Monday, December 31, 2007

Meeting some family for the first time

On Saturday, the family drove to Bailey, NC for the Boykin family get-together. The Boykins are Jason's paternal grandma's side of the family. It was nice to be able to meet them but it was difficult to remember more than 40 names all in one night! I think there were four generations there.
Bailey is a town in Nash county with a population of about 670 only. You'll see houses on a big piece of land and another house about a mile away. Seems that the older rich folks buy land and build their mansion and spend the rest of their retirement there.

We stayed the night in Raleigh (about an hour's drive from Bailey. No hotels in Bailey) and came home to Charlotte the next morning, stopping at Concord Mills on the way home for a quick unplanned shopping trip and lunch.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas 2007

Do you still believe in Santa?

We came home at around 2am after midnight mass on Christmas eve, tired out and went straight to bed.
At around 5am, I heard a light jingle jangle. It was at that time when you are barely awake and can't tell the difference between a dream and reality. But Jason nudged me and asked "did you hear that?" I mumbled "I was dreaming that some bells were ringing". He said he did too.
He said "Its Santa!!" (or I dreamed he said it) and he got out of bed to check.


He came back to bed and we listened. This time I was a little more awake.
We both heard it again.

It was the cat rustling against the capiz shells curtain on the front door, peeking outside.
The capiz shells makes a soft bell-like tune.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Did the Grinch steal my Christmas?

It's only 5 days to Christmas. Less than a week!

So, I've had all the presents wrapped, Christmas cards mailed, the tree is up, stockings hung and some impulsive need in me made me hang blue ornaments on the dining room chandelier this year. Christmassy table cloth and table napkins are set up and wreath hanging outside front door.
I've been enjoying (too much) eating truffles and survived three wonderful parties which I truly enjoyed. I've watched a bunch of 4 year olds sing and dance at a Christmas concert in school which was so cute and helped put together a gingerbread house and I've watched atleast two old Christmas movies on TV.

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year.

Then why am I still not feeling it this year?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Meteor showers tonite

Jason and I camped out in our back driveway hoping to catch a glimpse of the Geminid meteor showers which is supposed to be at its peak tonight. We saw about 10 or more in about an hour and a half. One of them was particular bright and slow and real close. It was awesome.

By 2 a.m. Gemini will be directly overhead, and it's been said that meteors will streak outward in all directions like spokes on a wheel. If I can keep my eyes open, I'll go outside and look again. Maybe. Just maybe.
It's 51F now, so it's still bearable.

I'm glad we got to do this instead of going to the cinema.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Busy hands

Can't believe Christmas is just two weeks around the corner!
We went over to the Gower's and assembled the Gingerbread house. We had a lot of help from the boys so the house turned out rather interesting. Bushes and trees growing on the roof, half eaten gumdrops, candy canes stuck in the chimney. Yes, very artistic.

In the morning, we went to the bamboo farm and got more bamboo to finish the bench. Today has been creatively filled.

Friday, December 07, 2007

First party of the season

Went to our first party of the season tonight at one of Jason's co-worker's house. It turned out to be a mansion. Good food, great company. Then we got a tour. Their closet is probably as big as our bedroom. And the basement could fit 50 elephants. It would make a nice cinema and a wine cellar.

The fun part was the blind gift exchange. We each brought a gift. Pick a number from a box and the lowest number gets to pick a gift first. The second number gets to decide if he wants to steal No.1's gift or pick a gift from the pile. A gift can only be stolen 3 times.
Everyone was fighting over a pair of soft bedroom slippers because it also had a Starbuck's giftcard in it.That ended the night. I was pretty happy with the gift I picked and glad it did not get stolen. And phew, it wasn't the I-Dog.

Just three more parties next weekend.....

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Trouble has Hyperthyroidism

Trouble just got back from the doctor's. He's been diagnosed with a late stage of hyperthyroidism. Both his thyroid glands have been enlarged to the size of a lima bean. That is rather big for a cat. He has most of the symptoms present in a hyperthyroid cat:
  • Increased Appetite
  • Unexplained Weight Loss and loss of muscle mass
  • Irritability or Nervousness
  • Frequent Vomiting
  • Unkempt-looking Coat
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive Thirst (polydipsia)
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
So we have 3 options :
- Anti-thyroid medication (Tapazole (methimazole), 5 mg once a day for the rest of his life) with regular tests to monitor hormone levels, so dosage can be regulated.
- Surgical removal of both the thyroid glands.
- Radioactive iodine treatment

Like all medicines, Tapazole may cause certain side effects and prolong usage may cause liver damage.
And because of his age, it is not advisable for him to go through surgery. As both glands are involved, a second surgery is necessary. We'd rather not succumb him to that.

I am inclined to try another option which is natural herbal remedy but there is only one website that sells it and all the reviews and comments are from that one particular website. Good reviews no doubt. But Jason is skeptical.

So that leaves us with the last option, Radioactive iodine treatment.


  • Provides a permanent cure in 95% of cases.
  • Safe
  • Minimizes stress to the cat.
  • No serious side effects
  • Very Expensive (Thank God we've finished our Christmas shopping this year)
  • The subsequent development of hypothyroidism is a possibility, but it can be treated with thyroid supplementation.
  • Special home care is required for 3weeks after release from the hospital to comply with radiation safety requirements. We are to avoid any human radiation exposure from the cat by limiting contact by not allowing the cat to sleep on the same bed or rest on a person’s lap. It is also advisable to spend only the time necessary for basic pet care during the first 3 weeks after release and to use rubber gloves when changing the litter box during this time.
  • Pregnant women and young children should not spend time with the cat during the first 3 weeks after treatment. (I guess any desire (if any) of wanting to become pregnant will be put on hold for me)
The doctor wants us to start him off with the Tapazole and go back to see her after 2 weeks for more tests. We can then decide our next course of action and see if Trouble is a suitable candidate for the radioactive treatment.
Today's visit to the doctor left us $335 poorer. We definitely need to start saving up for Trouble's next big adventure.