Category Archives: Queen Pandora

We now return you to your regular broadcast programming…

With Pan’s illness(es), these past couple of months have been somewhat trying around here. The past 3 weeks have been especially stressful.

But – like you’ve gotta do – we’re “adjusting” to the new reality and addressing things as best we can. Three days ago Pan had another steroid shot and hydration and has perked right up again… eating a goodly amount of pork chops, ham, steak, dry kibble and a lick of whipped cream (I bought the dessert for her, honest – she just didn’t like the raspberry creme filling so we ate it for her. No, seriously.)

Anyway, several days ago when I took her in for the steroid and hydration treatment, Stephanie (HUGE FAN OF PAN and “seasoned” vet tech)said, “you know, *you* can give her the hydration treatments at home – she’s very gentle and doesn’t squirm or try to run.” Me: Nope, that’d freak me out.

But when I got home I began thinking about all the stress it causes both Pan and me to have to get in the truck, head to the doc’s, sit in the room, have her take the treatment and then head back home again… the poor thing shakes from the minute I pick her up to head out the door until 20 minutes after she gets home again.

Surely I’m not such a wuss that I can’t give her the electrolytes… or am I?

The next morning I cruised by on my bike ride and picked up the stuff. Later that day I hooked her up but the needle popped out when she got squeamish and bolted – something I wasn’t expecting at all. (Doh!) So the next day I put her big basket on her island (thx for the suggestion, Ellen), placed her in the basket and hooked her up. We were both good for about 100ml of goodies, which seemed to help her a great deal through the day and night until I hooked her up again @ 11 this morning and gave her a full 200ml (the recommended dose). I headed out to lunch on the 750 to meet some nsx buddies and when I returned home (not long ago), she was resting comfortably in Joanne’s office on the blankie.

So that’s where we are… we’re all – including Pan – adjusting and doing better in our own ways. This will be the last of my “Special Bulletin” Pan broadcasts until something goes seriously wrong… it’ll be safe to assume she’s doing reasonably well but not going to ever fully recover… and we’re ultra vigilant to her comfort and well being.

I’ve got a ton of pics to post over the next few days, I’m sure you’ll enjoy seeing them – lots of nature stuff going on – it’s spring.

In closing, let me again say thanks to each of you for your care for Pan and for us. We know how special a creature Pan is to everyone who knows her… she’s been a part of our lives for a very long time now – kitten to mature Queen of The House – but we’re nearing the end of our time with her… so let’s enjoy her while we can – visitors always welcome! 🙂

’til next time.

500th post

Who knew a salesguy could have so much to say about so little, eh? Go figure!

Thinking back to when I began the blog, my main purpose was to communicate cat/goodies things. But, over time, it seems TBC has turned out to be a low key way for a number of us to stay in touch and exchange life events and stories, hasn’t it? Nothing of real interest to others, for sure, but among our group of friends and family, it’s a connective tissue to things going on in our lives.

And somewhere along the way, I realized the content will provide a perfect means for Olivia to learn later on in her life what her grandparents were like as people – not just GrandmaCat and GrandpaCat. At some point pretty soon, I’ll export the blog to a word document, print it and stuff it in a binder for her to read if / when she’s ever interested. If I can find an easy online tool to stuff the content in to a file that an online book printer / binder can use to create a simple hardbound book, I’ll do that, too.

Thx to each of you who visit, then drop me an update note, letting us know how you’re doing and sharing your lives with us.

I’m going to do some video editing over the next few days and hope to post some video of Dee by week-end.

As always, thanks for visiting and until next time, be well.

Honey harvest (w/Olivia)

Liv’s up for a long weekend so we attacked the 2nd brood frames from Ray, the under-producing hive and here’s where we are as of this moment. (Btw, Ray Davies of The Kinks has said many times that The Kinks didn’t live up to their potential – maybe I should have chosen another frontman’s name for the hive.) Remember to click the pic to see greater detail.

Liv and I both thought the visual on the honey oozing out of the strainer was pretty cool. Even though it was ~90F @ the time, the honey still wept through very slowly.

Ah, the Pot o’ Honey….

Liv’ and I are in complete agreement that keeping bees is like having your own candy factory 🙂

(After harvesting, Liv’ and I picked up some lunch goodies, we ate lunch and I headed off for a nap. Upon waking, I discovered Liv and Joanne had snuck off to see the new Harry Potter… everybody’s a winner, eh? 🙂

Happy Birthday, Gorgeous! (New Photo’s added)

It occurred to me the other day that, although I couldn’t remember the exact date, I knew that I’d missed Pan’s 13th Bday! 🙁 So I rummaged through the filing cabinet and found the records from when she came to live with us. Turns out she was born on June 15th, 1996.

Following are some random pics from over the years that you might enjoy seeing of our Dear Queen, Pandora Carroll. (remember to click the pic to see the details)

Here she is, probably about 3 1/2 months old (she came to live with us when she was ~3 months old), up against the sliding screen door @ the Springfield house. Seems to me that’s the same day she met Daphne, our Cocker… and it was quite an experience for both of them 🙂

Because she had spent most of her life to that point living in the nursery bedroom at her breeder’s – socializing with her family – she wasn’t used to being in open spaces so had been acclimating in Scott’s room for a day or two when she came home with us. After a few days she wanted to see what was outside Scott’s room and so began making a few timid excursions down the hall… until she found her way to the living room.

Pretty self-explanatory pics, eh? Good looking kitten, laying on the carpet and playing with new toy-things.

Here are a couple of pics of me and Pan when she was a kitten… likely in late ’96. (Strangely, we don’t seem to have / can’t find other pics of her as a kitten / with others 🙁 Notice she had no gray hair back then 😉

Here she is, sitting in / with my arms circled around her, which is often she is – tucked in my arms… and it’s her default, “GrandpaCat’s protecting me” position when we visit Dr. Ueno. She’s quite a luv, Pan…

Adult photos follow:

In the bag, yet again… one of the easiest ways to amuse Pan is to give her something to crawl in to.

As she has been for so many years, now, in her basket in my office. When she’s in the office, she’s either in the basket, on “her” chair or chillin’ on the rug behind my chair. Never knew a cat could be such company.

Last year, I believe: All ready for Thanksgiving, eh?

Playing a vicious game of Can You See Me Now? in the sleeper sofa.

Probably ~2004, hanging out under the apple tree in her chair. When we’re in the back yard working, gardening, etc, in a perfect world (her’s and ours), this is where you’ll find Pandora.

This was taken when she was working with weights and before Pilates 🙂

Ah, Christmas… probably about 2000… waiting for room service, I suppose.

Looks like we’re going snowboarding, doesn’t it?

This is a great picture of Pan and her dad, Scott, back in ’99ish. Note their shared sleeping style 🙂

Tough cat – gonna be heck to pay and this basket’s doing the paying!

I have many “favorite” photos of Pandora… and this may be at the very top of the list. I remember that day very well. It was Fall and Pan was under the apple tree, teasing Penny (Dee was in her chair, watching the whole thing.) and we were all having a great time just hanging out.

And here are the TwoBigCats in the House on Walnut Drive, “back in the day”.

Over time I’ll post more Pan photos, but in the meantime, enjoy these.

Well that’s just dovely…

Remember back a month or so ago when the doves outside our bedroom fledged? Not long after, the parents returned, laid a few more eggs and have been posted to the nest non-stop for the past couple of weeks.

Today during a changing of the guard I was able to see the tiniest little dove head / beak reaching up to the parent’s to be fed.

If all goes well, we’ll have flight school again in a few weeks.

(We’ll never compete with Al’s boomer nest of 4 set of young this year, but we’re doing A-OK 🙂

Bee doody…

Well, it’s been an interesting time around the ranch the past few weeks.

The pole beans, various yellow squashes, leafy green lettuce and tomatoes have gone crazy. (All the plums from 1 tree are now gone, the other’s about to start dropping so if you’re in the hood, stop by for plums. Please.) Turns out these things are so simple to grow that even I can do it (of course, I’m constantly supervised by the Missus, but that’s another thread.).

Here’s an update on the bees:

Last week I removed the top brood super from Ray and moved the bees to the bottom brood super, keeping the honey frames for harvesting. Today I went in and inspected the lower brood for a Queen and brood of any type – sadly, none to be found at all (though I did witness a baby bee emerging from her cell.) Since I did not locate a Queen or brood of any types and because I’d harvested and jarred the honey (a couple of gallons, it appears) from the top super, I exchanged the lower brood / honey frames and replaced them with the upper super / harvested honey frames… don’t worry, there is still a lot of honey and nectar for the remaining bees). I would like to install the remaining colony members of this hive on top of Freddie (the very strong hive), but because the honey super on Freddie is doing so well (read about it in the next paragraph), I’ll keep them in their current brood super / hive for another week.

About 10 days ago I corrected my improperly installed (don’t ask!) honey super on Freddie and let the girls have some time to settle in. Yesterday I checked in on them and they’re going great guns (!) with 9 of the frames in the honey super completely built out in fresh comb (which is very, very pretty)… and the comb is filled to ~2/3 capacity with uncapped nectar (remember: nectar is >21% moisture content and shouldn’t be combined with honey for storage because the moisture will cause it to ferment). So, I’ll give them another week or so to fill and cap that super (at which time it will be between 21-17% moisture, and therefore, honey) and based on what’s going on in Ray’s hive, I’ll either steal, er, harvest Freddie’s honey super or just place Ray’s remaining super on top of Freddie’s honey super and let nature take it’s course. During this wait time, the bees in Ray will eat and clean up the frames / cells and, I suppose, continue bringing in pollen for stores. (They’re worker bees, it’s what they do.)

Tomorrow I’ll harvest the remaining honey from Ray’s lower brood supes, filter and jar that, too. Then I’ll take those cleaned frames and install them in a “bait hive” that I’ll also dab a bit of lemongrass oil on (the inside) to attract any swarming bees looking for new digs. To sweeten the pot a bit, the cleaned frames will also include brood cells so the bees will have a nice & comfy, proven home to hang their tiny little hats.

If you ever hear anyone say that beekeeping’s easy, ask them to define “easy” for you… It’s not like digging ditches, but there are times when a long-handled shovel or the 9:21 train looks like a pretty good option.

As always, thanks for stopping by, be well and don’t forget to write when you get work.

btw, from the initial harvest I also recovered a 9″ x 1/2″ round chunk of beeswax that I’ll break up, melt down and form in to a more usable block of wax (via quart milk carton).

Photographer Janie: What a great pic!

I received this pic from our friend, Janie, up in Oregon. She and hubby Kevin had been out kayaking on a local lake, noodling around and taking some pics. Lots of the typical “here we are paddling from our left side, here on our right. Oh, and this one is the back of Kevin’s head” kinda stuff – you know, record keeping (the kind of shooting I do 🙁

And then she took this one:

Although it reminds me a bit too much of my drinking days, it’s actually weeds in shallow water.

Very nice, Janie – keep up the very cool work! (And, of course, taking pictures of the back of Kevin’s head 😉