Waking Up from Winter

The first green growth peeking out of winter foliage always lifts my spirit that growing things and signs of spring are just around the corner. It’s in my East Coast upbringing that by April, yards are lush with budding trees and bushes with vibrant blooms  from landscaped gardens.  Wyoming is different with the land not truly waking and stretching  until later.

The winter has felt unreasonably long this year due to work keeping my focus for longer work days with more challenging deliverables across many time zones from my home office here. As the weeks have worn on, I’ve found myself eyeing the dark windows in the mornings and evenings, wishing to see the beginnings of spring to see some element of change on the horizon.

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With that in mind, it surprised me recently to see our rock garden already with hardy succulents and tundra plantings sending out green colors and new leaves. It does something for the spirit to finally see the beginnings of growth again.

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Many of these were sprouts were the beginnings of roots that we tucked into the crevices of rocks and soil wondering just how much of our first foray into rock gardening would take. We hoped that half of the plants we purchased and planted would take, but so far, only 2-3 have been lost – not bad for our first try with these types of plants.

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The clear winner of durability and hardiness so far has definitely been the ice plants purchased at an annual master gardeners community plant sale. Those little plants, per their names, seem to be able to tolerate all forms of winter and still come out swinging.

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It’s encouraging to see the original plants still hanging in there, but even more so starting new shoots and buds from within. Things are definitely stirring under the soil!

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The Wyoming winter is definitely not done with us yet, even here in mid-April. The threat of snow and freezing temperatures likely won’t pass until end of May. But as these tough guys are proving, they’re thriving despite the blizzard that just passed through last week. Yes, they’ll do just fine here.

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I’ve already got the next local plant sale on my calendar to add to our expanding landscaping. Just the idea of picking out more plants and doing more with our relatively new property is a pick-me-up that the cold and gray winter is soon to give way to sun and warm temperatures soon.

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Fury’s Journey (Spring 2018)

After making an introductory post about our cat Fury, I wanted to start documenting several medical challenges with her that we are working through. There is little  information out there (for pet owners or veterinarians) for animals like Fury and hopefully, by maintaining her story online, it can be one more source for cat owners (and other animal owners) that struggle with these conditions:

Early Spring 2018

Earlier this spring, we noticed that as Fury grew, she often scratched aggressively behind and below her ears with her back feet. It was just, a bit much. Minor injuries began to occur as slices or tears of the skin below where her ears met her neck. These were usually enough to require a small number of stitches or glue to close back up again.  Our local vet was very investigative when it came to these injuries. Yet without any presenting symptom other than itching, we didn’t really have any clear diagnosis other than to begin assessing skin allergies.

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We began to notice other odd behaviors as well over the weeks. Randomly, Fury would be in the room with us, and out of nowhere, she would enter a moment of frantic agitation. One second she’s fine, the next her pupils were dilated, she postured as if she was ready to enter fight or flight mode and she would sometimes dash out of the room for no reason at all. In fact, it almost seemed as though she was hallucinating. And just a moment later, she’d flip an invisible switch and be entirely back to normal again.

We started searching online for any guidance of what we could be dealing with and we started seeing feline hyperesthesia syndrome (or “Twitchy Back” syndrome). It seemed to perfectly align with most of her behavior but didn’t account for other behavior. We also noted from reading and in discussion with our local vet that this was a diagnosis only arrived at after ruling out many, many other diagnoses first, so this was put to the side until we could confirm more. Continue reading

A Quick Tidy-up

Confessions are supposed to be good for the soul. Well, since I’ve added 35 posts to this site over the last 2 years, it’s been gnawing at me that my content, layout and posting strategy isn’t as ship-shape or consistent as I’d like. And yes, I’m that blogger who simply can’t leave things as they are. Just making changes going forward would just make far too much sense and be too easy.

So begging your pardon, I’ll be taking the site offline for a few days to do a bit of blog housekeeping. Thanks in advance for sticking with me; I sincerely appreciate your visits!

Be back soon-