Tuesday to Done

just a quick update:

Laptop fixed. tablet replacement should ship tomorrow.  My dad had emergency surgery for kidney stones while out of state.

author of my life -- please, more resolution and less conflict please!

ALSO wordcount:

1815 since the start of this month on a new project, against mostly cathardic.  about to run out of steam on this impulse project and then back to patient abra

go check out tina's blog and participate in her book celebration:

Wendy Alone

October Hell

so... well.... life has been crap for the couple of weeks.  Wednesday (Oct 17th) there was a town hall meeting where they talked about budget problems. That Thursday my temp agency came in and told us about a Sigma (the company I was under contract with) policy change that affects our abilities to have contracts with them and then Friday,
I got cut.  They said it was the things that had been talked about before in addition to poor team work, lack of volunteering but also that they didn't see the position ever becoming permanent.  I think it was the latter combined with them already having an excuse.  i just hate that i never got to say goodbye to anyone.  they told me, watched me pack up my desk and marched me out.

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So the plus side:  I am glad my temp agency is still going to represent me and if i can get another contract before the end of the year, i should get a year end bonus.... because i actually have to be under contract in December to be eligible and it's at least $1000 bonus, i think. I'd hate to have all that work under minded, you know?

I did get to see the LD today, for a few hours as he was passing through from one job sit to another... and I did get some writing done today.  Even if I am not doing Nanowrimo, i am going to work to make writing a daily part of my life again.  I miss the stability of it.  I'm also using it as an outlet for my frustation and a tool to work through this emotional crap.

just thought i'd send out an update.

hope things are going well with you.
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Mr. Butterpaw - devil

The Plan!

So it has been a wild and crazy last few weeks.

So June 18th to the 20th I got sent out on a business trip (crazy bit of that is that I'm still a temp).  Came back from that and dove into the build up on my desk (imagine a snowball of stress fighting successfully against 100+ degree heat because yeah, my area has been breaking records for consecutive record breaking highs).

Then I got to go Chicago with tinachristopher. That was a blast! Tina and I walked all over the place seeing things like the Planetarium, the Art Museum, and even made it to the top of the Hancock Center . It was a lot of fun and I had a great time getting un-crispy from work. That trip was from the 30th of June to the 4th of July.  Oh, and we worked on some writing too ;) It was more like a retreat with writing than a writing retreat, but that's okay. I think it did us both good. We were already talking about a repeat trip sometime in the nebulous future.

After getting back, I then had to quickly clear my desk of work again and leave with the LD for an event in Texas with his family.  We left the Friday after I got back from Chicago.  Very whirlwind.  I had some anxiety about the trip as a family member seemed to be trying to kick up the dust that I thought had finally settled after the wedding stress ended but to no avail.  It was a great trip with no extra drama that I saw.  I met the matriarch of the LD family and it seemed to go well, eventually involving sports talk as well as wedding photos.  I also was able to hang out with "the cousins" which is the generation of relatives that Mike and I fall into.  That was fun as well.  I believe we shall attempt to do that again in the future.

I took the train up and back on both of the non work trips and had quite an adventure.  (Surpisingly the most productive time was spent on the extended trip of going to chicago where I managed to make a flowchart of my story's back story).  Those stories are for a different time... and may be modified to involve an element of the paranormal ;)

But now that my road tripping time is over, the LD's work has chosen to send him out of town for an un-determinate length of time.  Right now we are working on a philosophy of "2 weeks gone and maybe at least a weekend back" for the next 3 months.  I do not believe this a fair balance to the business trip I went on nor the too short time I spent in Chicago.

Last night I bummed around the condo, feeling like an interloper when it is technically my home... and ended up sleeping like the newly-woken dead.  Can't be doing that.  So now I plan to use that over active imagination that made big things of bumps of the night to distract me from the too big bed and put the work of the train rides and the time in Chicago and the many pages of random writing ideas to use and try to bang out progress on this story! (imitates roaring crowd)

I will attempt to check back in regularly with updates.  We'll see how well that happens but feel free to poke me or bash me over the head or whatever is necassary :)

Starting Wordcount: 17,775 (um yeah... too big for a short story, I'm thinking... novella?  novel?  anyone placing bets?)

Boosting the Signal - Project Save Annabelle (otherwise known as I need help)

Originally posted by intothenyght at Boosting the Signal - Project Save Annabelle (otherwise known as I need help)
Originally posted by java_fiend at Boosting the Signal - Project Save Annabelle (otherwise known as I need help)
*** Please, even if you can't donate (let's face it, times are tight all over), can you please just re-boost the signal? Hopefully, we can all throw in together and help save this beautiful, wonderful dog. Anything and everything is absolutely appreciated. Thanks so much, guys!!!

Originally posted by pixiebelle at Project Save Annabelle (otherwise known as I need help)
The Story

On Sunday May 20th, I woke up and realized that my Great Dane, Annabelle, hadn't come in for her morning kisses like usual. As soon as my boyfriend and I start talking, we're usually joined by my giant dog with tail wagging and kisses to the face as she climbs in bed with us to snuggle for a few hours.

I went to check on her and she was on the floor, which is odd since she's a comfort creature who usually prefers the couch. I went up to her and barely got a response. I called Kevin in and normally she can't contain herself with excitement when he enters the room.

Nothing. Her eyes could barely even stay open and she looked uninterested in everything.

We got her to stand up and realized she was not putting her right foot down at all. We tried walking her; she couldn't walk. So we ran her to the emergency vet (since it was a Sunday). My boyfriend had to carry her because she couldn't walk.

The day before she was her normal goofy self. Playing ball at the dog park, and even rough housing with a new Great Dane puppy. She came home and was fine that night. It all happened between when we went to bed and when we woke up.

At the emergency vet, her fever was 104.7. She was a very sick dog. They kept her all day on Sunday until her fever went down. He said her paw looked to be injured but that it likely caused an infection (she had elevated red blood cells). He sent her home with an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory medicine for the injured paw. Original bill was $900 which I didn't have. I burst into tears because she is my baby and the wonderful vet lowered it to $600.

Sunday night my boyfriend and I slept in the living room because she couldn't move and I didn't want her being too far from me. He slept on the floor and neither of us got much sleep.

I took Monday off and luckily I did because her paw did not stop gushing blood. I had never seen so much blood just gushing without stopping. Obviously, I couldn't let it continue so I took her to my regular vet. She thought it was foxtail that had weaved it's way into the paw, we scheduled Annabelle for surgery the next day and all should have been well.

This was how swollen her paw was before the bleeding even started. It has only gotten worse from here.

However, things turned ugly the next day. When they opened the bandage up, they found that the whole on her paw had grown to twice the original size and her flesh was rotting around it. The vet called and said she felt it was either a brown recluse bite or flesh-eating bacteria (such as MRSA).

I took her in for a second opinion with the emergency vet who saw her on Sunday and he said her tissue was liquefying. It was one of the worst cases he'd seen in a very long time. He was leaning more toward flesh-eating bacteria, but said a brown recluse bite could still be possible. He did say that with aggressive veterinary treatment, she would survive. She might lose part of her foot, but that she would be fine if we did everything the vet is asking of us.

Sadly, we still don't know what we are dealing with.

We just know that her skin and tissue is rotting at an alarming rate. She went from playing catch with us on Saturday to us looking at her dying within the week if we couldn't get this under control.

Today is Wednesday and from the massive amounts of a variety of antibiotics, she's doing better. The wound hadn't grown any larger for the first time since this whole ordeal. It's not reversed yet, no healing is present, but the fact that it stopped spreading the way it had is a good sign.

Her clotting tests came back normal showing that her body is healing the wound.

Everything is pointing to good signs if we keep up treatment.

The issue is cost. I have spent $2,000 since Sunday. That's over half my monthly salary. I pulled money from my IRA to pay for services and I am running low over there.

Today alone was $870. Tomorrow? Another $300. And until she shows healing, it could be $300 a day to hospitalize her. Then it will be regular vet visits with special bandage changes ($55 a day - I am hoping to negotiate or learn how to do this myself at home). Once she starts healing, she will need surgery to remove to dead tissue and to either stitch/graft or amputate as needed depending on the damage that is done. This could add up to a couple thousand more depending on the course of treatment.

She requires all of this to survive. Right now, it's looking more and more like a flesh-eating bacteria. A super bacteria of sorts that got into her injured paw and is killing the tissue. It's crazy how she can go from being fine on Saturday to having her foot rotting away on Tuesday. It's mind-blowing and terrifying.

How she is today (Wednesday)

For a dog with flesh-eating bacteria on her foot, she's almost back to normal personality wise. The antibiotics seem to be working on the internal infection, it's just the wound that needs to heal up. While at the vet this morning, she climbed up in the chair next to me like normal. When I came to pick her up this afternoon, she pulled the vet tech down the hall to get to me. She's now putting a little weight on the paw which means the pain is subsiding. She's happy to greet my roommate once again, and she even begged for food last night (which I spoiled her with two hot dogs because she's been through a lot).

She's on the mend, the treatments may be working. Though without knowing what the bacteria is immune to, it's going to mean a lot of trial and error to get this under control for good.

My Situation

I won't go into my sob story great length since this is about Annabelle. But I left a really bad relationship about 2 years ago, moved out to California for a job opportunity to be in my field... and Dang, it's expensive out here. Rent takes up half my monthly salary and I wish I was exaggerating. It's tough. I have barely been able to save up anything and I live very frugally to make ends meet. My pets always come before me, their needs get met before mine and I make sure they eat better than I do. They are my world.

I had to get Annabelle spayed last August, and because she is a Dane, I also had her stomach tacked to help prevent bloat (You can Google it. It's a Great Dane issue). I used Care Credit to fund that. She had sickness associated with the surgery which required a lot of vet visits, and Care Credit came into play again. Then my cat got sick a few times... and my Care Credit is maxed out. They can possibly raise my limit, but I will know in 7-10 days.

I don't have 7-10 days. I am running out of money and the vets I have found don't take payment plans because they push you to Care Credit. They require money up front, which I don't have anymore of. I've dug into my IRA and will deal with penalties later. The $1000 I pulled out yesterday is already gone to the vet, I am broke once more.

My family is poor, I can't get it from them. My savings are burnt up from this. I really don't know where else to go. I am so ashamed to be asking for help, and hope no one thinks poorly of me for it.

Help Needed

I hate asking for any help, but this girl is my baby. Anyone who knows me knows that this dog is my world. I talk about her nonstop, I take her everywhere I go. I make sure she has the best possible life I can give her, and I go without in order to give it to her.

I have had a rough few years and she's been able to bring me so much joy. I seriously can't imagine life without my giant beast of a dog. She's a cuddle buddy who loves nothing more than being loved on by a human. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body and adores everyone she meets.

(This is a photo from a month or so ago. She's snuggling in bed with Kevin on a Sunday like we do every Sunday until this last one shook us all up.)

If you know of any charities that would donate to the vet on behalf of Annabelle to get her the services we need, please let me know. I am researching it a bit, and doing my best to find help that I can get right away. This all happened so fast and needs to be treated fast. If you know of a vet in the Orange County, CA area that would take payments or help me out, that would work great too. I just need it quick.

Knowing I can save her if I just had the money... I have to at least try. I have to at least ask.

Don't feel any obligation whatsoever, especially if you have helped me in the past with anything whatsoever. I don't want to be greedy or pushy. Several people have asked to help me with the vet bills and I am passing this along because I can't deny that I need help. If you can't help financially, but want to help out somehow, then feel free to pass this along. Pass it along anywhere you can think of, I don't mind.

Anything. Any little bit will help here. Even your thoughts and prayers mean the world to me since I believe in the power of positive energy. So keep those coming as well. Or just pass it on even. Maybe someone out there can help me in a way I never would have thought of on my own. You just never know.

Thanks everyone. I will try to make sure everyone gets at least a personalized "thank you" card if I get your address (so please consider leaving that. I may include a photo of Annabelle once she's healthy once more). I am more than willing to repay the favor in any way I possibly can. Never hesitate to ask.

For more about Annabelle, here's a video and a public post I wrote up about her. You can see that she really is a terrific dog and I love her so much.


If the link doesn't work, my paypal e-mail address is kristenrericha@gmail.com. Apparently people are having issues there. I apologize for that :/

Krosp Innocent


So as is the great balance in the universe, now that the Lovable Distraction and I can relax, we both have scratchy throats, he's sneezing his lungs out, and we are universally tired....

....but we did find a great place to cuddle and relax and at least we don't have major events arranged and prepaid for.  Yesterday we picked up 19 bottles of wine, some presents for friends (ex: jalapeno jelly for spice loving friend) and groceries (since we have a full kitchen).

We slept till they almost closed the breakfast downstairs today (I scrambled into jeans and a hoodie and darted down to get some additional supplies for the LD and I).  He's currently in the kitchen making food (and just set off the smoke detectors, but luckily not the fire alarm) and I believe our largest plan for the day is to travel 2 towns north and hit a bookstore.  and nap.

Over the next couple of days We plan to hit at least 3 more wineries and make sure out collection is truely and properly swelled before we head back on Sunday.

well, brunch is just about done so I'll be signing off.

i think while we have naptime scheduled today, I might crack open a notebook or word doc if I can't sleep and just enjoy that snuggled against my husband (SQUEEEEEE!)

Thank you to everyone who helped with the wedding and just know we are thinking about you

ME in blue

2 Weeks out

The wedding is swiftly approaching.

Last minute things are falling into place and hopefully not too many important things are falling off the radar.  My in-laws are getting extra practice in stressing me out... and while I know they mean well, communication does not seem to be a skill we share equally and with the same level of *insert political phrase here* attached to that.

But it is a comin' this wedding day and I'm excited and apprehensive.  The wedding isn't turning out as attended as we anticipated but that's okay.  Neither the Lovable Distraction nor I are particularly comfortable in large crowds.

I'm super excited about my out of town friends that will be coming in as well as the time no-longer wedding planning will afford for me to go back to writing.... and finally living at one address and coming home each evening to snuggle each evening with one I love who is larger than a cat.  I look forward to a sense of stability and the adventure this will bring.

Anyway.  I wanted off a little note while I had the moments, as I have been neglecting this side of the journal something aweful and have opted to rectify that oversite.


Originally posted by kylecassidy at post
Via Citykitties (emphasis mine):

A good samaritan found this cat today in a gutter by Clark Park, half dead. He is now at the Cat Doctor with a body temperature of 90 (normal is 102) and blood PCV of 8. The Cat Doctor housecat, Diamond, is currently donating blood to save his life. During the exam, the vet found that this cat has a microchip. When called, his "owners" reported that he was acting sick, so they put him outside. If this makes you as angry as it makes us, please channel your anger in one of two ways: visit our website at www.citykitties.org and make a donation to help us pay for his care, or share this post and encourage others to do so.

Click to donate.

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So audible is having a 50% off book sale at audible and seeing as I'm employed, i'm probably going to go a little book crazy.

i already have 2 (Darke: Septimus Heap 6 Angie by  and The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong) and there are a few others that I'm drooling over and debating.  I've been re-listening to the Septimus Heap books at work this week and last in prep for Darke.  I'm loving that I can get books consumed while earning my paycheck.  So I'm not exactly "reading" right now but I am consuming literature !

However, the book I am super super stoked about that is coming out is sampled below.  It's the 3rd book in the Beka Cooper series and just the way Susan Denaker reads it breathtaking. So I have opted to share.  The audio sample is below.  I really hope it gets to be in the 50% off sale too -- even if I have the hard back coming on Tuesday.


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Reposted Posting

Originally posted by kylecassidy</lj> at post
Busy few days -- Eliza Rickman came and rocked the house, it was a marvelous concert. She's touring the rest of the country, track her down and see her when she comes to your town.

On Saturday as she was leaving trillian_stars</lj> and I ran into this guy on the sidewalk -- I'd like to introduce you to Sir Harry Paget Flashman, the most charming stray cat in America.

Clickenzee to Embiggen! Sir Harry for your desktop!

He's currently ensconced in the breakfast room, aka The Scrunch Memorial Quarantine, sleeping on the sofa and helping me write my Videomaker article. He's super friendly and he really wants a full time person to cuddle with. He will be especially good for professional writers -- this morning he doubled my word count with his butt.

His contribution?Collapse )

If you can't take Sir Harry (or any of the other wonderful cats City Kitties is hosting), but want to help out, you can make a donation to City Kitties to help out with Sir Harry's medical bills.

I've got some Death is a Dialogue photos coming up and some Wyoming landscapes. I need to finish that article now. Hope your afternoon is filled with love and productivity.

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