Jaume Serra Brut Rosé

It’s been a day…  A couple of them actually.

To make a long story short…  Jerks.  The accidental setting off of alarms.  My eardrums could use some time in a padded room.

I got this wine to try, but honestly I like their regular Brut Cava a lot better.  This one just has a little something that reminds me too much of White Zinfandel.  That said, it has flavors of light strawberry and little bubbles.  Quaffable, but it isn’t something I would get again.

Here’s to tomorrow being better.

Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Rosé

West 2016: Yellowstone Mud Pots

Day 8, 9 & 10, August 12, 13 & 14, 2016

Yellowstone’s most famous mud pots are probably the Fountain Paint Pots in the Lower Geyser Basin.  They are colored by the state of oxidation of the iron in the mud. When the weather is wetter and cooler the mud pot has a more soupy mud, which dries out over the summer as the weather gets hotter.

When I visited, the mud just seemed gray.  I don’t know that I noticed reds, browns and yellows in the mud there.  I did like watching the bubbling of the mud…

Fountain Paint Pots

 

Nearby though there is another mud pot with some red color.  Later in the summer as the water table goes down, Red Spouter becomes a fumarole, hissing steam.  In this picture, you can see that there is steam coming from it.

Red Spouter – another mud pot

When I went, Mom hung out in the car for this one, so I went to go see the mud pots by myself.  They were popular, and there were a ton of people there!

 

Reflection

Sometimes, we can all use a little reminder…

“If I could give you one thing in life, I would give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes. Only then would you realize how special you are to me.” ~Unknown

Oliver’s Tumor Redux

Oliver has had a bit of a rough year.  In January, he was diagnosed with a fibrosarcoma, a cancerous tumor that cats sometimes get at their vaccination site.  There is some disagreement, but there is a body of evidence to suggest that rabies vaccines are the cause, due to over-vaccinating, and the high dose of the vaccine compared to the small size of the cat.  Talk to your vet about this – maybe your cat doesn’t need a rabies vaccine.  I wish I had known…

At any rate, Oliver had a surgery to remove the tumor, and we hoped that it wouldn’t grow back.

It did.

Two weeks ago, Oliver had another surgery, to try to get the tumor that was quickly growing back.  The vet and I had talked it over and decided, given how easily his recovery had been the first time, to go for it.

The tumor, and the surgery, was a lot bigger this time around.  The vet found more growth and spreading, and wanted to be aggressive in trying to get it all.  Clear margins around the tumor are critical to prevent its growing right back.

Oliver at the hospital, the day of his surgery

This time, Oliver had a much rougher time in recovery.  There was a lot more open wound, a lot more swelling and edema, and a lot more bleeding.  Oliver was in a lot of pain for the first 4 days.  My heart broke to hear him cry when his dose of pain medicine was wearing off.  I second-guessed my decision.  He hardly moved at all those first few days.  He didn’t eat much, didn’t drink much and didn’t pee and poop much.  I made his wet cat food into a liquid slurry to get more fluids in him.

He didn’t like his antibiotic pills, his pain medicine made him into a drooling zombie, and he hated when I tried to put shirts on him to prevent his blood from oozing everywhere.  I felt like a big, mean, jerk.

Oliver relaxing, the day after the surgery

 

Oliver two days post-op, swollen, bruised and hurting

 

Oliver 3 days post-op – lots of bruising and oozing…

 

Fortunately on the 5th day after his surgery, he was feeling a bit better.  He is getting back to his old self now.  Two weeks out, he can jump up and get around like normal.  He isn’t in pain.  He got his stitches out yesterday and is healing nicely.

 

Oliver 12 days post-op – getting a drink!

 

Oliver two weeks post-op – much better!

 

Maybe if I hide, she won’t see me. At the vet to get his stitches out.

As for his cancer?  It is unlikely that this will be the last of the tumor – it will probably come back.  Getting old sucks.  When the tumor does come back, there isn’t a whole lot I can do.  Enjoy the time I get with him and love him as much as I always have.

 

West 2016: Yellowstone Geysers

Day 8, 9 & 10, August 12, 13 & 14, 2016

Yellowstone has at least 1,283 geysers that have erupted in the park and approximately 465 of them are active in any given year. Geysers are characterized by the intermittent eruptions of super-heated water that ejects from them, with some of the water turning into steam as it hits the cooler air. They only occur where there is magma close to the surface of the earth, which is required to heat the water to the necessary temperature.

There are two types of geysers, a fountain geyser and a cone geyser. The fountain type is a geyser that erupts from a pool of water – Grand Geyser, the tallest predictable geyser on earth is a fountain geyser. A cone geyser erupts from cones or mounds of siliceous sinter – Old Faithful is a cone geyser.

Sponge Geyser – no excitement here.

 

Some of the geysers we saw were just bubbling quietly, not erupting.  Not nearly as exciting as an erupting geyser, but mesmerizing in their own right…

Aurum Geyser Bubbling

 

The Lion Geyser Group – with a mini-eruption…

 

Young Hopeful Geyser – doesn’t it look hopeful!?

 

Beehive Geyser – when erupting it sprays 200 feet in the air!

 

We also saw White Dome Geyser erupting. We were in the car driving toward it, and by the time we got there it was done. It erupts every 15 minutes to 3 hours, most commonly every 20 – 30 minutes, but we didn’t stick around to see the next one. There is only so much time in a day at such a big park!

White Dome Geyser, erupting!

 

White Dome Geyser, not erupting

We did see Old Faithful erupt twice while we were in Yellowstone. Old Faithful is located in the Upper Geyser Basin of the park and is one of the most predictable geysers there. It erupts approximately once every 65 and 91 minutes – the interval between eruptions depends on the length of the last eruption. It shoots high into the air, between 106 and 185 feet, and each eruption lasts between 90 seconds and five minutes.  What a sight to see!

Old Faithful Geyser

Interestingly, Old Faithful was once used as a laundry. In 1882, General Philip Sheridan’s men were stationed in Yellowstone and they used to throw their dirty clothes into the geyser, to be ejected clean with the next eruption (I am not sure what happened if you didn’t catch them before they fell to the ground though). Apparently linen and cotton clothes came out just fine, but wool clothing got ripped to shreds. Don’t try this when you go folks…  I have a feeling this type of behavior is frowned upon…

Next up – Mud Pots!

 

Spring 2017 Book Blog

I’ve been listening up a storm – lots of time as I walk with an audio-book on my iPod.  Here’s a couple of books that have made their way into my brain.

The Danish Girl, by David Ebershoff – 5 stars

This is a novel that is based on the true story of Lili Elbe, a woman who began life as a man.  Then known as Einar Wegener, he grew up and married, having a successful career as an artist, before deciding to undergo one of the first sexual reassignment surgeries in the world.  The novel is largely told from the perspective of his wife, Gerda Gottlieb, who supported Lili’s transition to a woman.  The novel explores the emotions of both women, as well as the social stigmas and struggles of the era, although I do believe it glossed over that a bit.  Although the novel masterfully explored the story, there are many gaps in the story, due to the fact that Elbe’s medical records were destroyed by bombing during World War II.   The Danish Girl was made into a movie in 2016 – I want to check it out!

At the Water’s Edge, by Sara Gruen – 3 stars

Part ghost story, part search for the Loch Ness Monster, At the Water’s Edge is an interesting novel about a couple whose marriage is tested when Madeleine and her husband Ellis have a falling out with Ellis’ rich father.  In order to restore the family honor, the two, with a friend, embark on a trip across the Atlantic in a Navy warship in order to find hard evidence of the Loch Ness Monster…  Are you still with me!?  At any rate, Ellis is a drinker, and well, he does what drinkers do – he destroys the relationship with his wife.  I wanted to like this book more since it is by the author of Water for Elephants, but it just fell a bit flat for me.  There is a lot of suspension of disbelief required, and it just doesn’t get there for me.

Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee – 4 stars

I thought a long time about whether or not I wanted to read this book.  Like so many, I grew up with the magic of Atticus Finch and his children, Scout and Jem.  I grew up knowing that there were people in the South who did the right thing, when racism was rampant and segregation the law.  I heard the rumors about the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, where Atticus is revealed to be racist as well.  Could it be true?  Dare I find out?  Well, the answer is not so simple.  It is wrapped up in time, and place, and the law, the constitution and whatever else goes into these things.  People today would say that he was.  But I learned it is also a story of coming of age, and learning that our parents are not so perfect as we want them to be.  They have opinions that are flavored by the world they grew up in, right or wrong, and flaws and shortcomings, just like everyone else.  And this is as much a story about learning to break away and truly see our parents as it is about race.

2014 Argyle Pinot Noir

I was craving a Pinot Noir.  It has been raining, and somehow a white wine didn’t seem fitting.

According to the winemaker’s notes:

Argyle Pinot Noir is an honest representation of the Willamette Valley. Fermented entirely in small lots, and blended for purity, it toes the line between red and dark cherry, while offering spicy forest floor and hints of black tea. The palate is lively and graceful, building density and focus as the silky tannins build into the long, energetic finish.

All I know is that this is a great wine, I’m tired, and it hit the spot.  Happy Father’s Day everybody!