Summer update!

May 7th, 2012


Well, there’s good news and bad news… it’s probably cancer, likely mast cell cancer, and the good news is that last night I unwrapped it so that she wouldn’t eat the gauze and sock, and she cleaned it out really good, got rid of the white parts, the swelling is way down, and she can walk on her own!  Even get into the van by herself!  I’m SOOOO relieved.  We got some antibiotics, and pain pills, and stinky ointment to smear on it so she doesn’t keep worrying it.  But she can walk!  She’s our hospice doggy, so we’re not doing anything extreme, and presuming it’s cancer because doing a biopsy and knowing for sure wouldn’t really change our treatment of it — palliative care is where it’s at.

From this to the cleaned up version in the next photo:



She’s one happy dog today, her attitude reminds me a lot of Kenya, smiles in the face of perversity:


Update: Tuesday evening it was pretty gross, bleeding and weepy, but today it’s “in the pink” again:


The two “S & S Grrrrrrls” are even getting along better:


Summer’s been a bit unsteady on her feet lately, and today, she couldn’t get up.  We had to get Kenya’s sling and I had her by the harness and Alan brought up the rear.  We got her outside (FIRST thing we do every morning) and nada… so we took her in.  She laid down in jail for a while and then got up and wanted to go out and walked out, limping on her rear driver side, but peed and came back in. She ate, and then went out, mission, errr, emission accomplished.  Then I moved downstairs to work so she wouldn’t try to go up and down the steps.  She’s sort of doing OK getting out the back door, but it’s a struggle for her.  My thought was she’d wrenched it in jail during yesterday’s storm, that when we were out, she’d freaked and got her foot caught in the cage.  Looking at her foot, it’s nearly twice the size of the other.  But that doesn’t seem to be it, because this afternoon she started worrying it.  We gave her some aspirin and while I was off baking bread, she started licking it and where there were some scuffs earlier,  it opened up, licked the skin right off… I looked and eeeeeuw, oh my, it looks like the benign toe sized growth Kenya had, about the same place.  This isn’t sticking up as much as Kenya’s, that looked like someone glued on a mushroom cap, but it looks like a tumor or ??? and it’s so swollen.  It sure looks like it would hurt!  YEOW!  Now she’s snorin’ and fartin’ — the pain must have lessened.  Maybe she needs some beer?



So she’s had aspirin again, and I found the leftover “prednisone poof” stuff for Ken, it’s neomycin sulfate, isoflupredone, acetate and tetracaine HCl… the “caine” part she’ll probably appreciate, and I hope this helps.  Now, to send this link off to the vet, and see how his diet’s going — I’ve been doing pretty well, but I can’t figure out what the grand prize should be, not a clue!

Meanwhile, she’s getting some quality time:


How’d that happen?

May 5th, 2012

This is THE weekend in SE Minnesota!

It’s the 100 mile garage sale!!!!

They say rain or shine, but we pretty much got rained out this afternoon, even the mini-donut stand near Lake City shut down.  We waited it out a bit and then headed home, the van only half full.  And found this — looks like I brought  Monica’s St. Louis wild weather back home:


OH MY!  It could have been a lot worse.  The good news is that it missed the house and missed the car that parks there on the street, not by much, there’s a hunk of wood stuck in the grill, but no dents, nada. WHEW!  Didn’t hit the house!  WHEW!!


It’s an old tree, it’s twin right across the street, and they’re HUGE, at least 50 feet tall, maybe more.  We don’t want to lose them.  Alan had called the city about trimming it, it needs a little maintenance.  The one across the street is in worse shape, missing large limbs, and now it seems this one is trying to catch up.  What’s strange is that nowhere else did we see any trees down.  Oh, except for the darker maple that lost a couple of small branches probably when the big one came down.

Now where’s that chain saw???


Bob Cupit, Energy Facilities Supervisor, is retiring from the Public Utilities Commission today… leaving me to wonder how… rephrase…  he CAN’T be replaced…  so what will happen now at the PUC?

Bob Cupit and Mike Casper are tied for “Most Influential” in subtle and not so subtle direction that helped get me to where I am today.  I began wrangling with him at the very end of 1994 in Nuclear Waste Daze, so it’s been a long time, and as Bret Ekness said, “a long strange trip.”

From my perspective, Bob has always provided a voice of sanity in a process that isn’t working, and I hate to see him leave because I can’t imagine them finding someone who recognizes or attempts to fix the problems that he had on his plate.

Here’s the PUC Staff Organizational Chart, soon to have a big hole.

The most difficult thing I’ve encountered in dealing with the Commission, other than some obviously utterly dreadful “decisions,” is that siting and routing is now handled by the Dept. of Commerce, which has no charge to protect the environment, and which is not representing the public interest.  The “work” by Commerce has been dreadful, process has been perverted, DEIS and EIS consistently leave out important information, and the public and the environment is left in the lurch.  Over and over and over again, they’re bumbling along, or intentionally screwing it up (Which is it?  I think it’s BOTH.).  They’re doing the “staff” work on these permits and then present it to the Commission, presenting only part of the story, and leaving the Commission exposed, making decisions on inadequate or inaccurate information, without “the rest of the story.”  I could go on and on (and I do elsewhere in this blog and at, search for more).

Years ago, when things were not going well, Kristen Eide-Tollefsen and I repeatedly riffed on obvious problems at public meetings and Cupit regularly responded with a measured lecture on the importance of all the aspects of permitting, the Certificate of Need, the Siting/Routing permit, and Environmental Review, that it was a three legged stool.  As an editorial comment, at one point, we presented him with a gold-painted strap-on one-legged milk stool.


Yes, the system was NOT working then… and for other reasons, it’s NOT working now.

Despite that, Kristen and I knew that as he retired, we had to give him one with THREE legs.  However, I had to give a disclaimer, that this is NOT to say that the system is working, because it isn’t.

Kate O’Connell, manager of energy regulation and planning for the Minnesota Department of Commerce (oh, I didn’t know that!), who worked in tandem with Bob, made comments from her “on the ground” perspective, heartfelt — and I wasn’t taking notes, so sorry, no specifics… but for sure over and over noted he will be missed.

Even LeRoy Kooppendrayer, former Commissioner and House Rep., and brother of current Commissioner and former Senator Betsy Wergin, came back to say goodbye:


Bill Grant, formerly of the Waltons, and now the Deputy Commissioner in charge of Energy Facilities Permitting, was there but thankfully didn’t get up to say anything — I’d forgotten to bring rotten tomatoes.

And the “Not Ready For Rate Base Singers” were on hand:


The room was packed, Bob said he was “overwhelmed” and so it appeared… and I am too… it’s a sad day for Minnesota, we’re losing too many MB’s of collective/institutional memory that we can’t replace.