Hobkin woke me up this AM demanding his breakfast. After snarfing up his bell peppers, cucumbers, and broccoli, and gnawing on his carrot slices but not eating them (finicky skunk, sigh), he went rampaging around the house, digging up the carpet in the guest bathroom (don’t get me started on the foolishness of having a carpeted bathroom), pulling down anything he could reach on the coffee table, and attacking my feet when he thought I wasn’t watching him. After that exhausting morning’s activity, he’s all tuckered out. Now he’s sound asleep making the occasional snuffling noise in my lap. So now I’m pinned at the computer by a skunk. Typical.

Haven’t done any writing all weekend. Part of it is that I’m trying to rest my arms. I think my TOS is beginning to get better. Trying not to overdo it so that it continues to do so. The rest of it is that I cranked out several stories in quick succession and they’re all in the re-write/critique process right now. For some reason, my muse stays pretty quiescent when I’m in re-write mode. Probably just as well. Although I feel like I’m slacking when I’m not cranking out new word countage.

Skunk adventures

Took Hobkin to the vet today for his annual shots and check-up. Debbie, Hobkin’s godmother, was there to assist and had her new baby skunk with her. Debbie’s baby–a mahogany with faint chip markings–was absolutely adorable. I’d forgotten how tiny baby skunklings are!

Hobkin grumbled and growled throughout the visit, and huffed at the new baby. He also clung to me like a fuzzy magnet. Poor little guy. Vets are pretty scary after all. But he took the needle like a trooper. ‘Course it didn’t hurt that I was bribing him with slices of bell pepper while he was getting stuck.

The vet scale says he weighs 7.5 lbs. Someone brought a full grown Maltese in while we were waiting who weighed 5 lbs. Hobkin weighs more than some dogs! Heh.

Picked up some C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Rinse. Both Debbie and the vet thought Hobkin’s teeth looked okay, but agreed that prevention was much better than fixing a problem later. As we have found, brushing Hobkin’s teeth is like trying to polish the blades of a kitchen disposal with a Q-tip–scary and awkward as all hell. We wanted an alternative to try. The rinse is sort of sprayed along the gum line and fights plaque and bacteria. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a yummy taste. It’s supposedly not vile either, but it’s not delicious candy, which means Hobkin will undoubtedly dislike it. Sigh. Wish we could explain to the little fuzzwit that dental care is a good thing.

Then we took him to the fireplace store to buy some wood stove pellets to replace the recycled newspaper litter we’ve been using. A 28 lb bag of wood pellets: $4. A 30 lb bag of Yesterday’s News approx.: $20. Pretty impressive savings!

The fireplace store people thought he was cute, although at first the lady behind the counter thought he was a dog.

Now he’s totally exhausted and napping under his hutch. It’s been a big day for the little guy. I’m totally exhausted too and thinking about having a nap. That hutch is looking pretty inviting.

Skunk scarves and writing stats

Groggy and red-eyed today. I blame Hobkin. He kept hopping up to snuggle with me last night, and then a short while later deciding that he wanted down, using whatever of my body parts was convenient as a springboard (and thereby waking me up). And the spot he eventually picked to settle down on was my throat. Seven pounds of skunk draped like a scarf over my neck. I dreamed I was being slowly strangled. And now I’ve got a crick in my neck. I must somehow persuade him tonight that my neck is not his own personal cushion. Silly beastie.

Writing stats:
3000 more words on the new fantasy piece. I stuck a fork into it, but I think it might need more oven time before I can call it properly done. I put “The End” at the bottom of it in the place that I think the ending should be, so technically everything here on in is “editing” or “re-writing.” Hurray?

This one’s weird. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say with it, or if I’m saying something at all. But it’s not an adventure romp either. It’s, well, weird. Possibly existential, but only “existential lite.”

Or maybe it’s not as weird as I think it is and I just haven’t had enough sleep.


Did anyone else feel the earthquake that hit the Southeast this morning?

It was just shy of 5am (EST) and Hobkin was asleep in my arms. He woke up and scrabbled down, which woke me and Matthew up. I followed Hobkin as he scampered to his area in the kitchen, and then he just stood there, with his little eyes all wide and his tail straight up. Small things often spook the fuzzwit, so I didn’t think much of it, until the rattling started.

It was a very small quake as far as they go. Matthew and I exchanged “did you feel that?” and “was that a quake?” dialogue, and made some tentative moves to retrieve Hobkin and find a doorway to stand in. But it ended before we got ourselves much beyond “maybe it’s a big truck passing by?” Huh. I didn’t even realize we were close to a fault. Goodness.

Apparently skunks, like other animals, can sense earthquakes before they happen. Neat. And weird.

Happy Birthday Hobkin!

It’s Hobkin’s birthday today. The little fuzzabump is one year old.

Yesterday, Matthew made berry pie for dessert, and I gave Hobkin a little of the filling (which, unsurprisingly, he’s quite fond of) and he fell asleep in my lap with his mouth all smeared with berry. It was very cute. And sticky.

Long holiday update and happy birthday to me!

Yikes. Just tried getting caught up on my LJ friends list. Urg. Well, I tried.

Everyone’s asleep, even Hobkin.

But I’m wide awake.

Got back from seeing Matthew’s folks yesterday. The drive was a bit grueling toward the end so I spent most of my birthday crashed out on the couch, recovering.

We sent Hobkin to his godmother’s for “Christmas camp” (she has 10 skunks herself–many of them rescues) during the time we were out of town and I was quite anxious about him. But, as it turns out, he had a blast playing with her crew and, though quite happy to see us, from all reports had a great time. It’s such a relief having someone we trust so completely to watch over him for us.

Then we drove to Illinois. Straight. Twelve and a half hours in a car. We made excellent time, though. Showed up on their doorstep (forgetting about the time zone change) at 6:45 AM. Heh. Ooops. They came shuffling to the door in their housecoats, looking rather bleary. It was very cute. Did I mention that I really love Matthew’s parents? We shooed them back to bed and did the Christmas elf thing, unpacking all the presents and setting them under the tree.

Matthew kept his nocturnal hours for the most part, so I got to spend a lot of time chatting with his parents in the morning as we waited for him to wake up. The recent economy has not been good for them. They had a lot of investments that have lost a lot of money. I’m worried about them, especially since Matthew’s father isn’t in very good health.

They talked a lot about moving, which they need to do. The house is too big for them to maintain and they have too much stuff. And therein lies the problem. They really need to get rid of stuff, and they’re having a very hard time doing so. So much of it has sentimental value, plus Matthew inherited his packratitis from them.

I’m also really sad at the idea of Christmas not at that house. I learned to love Christmas in the house Matthew grew up in. It’s going to be hard when that changes. But Christmas is where the loved ones are. No matter where Matthew’s parents end up, it’ll be joyful.

Because of the funky date situation (Christmas on Wednesday, agh), and that we were on the road during Christmas proper, we opted to prolong Christmas (we’re still in “Christmas” actually). We opened our presents on Saturday. I loved everything I got!

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Insomnia leads to bookkeeping and skunk pix on Christmas Eve

So, I planned to sleep in today. Did I? No, of course not.

The rain has been pouring out of the sky like someone with a huge bucket is up there bailing like a maniac. It’s been non-stop for hours. Woke me up, woke Hobkin up. So Hobkin sprawled on my lap while I did a little end-of-year bookkeeping.

In 2002, I spent $190 on postage, marketing my writing. That’s an almost 100% increase from my postage expenses last year. Yikes. Okay, I nearly doubled the number of manuscripts I have in circulation, but also, I’ve been trying to submit more to markets that accept electronic submissions in order to save on postage. Guess that last USPS rate hike in July really hurt. Wow.

Well, it’s all tax deductible.

To cheer myself up, I followed Hobkin around with the digicam.

First off, I bribed him with an “Apple Pupover.”

There’s a business that had a little booth at the mall for the holiday season this year called “Brown Dog Barkery”. We saw them, were curious–being always on the lookout for new treats for Hobkin–and glanced over the ingredients of these folks’ dog biscuits.

Apple Pupover ingredients: whole wheat and white flours, rolled oats, apple, vegetable oil and whole eggs.

Wow. Very wholesome. So we bought a 1/2 lb bag. And Hobkin loves them!

It put him in a better mood for the camera.

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I am going straight to Hell.

Yep, I’m going straight to Hell. Not passing go, not collecting $200.

Yesterday, Matthew and I swung by the mall after taking me to a follow-up doctor’s appointment. I was feeling marginally better and I’m annoyed that I haven’t been able to do any Christmas shopping ’cause of being sick. We stopped at a “Build-A-Bear” store–y’know the kind where you chose a stuffed animal, stuff him, and then dress him. I’m a sucker for plush and just wanted to see what they had. Well we saw a Santa Claus outfit and . . . the idea of dressing Hobkin up in it occurred. Matthew says I came up with it, but I distinctly remember him egging me on.


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Hobkin is a pillow commando

Hobkin has taken to crawling up on my pillow during the wee hours of the night while I’m asleep, and then nudging me off of it. He’s now big enough to commandeer my whole pillow even when curled up. In return, once I’ve woken and realized what’s happened, I’ve started using him as a pillow. He’s soft and fuzzy and warm. And he’s got a pillow butt. The only drawback to this is if he wakes up before I do. Then, he grabs my face with his paws and gives my nose a “good morning, I love you” nip.