Mingus and the mostly mundane

Mingus, our oldest cat whom Xena treats as her kitten because he is also by far the smallest cat, has ongoing eye issues.  We generally have his eye medicine on hand.  His eyes don’t weep on the time, but when they get irritated, we put in eyedrops until they quiet down.  But recently the vet keeps telling me that his eye medicine is backordered.  We ran out of it, he was suffering, so I gave an ultimatum after a month of this; either the vet should prescribe a different medicine or give me the prescription and I’d find it on the internet.  The next day, I received a call that the medicine was at the Outer Cape Health Services pharmacy in Wellfleet where I get my own prescriptions.  But when we got there, they couldn’t find the drops under my name of Woody’s.  Finally we tried Mingus and yes, they had sent in a prescription under his name.  So now Mingus, my twelve year old pussy, has an account of his own at the pharmacy.  I’m sure he’d the only cat or dog in Wellfleet with his own account.  Now if he could only pay for his medicine

This week we took off the screens and screen doors and stowed them for the winter. We always leave a few in most rooms so that if we burn something or something smells or it gets too warm, we can open a window safely without any danger of the cats going out.

I’ve now dug the last dahlias, calla lilies and now I’m drying them before putting them in the storeroom till late spring.  I had followed instructions for saving my incredible elephant ears, but the storeroom was too warm and it came back to life and starting growing.  I had to pot it and see what happened. I don’t know if it needs to go dormant like some bulbs and corms, or if I can keep it happy, if it can survive inside.

I’m reading a book manuscript for a poet who this week had to flee with her partner and goats, only the clothes on their backs.  She lost her computer, everything.  Their house was destroyed by the Camp Fire that has killed some people already and destroyed innumerable houses and other buildings, including the town of Paradise where I gave a reading many years ago.  I remember they had to have septic systems above ground because under the houses were just solid rock. Fire is terrifying  I worry about in dry summers with so many tourists on the Cape who toss cigarettes out and barbeque without taking into consideration sparks and embers.

We did a  good amount of outdoor work this week.  Woody picked up all the hoses.  I dig the last of the tender summer bulbs and brought them in to store.  I did some last minute potting.  Kathleen finished stained the new windows.  The new stairway to the turnaround in front of the house makes it much easier to go down to the car or truck and much easier to load and unload.  The ease of getting up and down will help in the winter, especially, when the brick bathway and steps I created in 1971 collects ice on its unevenness.  Over the past decades, the bricks have tilted, sunk into the sandy ground.

I’m reading another novel by Peter Carey, the Australian writer.  I liked his history of the Kelly gang more than I like the one I’m reading now, OSCAR AND LUCINDA. But it’s interesting. Tonight, Ralph and Gigi and Dale and Stephen are coming over.  I’m making a braised lamb dish with potatoes, oranges and tomatoes.  Also guacamole.  Dale’s bringing dessert.  He makes great desserts.  Also bakery bread and salad from our garden.

I wrote a couple of poems this week.  Otherwise, beginning to deal with the mss. coming in for my annual juried intensive poetry workshop next June.  I don’t know how long I’ll keep doing the workshop, so if you’re interested, apply now.  All the instructions are on my website where you’re reading this.

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