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double christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

i live in two worlds.

this means not only do i get to celebrate christmas on the 25th, with santa and all that, the american way, but also here in typical german traditions. a spark friend asked me about this, said i should share it with others, so i'm dedicating this blog to her.

of course, both countries are christian, so many traditions are similar. family get-togethers seem most important around here; going to mass with especially beautiful music, giving gifts and getting all sentimental.

some things are different, of course, and what i enjoy quite a lot is that there is a defined 'advent' time, not just a simple 'run-up' to christmas. just about every home, church or public place has an advent wreath with four candles, one is lit on each of the four sundays before the 25th, until all four candles are lit. there are christmas markets in bigger towns, where you can get hand-made gifts, knitwear, candles, wooden toys, candies, food and drink (especially 'gluehwine', hot spiced wine)-- you name it. the nuernberg christkindlsmarkt is the most famous, and today you hear every language there but german!

they call it the christ-child's market, because that's who brings the gifts here. (i guess santa couldn't fit down our chimneys.) he comes on the evening of the 24th, and the children have to wait outside the room in suspense until the tree is decorated, the gifts have been left under the tree and a little bell rings, signalling that the room is now ready for the children to enter.

another little touch for the kids is the 'adventskalender', a calendar with 24 windows to open each day of december; they used to have only pictures inside but of course now it has to be a piece of chocolate, a small toy or some other thing. now there are even 'adult' calendars with alcohol in them, calendars for pets with pet snacks, or who knows what someone will think of. one year i had a calendar with a tea bag for each day.

it's really a pity that in both countries everything has gone totally commercial and the old spirit of good cheer seems to have gone lost. everyone has their own idea of what a perfect christmas should be, and these ideas are often not compatible; it doesn't occur to many that they are making 'marionettes' of others, expecting them selfishly to fulfill their own dreams, completely disregarding the dreams and needs of others. so christmas is usually a time for strife in the family, loneliness and depression for many, when too many tragedies unfortunately occur.

so look around, never mind the superficialities of christmas, don't be selfish. what are those around you feeling? isn't this what it's really about? communication, empathy, supporting each other. a time for warmth, a time for the true meaning of love.

c'mon everyone, celebrate double christmas with me. and with yours!
the outside one-- and the inside one!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1CRAZYDOG 12/18/2014 10:22AM

    I call the commercialization CRASSMASS! But I do love the Advent Calendar (always have had one) and will spend Christmas w/my family.

HUGS and how is that wonderful Georgie doing???

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KESTRYLL 12/18/2014 9:17AM

    Than k you for sharing, I did not know this! Merry Christmas

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 12/18/2014 8:51AM

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

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a life for the birds! or should i say cats!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

'fuer die katz', for the cats, is an idiom in german, meaning 'for the birds'!

for two years-- or is it three!?-- i've been worried about my cat georgie, practically nothing else on my mind. he's doing just fine.

and now? my cat sunshine comes down with bone cancer. i have to decide tomorrow: amputate his front leg all the way to the shoulder, complicated and expensive, with no guarantee he won't suffer mestasasizing, or simply put him down now. these past few days on pain medication he was doing relatively ok, even with one ruined leg he gets around where he wants, mobility is not an issue for him.

he just does not look like he's done with life.

anyone with experience with bone cancer in their pets? does operating cause the cancer to spread?

torn and twisted, sparkchantal

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANET552 10/20/2014 6:10AM

    I do not have experience with cancer in pets so I can offer no advice. You will make the decision with love in your heart and, whichever way you go, I wish you peace in knowing it was the right one. emoticon to you.

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PANDABEAR42 10/19/2014 11:48PM

    i left a lengthy note on the other site about my Bytuminous. he had cancer in his front shoulder, he was a fat cat and had diabetes...

good luck on your decision for Sunshine and prayers for you both.

please let me know how things go.

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LOUIE-LILY 10/19/2014 5:13PM

I'm so very sorry to here this news! I'm sure you've already thought of anything I have to offer, but I'll say it anyway....the age of Sunshine and so perhaps the ability to rebound. Most animals, if they have the physical ability will be able to go on to live good lives after an amputation, but there are no guarantees.

How much do you trust your vet? When my Smokey had terrible cancer in his back leg he was 16 and already thin and frail, and I didn't believe he would survive the surgery, and if he did....I was working full time and couldn't nurse him back to health. I trusted my vet implicitly and he thought that was the best decision for my boy. I still had a lot of nursing at home as he got sicker, and not everyone would have been up for it. I won't get very graphic, but there wasa nasty tumor that I was cleaning and dressing 2-3x/day.

The financial burden is also a very real consideration. You have to be realistic and decide if you can really afford the cost. No one would judge you...

As long as your Sunshine is not suffering, and the meds seem to help, it may be a very good option. Only you and your vet know. Keep us posted and I will pray for little Sunshine.


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1CRAZYDOG 10/19/2014 4:59PM

    So sorry to hear about Sunshine. Wish I knew what to tell you. ((((HUGS))))

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what a cat!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

any georgie-friends still there? (georgie is on my profile pic & wallpaper)

you can't believe this, he's still around. actually, i'm the one who can't believe it.

at the beginning of last year he had some sort of attacks, couldn't jump up onto his favorite closet, and was losing control of his legs in general. vets thought it was a tumor, and he wouldn't survive the year. then he had some sort of infection in his tail (see last blog), and has been getting antibiotics ever since.

and now-- he's back. terror of the town, beating up big belgian shepherd dogs, dragging me up at four to six a.m. to let him out (he spends the nights in, especially after killing a rat that almost killed him a few years back. a case of dr. jekyll and mr. hyde, my georgie.)

ok he's an old man now (about 17) and not what he used to be; his head is still tilted, sometimes it seems his front legs are now also giving in; he had another 'attack' last week, slept almost 24 hrs after that, but he's up and at 'em again, spends the full day out on business, regardless of the cold and rain. i call him my polar frog.

to me, this is a lesson in thankfulness. thankful to have georgie an extended length of time, thankful for all sparkfriends' prayers and support. i swear it's working.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANDOK1260 9/17/2014 8:07PM

    i am still praying for you and gerogie

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EABL81 8/29/2014 11:11PM

    So glad that Georgie is still up to old tricks! I had a cat like Georgie once, years ago. Swear he had 9 X 2 lives. The vet kept making somber statements, like, "well, don't expect that he'll be here 3 months from now," and "he probably won't make it through the summer," and then, "it not's not likely he'll see Christmas." Good old Bo lived another 3 years and finally followed the great catnip trail at 18.5! I swear, his visits saw the vet's kids through college.

Georgie will pick his own time, and we all know how cats unreliable cats are about punctuality.


Comment edited on: 8/29/2014 11:12:26 PM

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LOUIE-LILY 8/26/2014 8:06AM

    So glad Georgie is feisty as ever!

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1CRAZYDOG 8/26/2014 7:39AM

    Awwww, so glad to hear Georgie boy is hanging in there! For 17 it sounds like he's got lots of spunk!!!

How are YOU doing???

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PATSYB7 8/26/2014 5:48AM

    Cats are amazing. Glad Georgie is feeling better.

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GHOSTFLAMES 8/26/2014 5:03AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Good for Georgie. Never underestimate a feisty puss. My Pussass has megacolon and has to suffer laxatives 4 times a day and enema tubes twice a week. He takes it on the chin so to speak and is doing pretty well.

Let's hope Georgie keep on keeping on. emoticon

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georgie looks like a poodle

Monday, April 14, 2014

well i'll be .....

maybe something bit georgie in the tail; whatever it was, he was losing hair on it and it seemed quite painful for him.

off to the vet's. had to leave him there, get the pus operated out, and now i have to trick him into taking antibiotics-- ten times!

lo and behold, he's really picking up. does 105 toward the door when he thinks he's going out. so maybe his troubles could be an infection rather than a tumor, and these antibiotics are helping him there, too?

i'm hoping against hope!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANDOK1260 5/16/2014 11:58AM

    i am praying for you two

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MCJULIEO 4/14/2014 11:23PM

    Hang in there, the BOTH of you!

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JANET552 4/14/2014 5:30PM

    I hope he gets well soon!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/14/2014 2:18PM

    OMG! Poor Georgie! Hope that the antibiotics are the fix for the problem!

Hope YOU'RE doing well.


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dear samsonboy...

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

you need to get a sparkpage up and running! how else can i get in touch with you??

ok this georgie story-- the symptoms you described are about the closest i have found to what i'm going through with georgie.

it started about two years ago (actually much longer, but only hints) when he started falling off the closets he slept on top of. he tipped over to the left, plus he's losing control of his hind quarters. today i saw it clearly, and there seems to be a bit of atrophy there, too.

sometimes he's a bit disoriented; vision and hearing are most likely impaired, but he's neither blind nor deaf. and he can compensate for his losses, i still let him out, about an hour in the cold, but as it's warming up here now, he's out several hours at a time, especially evenings. at night he's in the house.

his appetite is relatively good, considering he's now at least 16, probably 17.

and at night he presses himself against me, sometimes his vital signs are rather laborious, sometimes they seem to be gone (and i freak, of course). some days he sleeps in and then looks terrible, doesn't eat much or at all, then after a day of that, he's up and about as fresh as a daisy.

check out 'another georgie story'-- a belgian shepherd moved in the house a few weeks back, and georgie attacked him. he's still got a lot of spunk in him, that's for sure.

if the disorder is neurological (my vet says most likely a brain tumor, or just a tumor somewhere in the vestibular system, probably), there's nothing to be done. as you said, diagnostic methods are so invasive, they might cause more harm than good, and then there would be no treatment anyway. sometimes less is more.

so i'm just living with it, trying to give him the best 'last days' as i can, and hope there are plenty of them. i was hoping he'd reach at least 20, but now i'm hoping he'll have another pleasant summer. and that's exactly where i was last year at this time, when i realized the vet was getting ready to put him down!

please keep me posted on samson.
btw the symptoms georgie is showing now have always been there, i noticed them ever since i had him, back in 1999. so maybe the two of them can live with it and enjoy life anyway!

all the best, georgiegirl

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANDOK1260 3/16/2014 8:19PM

    happy gerogie having some good days still

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MCJULIEO 3/5/2014 9:40PM

    It' always hard to lose a loved one, so enjoy the Now that you have...

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NHES220 3/5/2014 8:06PM

    So glad to hear Georgie has exceeded expectations and is still having some good days. Our cat Lily received a bad diagnosis and we opted not to treat her except with oral steroids. They gave her about 2 months, but she shows no signs of weakening and she is not in any pain. So we'll keep her going as long as she is comfortable. She has a high grade lymphoma in the abdominal area. But she seems to be her old self - begging for food and treats and just hanging around.

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