldfinches were definitely the birds of the day. There were gobs of them hanging off the feeders.
Too soon it was time for the long "Minnesota good-bye". Up here we're known for for our looong talking, waving, "good-bye! good-bye!", waving some more, more "good-bye" until they've turned the corner out of sight! Art and I both feel we've made two good friends in Matt and Linda. They've invited us to visit if we ever get to their area and we both feel comfortable in saying that we would.
Thanks for the spitters Linda and Matt! They were gone within the day!
On to critters around home.
Last November my sister Phyllis was having a really hard time dealing with our Mom's passing. She was terribly lonely. Phyllis and Mom would talk on the phone many, many times a day and there was a horrible gap in Phyllis' life with Mom gone that none of us were able to fill. One of her doctors suggested Phyllis get a pet. With limited vision and being mostly house-bound she decided on a kitty. Her kitty "Half Pint" became the center of her life- someone needed her.
The first week in January Phyllis was hospitalized with what we soon would find out was her brain tumor. I went to see her the morning after her admission and found her sobbing not for herself but worried about her kitty. Later that day I spoke with the surgeon who spelled out Phyllis' future to us. Knowing then in my heart that she would never go home to her kitty, I called Art and explained. That night I went to her apartment and packed up the kitty and all her food and toys and brought her home. Looking back, I think that was the best gift I could give Phyllis. Knowing that we were "babysitting" her kitty gave her much peace of mind throughout her illness.
Eventually we changed her name to "Puddy".

I wasn't sure how having this cat was going to go. I had so much to deal with and introducing a cat to a home with a dog and a house rabbit? The first night we kept the cat in Molly's room with the door shut. The next morning our dog Gidget was going nuts trying to get at the cat through the crack under the door. When I tried to carefully open the bedroom door the cat shot out. Within an hour they had sniffed each other over. No snarls, hisses or claws! Gidget was bored with the cat and went to lay down. Ok- the dog's fine, Now the rabbit. Prey animal right?

Well, here's what they think of each other:

Buddy's eyes are closed as he enjoys a good face and ear washing from Puddy!
They spend most of the day lounging on the couch together.

I've introduced many cats to many dogs over the years and have never had it go that smoothly. I honestly believe that we had help from heaven in creating this motley crew of best friend animals.

Having Puddy around every day has helped me a lot in missing Phyllis. When I look at that beautiful black kitty I have to smile and think of Mom too.

Molly and I found this nest of about a million baby bunnehs this spring in the flower bed in the back yard. Aren't they CUTE? We watched the grow every day, making the nest wiggle and bulge. Finally the left the nest...

and ate EVERYTHING in my yard!!!


Our rabbit Buddy is a mini-lop.

A not-so-mini mini-lop.

Molly wanted to see what he's look like with regular "up" rabbit ears.

Buddy was NOT amused.

Isn't she a pretty Mama?

She built her nest in an old glass orange juicer that I used for feeding meal worms to the chickadees.

Many of you know that I work in a hospital laboratory.
You've heard of digi-scoping?
You've heard of digi-bining?
Let's try digi-microscoping!!!

Fifty points to the person who can tell me what kind of white blood cell that is!
Can you see the teddy bear holding a pie?


Anonymous said...

What a full post, Lynne. I'm so glad that you took in your sister's cat and have that tie to her and your mother everyday. Your baby bunnehs are to die for . . . and I guess all the plants in your yard probably did! :)

NCmountainwoman said...

Is the cell a monocyte?

Great post on a variety of topics. I just loved it, especially the happy blended family. Sometimes we just plan too much and don't trust Mother Nature enough.

Owlman said...

Awesome post - looks like you're doing some serious catch up!

Linda in Erie said...

We TOTALLY enjoyed visiting with you and Art in Hasty Brook! Sitting out there in those surroundings is what we are all about, too. Nature all around, you can't beat it. I loved how many birds came to your feeders and them coming so close even as we sat talking! I wish we could have stayed longer, though we didn't want to take up all your time. Art was just as fun as you are and he actually has more Minnesota accent than you do, ha! We both had such a good time visiting. I'm glad you took your sister's cat. It is just so great they all get along (I wish our animals would get along.) I know you've had a hard time of it these past couple of years and I wish all your dreams come true with Hasty Brook and your cabin. It's such a wonderful place. I see a teddy bear with a pizza (I guess that could be the same as a pie.) I'm guessing it is a purple white blood cell. :-)

Marsha said...

I think it is wonderful that you adopted Phyllis's cat. What a relief that must have been to her to know that her kitty was so well taken care of.

Lots of animals today :-) I enjoyed meeting your pets.

Susan Gets Native said...

It's not fair for me to say what kind of WBC we have here, and I am really rusty-add to that the fact that I did more collecting that scanning.....but I am so proud of you Lynne, that you are thinking of blogging while at work. That makes me grin.
You have Phyllis' cat...that is so perfect.

Lynne said...

Liza- Puddy is like a gift from both Phyllis and Mom. Those cute bunnehs ate every petunia down to the roots!

ncmountainwoman- You're right! It's a monocyte! Blended family- I like that.

Owlman- catch up and move ahead! Summer waits for no blogger.

Linda- Art laughed out loud when I told him you thought he had a stronger Minnesota accent than me! That's so funny! Maybe you and Matt can come back and visit when the cabin is built. You'both are welcome here ANY TIME!!

Marsha- Phyllis asked about her kitty every day and it always made her smile when we'd tell her funny stories about the cat the dog and the bunny.

Susan- My coworkers thought I was nuts! I used a medicine cup with the bottom cut out as an adapter between the microscope eyepiece and the lens of my point and shoot.

LauraHinNJ said...

Fun post, Lynne! So much to enjoy - love the robin pic!

I'm amazed with how well all your critters get along - really lucky I think.

possumlady said...

This just warms my heart. Giving your sister peace of mind about her beloved cat is the greatest of gifts. And Puddy is just striking, although I have a thing for black cats.

With all the millions of cats I introduced to one another (okay, I may be embellishing that a bit) the one thing that made a world of difference was my attitude. Instead of being all worried about how everyone would get along I just kept a positive attitude and talked to the resident animals that this was just the way it was going to be from now on. Surprisingly, it has worked every time.

Love that fat-cheeked chipmunk!

Richard said...

I see a gorilla holding a football or maybe Homer Simpson stealing a pie. And by the way it's a Monocyte....yea, 50 points.

NCmountainwoman said...

Wow! A medicine cup to make a digiscope! Now, who else might have been that resourceful? I'm impressed.

Of course, that little medicine cup adds 5 dollars to my lab fee, doesn't it? :)

Kathiesbirds said...

What a full post that was! So much to write about! Glad you had friends up to Hasty Brook. I'm waiting for more pics of the place! What a touching story about your mom, your sister and Puddy! How great that the dog, cat and bunny all get along! And only you would see a teddybear with a pie in a white blood cell!

Trixie said...

What a lucky kitty. You have such a big heart and a pretty good head, too!

Totally taking a stab, since I have no medical background, just a kid's book on how the human body works. So, based on that....a polymorph WBC?

And, yes, I see that little grateful dead bear holding the pie.

RuthieJ said...

What a fun post Lynne. I especially love the picture of all three pets sharing the couch (I've seen similar sights at my house!)
I remember "meeting" Phyllis' kitty and how she let me pet her right away--a very well-adjusted kitty!

So does that little blood cell slide mean you've "officially" moved into your new hematology job then? And day shift hours??

Mary said...

Sweet, sweet post. Just sayin' HI LINN!


Corey said...

Your pets are TOO CUTE! The shot of the cat snuggling the rabbit is priceless.

Anonymous said...

That looks like a monocyte. I can tell that from the purple coloring (popular stain for this) and large large bilobate nucleus. How did you take that picture?

Lynne said...

LauraH- We really are lucky about the pets getting along.

Possumlady- Maybe the introduction went so well because I really NEEDED it to go well. I'm not sure how we could have handled it otherwise. She is really a beautiful kitty, although I am partial to tabby cats!

Richard- Good one on the id!! I can see Homer too.

ncmountainwoman- at LEAST $5!! LOL!

Kathie- Can you tell I'm trying to entertain myself at work?

Trixie- I still have to find a way to send you a picture from my phone of Phyllis wearing her hat and shawl that you made for her. It's a precious picture and memory for me.

Ruthie- No, I'm not on days yet. Maybe by summer's end. Phyllis's kitty is so friendly- she doesn't seem to have any fears!

May- Hi and a hug back at you!

Cory- Thanks! I have a video of the cat and bunny snuggling that I'll have to try and post.

Scienceguy288- It IS a monocyte! I'm running out of points!! I cut the bottom out of a medicine cup and set it over the eyepiece of the binocular microscope. Then I held the lens of my point and shoot on to the cup, used the autofocus on the camera, tweeked the focus with the fine focus on the microscope and VOILA! The camera is an old Nikon Coolpix 4500.

Q said...

Dear Lynne,
I enjoyed every word and every picture. I too am catching up and this post was so full of great updates!
Puddy is beautiful!
Wonderful gift you gave to her and she to you!
Family, friends, pets and Mother Nature with a little blood thrown in for good measure...
Thanks for a great visit,

KatDoc said...


Love your digi-microsope idea. Maybe I can try it on some of the stuff at MY work. I'd love to share photos of ear mites. Now, that's the stuff of nightmares!

I don't get over here too often, but I can see I'm going to have to visit more frequently. You put on a great show - a real action-packed blog post!

How great that you have your sister's cat. I love the pic of the dog, the cat, and the rabbit all together on the couch.


Jayne said...

Not sure how I missed this post Lynne. My Bloglines feed list has been wonky lately.

How great that you had such a good visit with Matt and Linda!

What a wonderful story about Puddy and your family. I know Phyllis would be so happy.

Love and hugs to you friend!

Larry said...

I used to enjoy looking though microscopes when I was a kid.We have a black cat that looks just like Puddy!

Bird Girl said...

Yes, I can see the teddy bear holding the pie!
The nest of baby bunnies is just wonderful! What a neat capture! Love the Mama robin - funny nest site to be sure!