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ctw1949
Certified organic poultry farmer in SE Mass

New Year
Some of you still look for me on this blog. I have been busy with all things, here in the apartment complex, out in the countryside, neighbors dirty vacuums that are so neglected they stop working...helping with a kitty that needs some TLC & medication. My friend/neighbor's sister suddenly died last week...another friend/neighbor lost her kitty and is looking for a another for company. And then there is the daily housework, walking BB and taking care of him.

My neighbor/friend Stan, our resident astronomer, has a kitty about 12 or so years old. I have noticed Zenda (her name...funny since my name is Cynda) has been loosing weight over the past 6 months. I convinced Stan to take Zenda to the vet, altho' he is in a tight financial situation, he did. Zenda had been sneezing a LOT along with her weight loss. Turns out Zenda had a sinus infection and her thyroid was working overtime, causing her weight loss. In August, while Stan was hospitalized for three days, I was checking on his place (doing a lot of cleaning, too!!!) and feeding Zenda and caring for her needs. It was then I noticed kitty's hunger and weight loss. Vet put her on an antibiotic, antihistamine & thyroid medications. Zenda accepted the thyroid medication in her food but wouldn't eat the food with the antibiotic & antihistamine.  I was drafted to "pill" Zenda twice daily for several weeks. This gave me a chance to touch base with Stan twice daily to see how he was doing. Stan now has weekly help cleaning his apartment, most is "light housekeeping". His place was in such turmoil, I am certain anyone going in to work would be overwhelmed! I worked in his kitchen, sorting out his counter tops, reorganizing his pantry, finding lids to all his plastic storage containers, etc. Things started to get a bit more under control.

One issue is that neither of his vacuums worked. So...I took his Shark home and cleaned it. Filters had never been washed, so they were totally clogged. All the brush heads were totally gummed up, there was a hair brush handle in the intake tube. Never mind the dirt bin! All was cleaned, washed, wiped and returned to him. His house cleaning help said the vacuum worked (and looked) like new. Then I started on his Dyson rechargeable stick vacuum. Well, Dyson surely does make things tough for keeping the cyclone head free of dirt and dust!!! I cleaned all components, put it all back together and it works very well. I figured out which attachments go to the Dyson, which go to the Shark. My dining room table is almost cleared of my unfinished projects! And Stan has two vacuums that work!

I missed yoga class on Monday...I had been fighting a sore throat over the weekend and overslept. I completely forgot about the 11 am class...and was still in my PJ's till noontime. I think I have defeated whatever it was that thought it would nest in my nose or throat, drinking Dr. Christopher's Plague Tonic with raw honey, eating onion sandwiches on rye bread with mayo, Netti Pot and Ponaris Nasal Emollient. A combination that will kill most anything! Today, I think it is gone. Now, I must set up my humidifier since it's possible that dry air was the issue.

I am finding time to do fun things. Tuesday, I met Syd at her house. I dumped my compost in her pile and we walked the dogs. Her new dog Haskell is coming along. Since he was rescued from a puppy mill and was used only for breeding, he has a great need for human companionship and requires a lot of attention. Syd has been working with him, training him and he is coming along. A Jack Russell Terrier mix, he does have the look and entire attitude of Jack Russells. He desperately wants to play with BB the dog, BB has NO use for Haskell and avoids all contact with him! Haskell is young and full of zip. BB is more sedate since he is now 12. But both of them MUST sniff every corner, blade of grass, pile of anything and leave a reply (p-mail).

We had a nice walk. Then I looked at her apple tree, a very old tree. It has been very neglected and is now home to a million carpenter ants. I suggested I would look for someone who might be interested in taking the tree down...as well as her Black Walnut tree that split off a large portion last fall. The apple tree is good for smoking meat. The Black Walnut might be good for making furniture. We shall see if I am successful.

My amaryllis has bloomed again, just in time for my birthday. Five blooms this year! It is a happy sight during this time of brown and grey, flooding red blooms, making my eyes happy!

I re-potted my orchid last week. I have been over watering it and had packed the moss too tightly in the bottom of the pot...and it was a plastic pot. I watched a video on UTube to find out how to properly pot up an orchid...and found a new terra cotta pot. We will see if it responds. I have had it for 16 months and no bloom yet. One can only hope I can undo the damage done.

The other plants I brought home from Vermont in fall of 2019 are doing well. This is my first time with a Rabbit-foot fern and I haven't killed it yet. It has started to loose a few leaves but I think this is a natural process. Last years Pointsetta has set some red leaves at the top. Of course, not as dramatic as those that are forced in greenhouses, but I am happy. The small start of Christmas Cactus is blooming for the second time this winter. A different cactus from Krista in Vermont is growing madly. I cut off the top of the avocado shoot since it was getting spindly. Maybe another shoot will come?  

I finally created a terrarium in the old one gallon fish bowl that Odette gave me (after Parker the cat broke the light in the cover) using some plants I collected from Syd's woods. I'm not sure if the bog moss will grow or the cranberry vines but the two other plants are doing well, one has put out new growth.

On another subject...one that some of you may recall, my traveling companion from my trip in 2017 out west has made contact with me after a long silence. She wanted to "update" me on her new house, her 4 dogs and two cats. I am aware of her animal collection but it seems she doesn't remember. She wanted to let me know how much impact I had on her life with all my organizational skills, practical knowledge and healing skills. However much she would like to "keep me in her life", I am still remembering all the bad things she subjected me to during that trip. At this time, I can't continue any communication with her. Seems she may have lied (or her son lied to his wife) about a serious health issue last September. Her son flew out to Memphis and spent 5 days with her. She didn't exactly deny the health emergency, but questioned how I found out. She was more concerned about who told me. Here's the thing...the money that her son used to fly to Memphis was to buy me an airline ticket to visit her son and daughter-in-law. So, I didn't make the trip to Washington state.

Enough for today. Thanks for reading this blog. Hopefully, more will come in the near future!

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