They’re essential. I broke my fourth toe the other day on the wooden post that sits up our sofa. I think I broke a few bones but do not want even an air cast because that would be useless. Ice packs and a bit of OTC pain reliever has brought it from a sharp pain to a dull ache but stepping on it is problematic.

Don’t worry, Zoe’s going out as my husband is home for a week or two and she loves going out with him.

Not much cooking going on but before the swelling I did make some nice St. Louis style ribs with a rub and sauce. I then placed the remaining three ribs in the oven yesterday in foil, in a dish for about 40 minutes while cooking par-boiled potatoes and making a salad. That’s the least I could do. Today we had frozen pizza for dinner. It was good.

I wanted to talk about doing things and being unable to do things as I get older. This is definitely one of my five-year “klutz weeks” where I injure myself in mysterious ways. It was certainly not my intention to break my little toe.

Years ago I was a long-term volunteer at an animal shelter every Friday. I awakened one morning and could not move my neck. After seeing the doc I found that I had a congenital malfunction since pre-birth so was given drugs and a neck collar and told not to go volunteer with the dogs and cats.

When I got home I called the volunteer coordinator and told her I would not be able to resume my regular duties for a few weeks but if it’s OK I’d like to sit in her kennel with Chani because she needs me. Chani had been abused by an officer for a year then left in the shelter for another. We started there the same day and became close. We just sat with my neck brace, and talked. Soon a fellow volunteer turned staffer told me they had a meeting about her and as one of the first no-kill shelters put off a decision to euthanize for a week.

Apparently she presented a danger to men (especially in uniform) and children, who used to throw rocks at her over the fence. That was in her file. The next day I adopted her and took her home for ten years where she learned to love me, me jumping over her instead of kicking her, every child and even men in uniform. The neighborhood donated a tree to the city in her memory and I can see it on It is doing well and has a great view!

Change is the theme. My first kitten was flown across country by my brother at my sister’s request. Burmese mix, a talker. He was five weeks old and didn’t know how to drink water. I gave him milk and it was so hot (no A/C) that it curdled while I was at work. He watched PBS and the nature channel at night which were the only channels available while we tried to wire the city.

Nathan became a really cool cat. He was named for Kevin Kline’s character in Sophie’s Choice and the hot dog empire. He learned to walk on a leash and love my dog and never let me get the last word until the very last moment.

I like to learn something new every day, also to give back. Passion, compassion, Dee


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