Weekend Open Thread

Happy Caturday! Today’s kitties come from Emsthemonster, who writes: “Let me introduce my kitties, the big white one is Felix, the tiny, ever naughty tabby is Marci. They are pleased to meet you even if they look sleppy.”

Oh yeah, we’re real excited to meet you.
We’re just gonna take a little nap to get over the thrill.
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60 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Gigi The cat lady December 9, 2017 / 8:33 am

    Good morning everyone! Here we are, the 9th of December and there is still no snow here, so when I took a walk last night and looked at the decoration in my neighbourhood, they looked sad and out of place, I do hope we’ll have some snow before Christmas.

    Update on my injuries after my fall, my eye is almost back to normal, still a few scabs on my eyebrow and a little sensitive to the touch. As for the numbness of my face, it’s still there but there has been some small improvement. From what I read of other people who have had the same kind of injury, it could take weeks or even month before it disappears completely.

    Today’s plan is to go shopping in downtown Montreal with my husband, have lunch and then meet a friend at a mini science fiction convention and try not to buy to many geeky toys and nicknacks LOL!!

    • dubravkamcvmd December 9, 2017 / 8:37 am

      Good news. I’m glad.

    • debg December 9, 2017 / 11:20 am

      Very good news. Hope the last remnants of your fall heal up quickly.

      A mini sci fi convention sounds fantastic!

    • Maia December 9, 2017 / 11:57 am

      I’m glad to hear you are on the mend! I hope the rest heals quickly!

  2. N. Fritz December 9, 2017 / 9:31 am

    I was catching up on Cutetropolis this morning after my incredibly busy week (36! Parents visited me for parent teacher conferences on Thursday). I just wanted to express my condolences on the loss of loved ones (Allein), jobs (DebG), pets and support for everyone who is going through a rough patch now.

    I had a serious talk Thursday with my boss about my job, stress and my health which was at once terrifying and liberating. We’ll see how things go after the holidays (I stop treatment for my thyroid and have to wait til March to see there has been any improvement or if I have to have it removed, which I really don’t want to have to do).

    • Faye December 9, 2017 / 10:48 am

      N. Fritz I have no thyroid after 3 surgeries. Being on synthroid has not been a problem except once when a new doc tinkered with my dosage. Once I was back on correct dosage I was fine as I have been for 30+ years.

      However, after my third surgery I had a serious problem that you should discuss with your doctor. My Parathyroid Glands were damaged or removed or turned off. Thusly, my body has trouble maintaining calcium levels. Calcium controls all muscles working including your heart and diaphragm. I MUST take calcium and D3 without fail.

      Ask your doctor if they can β€œpark” your parathyroid glands somewhere else in your neck or shoulder. Or at least discuss their techniques to protect your parathyroid glands during surgery.

      Overall thyroid surgery is safe and easy recovery. If you have questions let me know.

      • N. Fritz December 9, 2017 / 1:11 pm

        Hi Faye, and thank you for sharing your experiences! At 52 I am sure I should be taking in more calcium than I am. And I had never heard of a parathyroid before so I am grateful for your advice.

        It is so strange to live with one foot in two worlds. When I read U.S. websites re: thyroid maintenance, the advice is so different from what my Austrian doctor tells me. For example, US sites always mention reducing cruciferous vegetables and potatoes in addition to saltwater fish and/or shellfish and iodized salt. In Austria the focus is on reducing iodized salt, saltwater seafood and juices in juice boxes. No mention of broccoli or potatoes. Weird, eh?

        • Faye December 9, 2017 / 1:30 pm

          Google HypoParathyroid. The calcium problem if they are damaged is much more tricky than the calcium to prevent osteoporosis. Life threatening. I don’t want to scare you. Probably 95% of thyroid surgery goes fine. I’m in the special 5% group. Lol.

        • birdlady26 December 9, 2017 / 1:48 pm

          No thyroid gland here either, since it had to be removed due to cancer in both lobes, followed by radioactive iodine treatments. Before the radioactive iodine treatments, I had to stop my thyroid meds (hello insomnia!!!) and try to eat a diet as low in iodine as possible. Found this great resource where they talk about low iodine diets and even have a cookbook . Prepared foods are not required to say if they use iodized salt or non-iodized salt, so had to do a lot of food preparation from scratch. http://www.thyca.org/pap-fol/lowiodinediet/ Maybe it will help you N. Fritz

    • debg December 9, 2017 / 11:22 am

      N. Fritz, I’m glad you had this chat with your boss. A life of stress is no fun, and if your boss is sympathetic, that can make all the difference.

      And thanks so much for thinking of me in the midst of all your end-of-term stuff. Holy crap–36 parents! When I’d have strings of just 3 or 4 students in a session, I couldn’t tell if I was providing new info or just repeating myself to each student.

      • N. Fritz December 9, 2017 / 1:18 pm

        Thanks DebG! I feel such empathy for you, having lost my job at 48 and not knowing where to turn. One needs to be flexible and resilient – I believe you are both!
        The 36 parents were over a 3.5 hour period. Afterwards I had two hours of adult evening classes until I said “I’m done ” and retreated to my hotel room complete with bathtub!

    • Maia December 9, 2017 / 12:38 pm

      I am in Awe at your ability to manage 36 ! parent conferences in one day- Like DebG said, I can barely manage 3 or 4. I hope that your stress management works for you! Self -care is so absolutely important. Fingers crossed for a good thyroid outcome.

      • N. Fritz December 9, 2017 / 1:36 pm

        Hi Maia! Our parent teacher conferences are pretty intense! I met 36 in 3.5 hours… I am currently at my bf’s house, practicing stress management in the form of shopping for art supplies, going for long walks, and cooking elaborate meals (tonight it was Mexican pizza, with knock-your-socks-off margaritas with non-iodized salt – lol!)

    • allein 🐾 December 9, 2017 / 6:46 pm

      Thanks, N πŸ™‚

  3. Not That Mike The Other Mike December 9, 2017 / 9:33 am

    Happy Caturday! I had a nice evening with Ani, my bunny and Shorty, the neighborhood cat. Shorty has come to prefer hanging out at the house next door, but my neighbor asked me to take him in last night. I think it’s because he likes to boss the other cats.

    It was a rainy night so I kept him inside. Occasionally he would stand by the door and cry, but I knew if I let him out he would just head next door. Eventually, he adjusted and began to explore my house and interact with Ani a little. And then he slept on the bed next to me until early morning, when I finally let him out.

    • Emsthemonster December 9, 2017 / 9:51 am

      Nice, I love Ani and Shorty news!

    • Murray C December 9, 2017 / 10:06 am

      Wow, I’m amazed he slept on the bed with you – nice that he’s so comfortable. and he doesn’t antagonize Ani in any way? That’s a boon.

      GiGi, glad things have improved; Jan, I hope you can reduce your workload and that your thyroid issue resolves in the manner best for you.

      Faye, it was good to see your post recently – I was a bit concerned since we hadn’t heard too much from you lately.

      Debg, you know how we’re all concerned about you – how rotten for this to have happened, especially in the midst of your recovery! I think maybe you’ll have to do YouTube videos on knitting!

      Ems – those kitties are over the top cute – how cool if they could meet Lily!

      I hope I’m not neglecting anyone – I do find it hard to keep track who is dealing with what! I think I’ll start a chart, it might help.😘

      I’m about to take our cat Purdy to the vet. She was in some sort of altercation a few nights ago, come into the house making the most horrid of sounds – it’s the one they make when they’ve seen a cat for whom they have deep antipathy. She was so freaked that she was pooping in the middle of the kitchen floor – I think she may have been disturbed mid poop or something – it was weird. She had some ruffled fur, some bits coming out and now I’ve noticed a scab and slight swelling and it doesn’t smell too good. Fortunately our vet is open today and had an available time for her. It’s actually snowing in the Philly area, very lightly, probably going to be messy. Now for the real challenge, getting her in her carrier. Sigh.

      • Emsthemonster December 9, 2017 / 10:30 am

        Thank you, Murray
        Actually Felix was very much interested in Lily. Once Jan posted a video of Lily, Felix jumped to the screen and started purring and pushing his head to Lily πŸ™‚
        They are roughly the same age, and interestingly enough Lily still has her beautiful markings while Felix’s grey markings disappeared as he grew up.

      • Faye December 9, 2017 / 10:52 am

        Hi All! Ditto what Murray said.

        • Maia December 9, 2017 / 12:20 pm

          ditto what Murray said from me, too. I’m not able to visit and post here as much as I would like, but you are in my thoughts. And Murray, good luck with your kitty.

    • debg December 9, 2017 / 12:33 pm

      What?! A bossy cat? Hard to imagine!

      what a sweet story about Ani and Shorty

    • dubravkamcvmd December 9, 2017 / 2:24 pm

      That’s a sweet story about Shorty. He clearly likes and trusts you.

      • Not That Mike The Other Mike December 9, 2017 / 7:19 pm

        He trusts me, but he’d rather be outdoors. I tried bringing him in again tonight, and it was a repeat of last night: crying to go outside, followed by acceptance. But then a dragonfly flew in, and when I opened the porch door to escort it back outside, Shorty bolted as well. I doubt I’ll see him again until tomorrow.

        • dubravkamcvmd December 9, 2017 / 9:53 pm

          It sounds like Shorty leads an interesting and safe life in your neighborhood. He can go inside when he wants. I guess it depends on a cat’s experiences. A neighborhood cat gave birth in a semi-enclosed area of my sister’s house. My sister created a box/nest for the mother and kittens and gave them food and water and ultimately found homes for all the kittens. She kept the Mom. Mom never wanted to go outside again. My sister had two other cats who always wanted to bolt outside. They had always been inside cats and were fascinated by the outside. Mom never gave it a glance.

  4. Emsthemonster December 9, 2017 / 9:53 am

    I am so happy to see my beloved kitties on Weekend Open Thread, we feel honoured!

    • N. Fritz December 9, 2017 / 10:10 am

      They are absolutely precious, Ems!

    • Faye December 9, 2017 / 10:53 am

      They are beautiful cats. Are they in a mixing bowl?!

      • Emsthemonster December 9, 2017 / 11:17 am

        Thank you, N.Fritz and Faye!
        They are in the sink. The photo was taken during the kitchen renovation, so the sink was not yet in its final place. The cats loved it πŸ™‚

        • debg December 9, 2017 / 11:24 am

          That’s a relief, Em–I thought they were maybe teensy kitties in a food dish! They’re so lovely and precious.

          • Emsthemonster December 9, 2017 / 3:56 pm

            Well, Marci climbed into a bowl of vegetables soup once when he was a wee kitten. He has always been a curious cat. πŸ™‚

        • Faye December 9, 2017 / 1:33 pm

          Hahaha. Oh look a stray sink! Let’s sits.

          • Emsthemonster December 9, 2017 / 3:58 pm

            You should have seen how offended they were when the sink was installed and was wet on the bottom. The kitties also got wet on the bottom πŸ™‚

  5. Carlotta December 9, 2017 / 10:40 am

    I came home yesterday through the snow to find my calendar waiting for me!!! It was the high point of the day! And this was the day I was presented my 40 year pin (library service) by the mayor. It’s my first Cutetropolis calendar, I’ve gotten service pins before!
    Thanks, Mike for everything you do for us!!!

  6. Faye December 9, 2017 / 11:13 am

    Hi Everyone.

    Thanks for noticing Murray! Just busy. Close to completion of reorganization of my bedroom and the extra room. Only one task left for myself: emptying drawers that contain a mishmash of tooth floss, tools, small art supplies, small electronics, spices etc. then sorting.

    On the home front I bought a 7 foot tall steel shelf for my friend for Christmas. It’s still in the shipping box to be assembled. Once in the spare room we are going to move all the spare pots, pans and small appliances out of the kitchen. She has a very small and very old kitchen. Just making space will be a huge change.

    After kitchen is done I will finally be able to go through my boxes in basement. Keepsakes and art supplies. Ruthless keep, sell, toss like on the tv show Hoarders.

    Everything else is fine. I’m counting my blessings. I have everything I need and most of what I want. After a colonoscopy in February I will be in good health too. My only health issue will improve if I begin to exercise more.

    My finances will also improve in three stages. Three debts and car will payoff gradually in stage one @ three months, stage two @ three years, and stage three @ six years.

    First stage change gives me more shrink visits and painting lessons starting this coming April. Yay. Purchase of dog stroller for the Spring. Yay!

  7. debg December 9, 2017 / 11:35 am

    I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: You Cutetropolitans make every corner of my life better. Your support over the last few weeks has made all the difference.

    Healthwise, I’m doing much better though I’m still dizzy. The surgeon gave me a clean bill of health on Thursday. It’s possible that I could still develop an abscess, but I don’t think it’s likely, and I know the warning signs.

    Regarding jobs and finances, I’m still weighing a lot of factors. Is it ethical to apply for a job that doesn’t pay enough (58% of my last salary) but whose weird schedule allows plenty of time to search for something better? How do I tailor a resume to disguise my age? How many small, relatively inexpensive comforts (Netflix, satellite car radio) do I give up in the short term to help economize? Most importantly, what sort of work do I want to do?

    As I think you all can realize, I’ve still got some soul-searching before I even begin to apply. I’m trying to take things slowly and deliberately, instead of making choices out of desperation (those almost never work out well). While I don’t have lots of financial padding, I have a little. Things could be a lot worse.

    • Maia December 9, 2017 / 12:17 pm

      Hang in there, DebG. I know a lot of what you are going through, and its stressful. It sounds like you are doing a great job of thinking things over.

    • birdlady26 December 9, 2017 / 2:01 pm

      One word for you DebG. Budget. That dirty little word none of us like to think about. Thinking about your fixed expenses (needs) like housing, utilities, health insurance etc. vs flexible expenses (wants) like dining out, Netflix, etc can help you to figure out where to go from here.

      What if you are without a job for 6 months or a year (heaven forbid)? What happens to your emergency spending cushion then? A little economizing now could pay big dividends down the road. Been there, done that.

      Applying for a job can get you practice at interviews, time to polish your resume. If I were you, I’d apply for that lower paying job. New life experiences and you never know where they may lead you. Hopefully to good places.

    • dubravkamcvmd December 9, 2017 / 2:22 pm

      About your ethical issue – as long as you don’t lie, it’s fine. If they hire you they’re not promising to keep you on, right? By accepting the job, you’re not promising to stay.

    • Laura December 9, 2017 / 3:25 pm

      Deb, these days resumes are only expected to go back 10 years. So you could be 32 to 72, for all they know! If they specify longer, you’ll have to deal with that; but in all the jobs of various types I’ve applied for of helped my husband prepare a resume for, they only wanted 10 years.

    • Emsthemonster December 9, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      I am glad you are improving healthwise.
      As for the job hunt:
      I would argue for taking the low salary job for the following reasons:
      Nowadays people come and go from jobs, employers have got used to people leaving
      You don’t know how much time would pass until you find the “real one”, you would deplete your savings a lot more slowly.
      If this one allows you to search for the real one in the meantime, great!
      Even if you find one with a better salary, it can also happen that you need to leave sooner or later because there is something there that you cannot cope with.
      When I was in the same situation, I skipped such a low paid job and a good one came later than I expected. After some time I came to repent it. But this is just my point of view, I really hope there will be more luck on your side.

      It is interesting that you mention your age: I may be in the same boat in spring and I have already started to talk to people I know, HR recruiters etc. They said privately that age 45-55 women are really a good choice for employers, because they are mature but still quite healthy, a lot more willing to work than millenials, and they have less chance for a maternity leave than those between 30-45.

      Well I also understand that you need a clear head first. Take a sweet, purring kitty into your lap and think things over πŸ™‚

      • debg December 9, 2017 / 5:43 pm

        Thanks, all, for your valuable advice. It’s nice to have your wisdom!

  8. Duckie πŸ₯ December 9, 2017 / 11:56 am

    I’m a little down today. Hubby had a long weekend, and wisely choose to spend part of it training for his new job. I wholeheartedly support his decision, but it kind of spoiled my weekend. Plus, our car is in the shop. Apparently it wanted a new transmission for Christmas.
    However, this new job could result in us being able to get out of our condo and into a proper house situation. So I am very desperately trying to be mature and brave.
    I’m also in the midst of my body trying to decide whether I’m going to have a cold or not. It’s been hemming and hawing for several weeks now.
    Hubby did something wonderful for me yesterday. I was frazzling over laundry, dishes, vacuuming etc. He asked if there was anything he could do to help. I said that I was procrastinating over cleaning the fridge. Next thing I knew, he was down on his knees scrubbing. Such a wonderful man! ❀️❀️❀️❀️
    Right now, everything seems like it’s waiting to happen. Some potentially good, some not-so-good-but-want-to-get-over-with.
    I wish everyone at Cutetropolis a wonderful weekend and good things for the week to come.

    • Maia December 9, 2017 / 12:30 pm

      Wishing good things for you, too, Duckie. I know how “lots of little things” can seem like they aren’t as bad as others have it, but those add up, too.

    • debg December 9, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      Duckie, we’re in this boat with you. Tell that stupid cold to go away and thank your wonderful husband.

    • Faye December 9, 2017 / 1:43 pm

      Duckie we are all trying to be mature and brave every day. I know I feel much less mature than other people my age. I feel like I’m doing everything for the first time on my own. Slightly uncomfortable all the time. But I try to stay focused and do one thing at a time and not worry to much.

  9. Maia December 9, 2017 / 12:25 pm

    Today’s project is to put new Christmas lights on the house. My teenage son is suffering from increasing depression, and our lights from years past are faded/don’t work. He said his only christmas wish from us is for new lights– it just about broke my heart. So that’s happening TODAY. Fortunately it is NOT raining in the Seattle area.

    • debg December 9, 2017 / 12:46 pm

      Maia, sorry to hear about your son’s depression. You and he may appreciate this story:

      When I listened to Prisoner of Azkaban lo these many years ago, Rowling’s description of dementor attacks made me think, “Yeah, she’s suffered from depression” (because I have too). She talks about it in one of the extra interviews for that movie, or maybe one of the later ones. Your son is not alone, and depression doesn’t have to win despite its lies.

    • Duckie πŸ₯ December 9, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      Maia, this is just an idea, but…
      Put Christmas lights in his bedroom. It doesn’t need to be an extravagant set up. I have a glass candy bowl with Christmas lights in it, and turning them on during a bad period helps me. Crying myself to sleep in a lighted room helps, and waking up to the lights is a bit of a lift. And don’t put them away after Christmas. Leave them there as long as he wants. There’s something a bit magical about reading by Christmas lights in summer, with a fan beside you. And put a bit of gold or silver garland in. The reflections are beautiful.

      • Faye December 9, 2017 / 1:46 pm

        Yes! Great idea!

        Depression does lie. Your son is definitely not alone.

        • jerzowa December 9, 2017 / 3:29 pm

          Yes, Faye, depression lies, and it does it in the most nasty ways. For me, one of the most devastating things about my son’s depression was when I kept telling him how smart, kind, and beautiful he was, and he (or rather, the depression that took his mind and body a hostage) kept replying ‘you are my mother. You have to tell me these lies…’

    • jerzowa December 9, 2017 / 3:20 pm

      Maia, I’m sending you lots of hugs and positive vibes. My 18-year-old son has a long-standing history of depression and social anxiety. This is the first December in three years that he is not in the abyss, but he isn’t yet well enough to return to school. So, I think I can imagine what you are going through.

  10. Patty December 9, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    EMS, Lovely cats in the sink!

    I hope everyone is doing better.
    I am wallowing in self pity this week. I actually typed out a longish post full of woe, and decided not to spread my depression to you all, so I deleted it.

    • Faye December 9, 2017 / 1:47 pm

      Feel better Patty.

    • debg December 9, 2017 / 1:48 pm

      Patty, the link in my above message would say that just writing the post helped, even if you didn’t actually post it.

      And you know we’re here for you.

    • Duckie πŸ₯ December 9, 2017 / 1:52 pm

      Patty, this is a good and safe place for all. Hugs to you.

    • Emsthemonster December 9, 2017 / 3:41 pm

      Thank you, Patty
      I would have liked to read it, we are here for you on the worse days as well.
      (but yeah I have all the right to preach, i did the same on Wednesday, posted a long, sad comment only to delete it w/in 2 minutes so I understand your point)

  11. Laura December 9, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    Hi, all. Best wishes to all over everything! And pretty feline owners, Ems!

    My husband finally got hold of his friend who lives near the Thomas fire near LA. He’s fine, thank heaven; the winds blew the fire away from their home — right towards his sister’s home! (I’ve met her, too; she’s as delightful as her brother.) She was in Vegas and trying to come back the day all the fires flared up, and when she could see towards the fire and the “chocolate brown” air (ack!), she went instead to her son’s cabin in the mountains east of LA. The evac zone got within a mile of her home, which at the speed those fires move in 85-mph (135 kph) winds is about 5 minutes’ notice or less, depending on the amount of brush.

    The brush in SoCal actually *needs* fire to propagate, so the more people live there, the wotse the impact. There are already countless stories of loss; it’s heartbreaking. I’m glad the rest of my LA friends live well into the city where the fires haven’t reached. Yet!

    Anyway, more cheerfully, we have a potluck for the therapy dog group tomorrow, and since our weather just cooled down, it should be delightful. Lots of happy pups! I miss having a kitty, but my husband’s cat allergies got so bad we had to switch to dogs only. So everyone pet your kitties for me, and have a great week!

  12. allein 🐾 December 9, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    I just got home from my cousin’s ex-wife’s funeral a little while ago. There was a second visitation time this morning for two hours (there was one last night, too), then we went to the church around the corner for the service, then the mausoleum down the road where there was another short service and we laid roses on her casket. Then my cousin arranged lunch at a restaurant nearby.

    It’s been snowing all day. Luckily the roads weren’t too terrible, for the most part.
    The snow is pretty; she would have liked it.

    They wanted people to take flowers..

    • Faye December 10, 2017 / 9:42 am


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