Ticks, Ticks, and more Ticks

It’s well into tick season and for many, getting outdoors means dealing with ticks.  Not only are they annoying little creepy-crawlies, they are also vectors for many different diseases.

According to the CDC, the following disease/tick species associations are notweworthy in the United States (they are not necessarily exclusive to these particular tick species and there are likely to be more diseases, too):

Garmin Oregon 450: First Hike/Geocaching

5 September 2010 SFAEFI got the new GPS out for a hike and some geocaching on this day. I started out by loading the USGS topos for the Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest (SFAEF) onto the Oregon from Topofusion. I chose the topos because many (but not all) of the trails on the SFAEF appear on the topos. It also shows the boundary of the forest, locations of some pipeline right-of-ways, and locations of some wetland areas. Important information for what I wanted to do.

Kitten Update

Okay, so I’ve got a kitten update for those of you who are interested in such things. We’ve had the kitten awhile now, and just got her spayed along with a front declaw, since she was starting to scratch everywhere EXCEPT the scratching post. She’s been adjusting quite well, though she actually will run away if she doesn’t want to be picked up and held at the moment. I’m working on teaching her her name, Spooky, by giving her treats as I say it. Not sure if she’s interested much, but I’ll keep at it.

Can it get better?

I found out at my appointment with my oncologist last week that I don’t need anymore chemo!  I got a greatly reduced dose (2 days’ worth) for round #7, and that was it.  No round #8 for me.  I did my 7th round as an outpatient…and I got to experience real chemo side-effects for the first time.  Ugh, now I know what I was “missing”.  I think I know why I missed them, too.  When I got my chemo as an inpatient, I always got loads of fluids when I wasn’t actively receiving chemo.  This time, I got a little, but not nearly as much…and I just couldn’t drink enough to make up the difference.

New Kitty

My wife has been raving about this little kitten that had been housed in her vet clinic for the past few weeks.  It had been found as a very tiny kitten out near the horse barn, and an employee brought it in the clinic.  Kitty has been living in a double kitty kennel the past few weeks just growing up.  My wife dragged me in to show me the little kitten the other day, and it seemed like a very good, well-mannered kitty.  Our current cat is old, cranky, ill, and VERY loud.  I don’t like her.  But this kitten was rather likable.  I told the wife that she’d be allowed to bring the kitty home if certain conditions were met.

First feral cat


First feral cat, originally uploaded by mtbikernate.

I have been having problems with feral cats this year. I first noticed them shortly after I moved into this house about a year ago, but didn’t have any trouble until this spring when I came home from the hospital. One of the ferals had a litter of kittens in the neighbor’s densely wooded lot, and they’d come into my yard to play. The first problem I had was the feral cats raided a wren nest on my porch and at least ate the babies. Not sure if they got the adults or not.

Wow, what a year!

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything, but I have a good reason for that.  Really, I do.

You see, I got cancer.  Yup.  Acute myelogenous leukemia.  Man, that hit me hard and fast, too.

Here’s how it went down: