May. 18th, 2009

juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
My parents this weekend were out of town this weekend, seeing plays, so I housesat and dogsat. It was good timing to be with the dog, because Jamie recently had a few lumps removed, one of which biopsied as cancerous. This is not halfway as bad as it sounds—it's not unusual for dogs her age and breed, she's starting some preventative medication, all in all this is mostly a early warning and she's going to be fine. But we all dealt with cancer in our last dog, Cokie, and that was tough on all of us—so we're pretty shook up. I was really upset when I first found out, but a few days spent cuddling with James has done wonders to calm me. It's not good news, but it's bearable news, news we can act on. And right now Jamie couldn't care less. She things her pills are treats, her sutures are healing fine, and as a dog will, as Jamie does, she is loving every single day.

And when you live every day with all your heart then you can be happy ever after, even if it's only a short time.
—Virgina Lewis, The 10th Kingdom

But I suspect she has many years more to go.

And I took pictures! I suppose that's a perquisite for dog visits. I'll admit that I love this first in part because of all the color in the background. The second is purely sunlit—when sunbathing, she glows. There are also a few pictures of some of the other animals in my life.

Jamie sleeping

+1 Jamie, +2 Dude and Madison, +3 Kuzco and Woof )

The weather has turned hot—unpleasantly so sometimes, but the animals love it. The cats (Dude is black and white, Madison is the tabby) enjoy the sunbeams almost enough to share the same breathing space—not something they often do. The pigs have been feasting on fresh grass and enjoying occasional trips outside, as per these pics of Kuzco outside. Woof thinks that this last is epic awesome: she's part sheepdog, and thinks the pigs are puppies; when they're outside, she runs circles around their cage and watches them eat. She can get a little overeager (I think all of the pigs have had an overenthusiastic dogtongue explore unwelcome places by now), but for the most part she's an angel with them.

It is warm, the earth is glowing, and while I am a fan of autumn myself it is so far a lovely summer.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
I on the other hand have not been quite so glowing or wonderful. I'm somewhere between general anxiety and worse-than-usual back and neck pain. The neck pain is almost always an extension of back troubles, and the back pain is mostly the fault of housesitting. I have very particular sleep arrangements in order to prevent back pain, and I can't always carry them with me while I'm out of the house. So these last few days I've slept restlessly and woke miserably stiff. But I think it's also an independent crisis, because after just one night away the pain was so intense that I couldn't so much as read—it rarely gets bad enough to interfere with cognitive ability. The pain has been an intense, unrelenting ache, infrequent spasms, and chronic stiffness, accompanied by a bit of shaking, dizziness, and nausea.

The anxiety though is anyone's guess. I suspect it may be related to the back pain—with the level of pain, and with it impairing my ability to do anything from read to sit long enough to watch a TV show, it only figures that I'd be a little bit stressed. Still, I've been dealing with more and more anxiety lately, of the generalized sort, reasonless and pointless and a pain in my ass. The mind just cannot leave well enough alone: my depression is much improved, I know how to deal with the agoraphobia, and so of course I should be plagued with the only issue that's left.

As a result I'm an unfocused shaking stiff and whining mess. C'est la vie. I really only record this for my own purposes—it can be good, in reflection, to see when and potentially why my body or mind went wonky.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
Title: Hand of Isis
Author: Jo Graham
Published: New York: Orbit, 2009
Rating: 4 of 5
Page Count: 491
Total Page Count: 75,967
Text Number: 223
Read For: fan of the author after reading Black Ships, borrowed from the library
Short Review: Charmian is Cleopatra's half-sister; together, she and her sisters pledge to serve the goddess Isis and to make Cleopatra the queen and savior of bankrupted Egypt. Unfortunately, Hand of Isis has a slow start and some heavy-handed religious aspects, so it's not as successful as Graham's first novel, Black Ships. Still, it's a success: a balance of private story and public history, all of it touched by religion and magic, Hand of Isis is a brave historical fantasy retelling which often achieves its lofty goals. It's not my favorite of Graham's novels, but I throughly enjoyed and recommend it.

Long review. )

Review posted here on


juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)

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