Finally, a longish thunderstorm yesterday. We could use about 10 of those. My first summer in Florida -- drought, wildfires blowing smoke all around the state, and temps daily in the 90s.
It's hard to read the newspaper here. The conservative state and local governments are eroding away in the worst possible manner any assistance to the environment, education, health care, small business. Policies and laws get passed here with no public scrutiny, and often with outright corruption.
The good news is that I have great friends here, and friendliness is everywhere. For instance, I locked myself out of my house yesterday, and my friend T., with IBS and COPD, dragged out his ladder, put it in his truck, and was able to climb through a porch window to open the locked door from the inside. When he leaves he gives me a big hug and kiss and tells me he loves me. (On the other hand, his partner told me to call a locksmith! Ha!)
But in a store recently I was trying to reach something on a high top shelf and couldn't get it. I found a ladder in the store and was about to begin climbing it when a customer came over and said, "You have that look on your face like you need some help." So I asked him to hold the ladder for me. A few minutes later, my hands were full with not only the flower pot from the top shelf, but ten rolls of landscaping fabric. I was struggling. (Didn't think to get a cart.) This same customer went to get a stockboy and asked him to "Help this woman, then when you are finished you can come help me in furniture." A stranger had my back.
Forgot to take my meds when I left the house yesterday morning for a doctor's appt. and when she sat down to talk with me about recent lab results, I just burst into tears. It wasn't anything terribly specific, although some of it had to do with animals and abuse, and she told me the story of how she ended up with 7 cats and two dogs. That made me laugh. She put me on a diuretic for slightly high blood pressure. Most of my lab tests that came back "high" or "low" were borderline and not of too much concern, but the extra weight I am carrying is an issue.
I take the kittens today back to Petco to go on display for adoption. I will only take Spot and Solomon as I am now considering keeping Calhoun. I recently learned that Camilla may have the beginnings of kidney failure. She is 16 and won't be with me that much longer. I've gotten way too attached to the foster kittenz and if Camilla can tolerate Calhoun, I will keep him. It makes me sad to think of them all leaving me, since I've had them since they were 10 days old. I've lived with three cats before, so it's not a new arrangement. Camilla is so sensitive, however, that I don't want her to feel displaced and hence act out her litter box issues.
Last week when I took the kittenz to Petco, there was a volunteer from another pet rescue organization who was abusing women who expressed concern over the dogs they had up for adoption being outside in the heat and the smoke. This guy lit into several of us with the most vile insults and language, and the other two volunteers did nothing to stop him. Two of us complained to the store manager, another called the sheriff, and I called the Humane Society, which sponsored the guys, with my complaint. I was assured they would not return to Petco again, and that particular volunteer would be kept at the facility and not allowed to interact with the public again. It was very upsetting for all of us.
One day this week, T. and I drove out to Green Cove Springs, a new town for me. It is an old Florida town that has fallen on hard times, but right in the center of the place is an open artesian spring, that flows into a swimming pool, then out to the St. John's River. I'd love to go swimming in that pool one of these days. We then tried to go to two plant nursesries, but as soon as we got out of the car the smoke was so bad, we both knew we couldn't breathe, so just drove around lusting after things we wanted in the relative respiratory safety of the air conditioned truck cabin. On our way back to Saint Augustine, we drove down an overgrown dirt road that T. said used to be the site of an African American college here. We detected some stone wall, and concrete slab foundation, but nothing else to indicate anything was there. All in all, it was a fun adventure.
Thursday afternoon I took a two hour class on Florida NE native plants at the local University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences extension center out on Route 16. I learned a great deal about invasive plants, and how to grow a native plant garden instead of trying to get "exotics" to grow. The drought is so bad, that watering anything non native is not considered sustainable.
Camilla was missing in action for two days, and came back with a puncture wound in her tail. It is healing well, after having some necrotic tissue removed and being given a shot of an antibiotic that is supposed to work for two weeks. Misty got caught out in the thunderstorm yesterday and probably hid under the house, but came back wet anyway. Bindi is well.