Ze4stfully. I didn’t mean to add that 4 but I’m keeping it and it can be our secret word.

Here’s what I did with my mantel/mantle/mantull/manteal last night. I think in the spring I’ll zest it up with the flamingo and my green vase and so on. And maybe literally add Zest. Just bars and bars of Zest.

When my friend Paula was getting married, I was a bridesmaid, so I was helping sample wedding cakes, which by the way is not too shabby. For my wedding cake, do you know what I wanted? White flavor. I like that white wedding cake flavor and had no desire to muck it up with butterscotch or mint julep creme or anything.

But Paula did, which is funny because she is without a doubt the fussiest eater I know other than Milhous. She only ever wants plain. If she were ever going to have sex with a woman, she’d pick Sarah Plain and Tall.

She doesn’t want the plains to be fruited.

We worked together, and she used to get mad because the bakery in our building made one plain scone a day and often they’d say, “Oh, we already sold it.”

This incensed her and I see her point. Why not make two? They knew she’d be there daily, asking for the plain scone.

MY POINT IS, I was over there tasting wedding cake, which is not too shabby of a task did I mention, and one of the flavors was lavender, which is pretentious AF but what can you do. I rather enjoyed it, however, except for when her husband said, “Are you trying the lavender? Doesn’t it taste like you’re eating Zest?”

And right then, lavender cake was ruined for me, forever by Judy Blume.

Anyway, one of you wants me to move the Collie over to OVERLAP the Boston terrier and I might but I have shit to do. (I’m back to discussing my mantelle.)

Remember last year when I felt like I had to pee all the time and I had 57 tests and surgery and finally they just said, “You’re an old lady”? And they gave me hormone cream and pills? (I’m done talking about my mantill now.)

Well, I’ve run out of pills and they won’t give me more unless I go in, which

INFURIATES

me, beyond just selling the plain scone. You know they won’t look at any portion of my physical body. I’ll just tell them, you know, I feel like I gotta pee all the time if I forget to take the pill but if I take it I’m usually OK and they’ll say, “That’ll be 900 dollars, please. Here’s your refill.”

Lu annoy.

If I walk in there and the place is teeming with people I’m not staying.

Meanwhile, Iris’s antibiotics have kicked in a bit and she meowed to eat today. You’ve never seen someone more enthusiastically put a cat on a dryer. I mean, I’m sure that scenario comes up all the time for you, and when it does, believe me when I say I did it with more zest.

We have a theme today.

And she really ate. All week she’s been either not eating at all, or eating like my friend Paula when any food is mixed with any other food. “This pizza has something on it beyond cheese. I’m just peck at it delicately till you’re done then we can go.”

“Oh, this toast has butter. I can’t have anything on my bread.”

“May I have water without ice, please? I want my water plain.”

When she was a kid, the only thing my friend Paula’s mother could get Paula to eat was heads of iceberg lettuce. She put her on the dryer and gave her a bowl of lettuce.

Anyway, Iris looks better too. So, the terrible upper respiratory part of her illness is passing, but the inside irritable bowel/pancreatitis part is still there. She has lost two pounds in 10 days, and her fur is separating. Do you know that look? When cats’ fur get separated-looking?

But at least her nose isn’t stuffy and her one half of a good eye is open again.

I did call the vet’s office to see what the protocol was and if I can go inside with her if we have to have a final curtain call. If she has to eat on the big dryer in the sky. (Yes, I can.)

They asked me questions about did I want her ashes and yes, I do, and finally I said to the receptionist, who used to work at dog daycare so we go way back, “I hope Iris isn’t listening to this conversation.”

“Just tell her you’re calling for a friend’s cat.”

I’ve always enjoyed that receptionist. Once I saw her at a bar and it was so funny to see she had legs. She’s always behind a desk.

Remember going to bars? Although some of you still are! Great job! Thanks! For all of us who are high risk, thanks a bundle for doing your part! Nothing matters more than you getting your drink on.

Anyway I’d better go work and put gel in my hair for the big venture out to the doctor. It feels weird the days I know I have to really leave the house. It makes me kind of nervous. I’m like an old lady who plans one thing a day. “I can’t see you that day because I have to go to the bank.”

I’ll talk to you Monday, with my new pee pills and my same pissy attitude.

54 Comments

  1. I have had my share of sick and aging kitties and I know what you mean when you get excited that they are finally eating something. There were times when I even used baby food to entice them, go Gerber.

    I did such a bad thing keeping my Bandit girl alive until 20 years of age. We “watered” her for over two years! I cheered when she would eat some baby food and sobbed when she fell over trying to jump in my lap. That’s when I knew it was the end.

    Even with covid I cannot imagine any vet letting Iris go to eat on the big dryer in the sky, without you being there. It really is the hardest thing to do, but I applaud your being with her when the time comes. You are a good pet mom.

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  2. Ohhhh P.P.S.
    What pills and cream and such are you talking about in terms of the old-lady-gotta-pee-all-the-time thing? Because I have that too (I’m the same age as you), and for years and years, when I’ve mentioned the problem to doctors, they just give me a “whatever” look, like “you’re just screwed, lady.” No medical suggestions or anything.

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  3. P.S. The lavender in food thing–so icky. I remember in France I bought a $10 chocolate bar that had lavender in it, the regional specialty. I took one bite and it felt like I was eating soap. I threw the whole damn thing away, and had a soapy taste in my mouth the rest of the afternooon. Never again. I’d be pissed if I went to a wedding and the cake had lavender in it. I’d ask for my money back.

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  4. No fruited “plains.” Dying.
    Why on earth would a shop make only one plain scone every day?! Especially knowing there were two people out there who would buy it. That’s just rude and crazy.
    Glad Iris is feeling better. Whatever time she does have left, whether it be a lot or a little, let it be feeling good. Sweet girl.
    My brother is one of those “I hate tomatoes, but gimme a pizza” people.
    I’m a vegetarian, so there are many foods I shun, but I’m weird about a few (non-meat) things. For example, I like peas raw but not cooked. Onions too. Carrots too, although cooked carrots are not complete anathema to me like cooked peas or cooked onions. Onions cut very small and cooked in a soup or something are fine, but big chunks of cooked onion? Horrors.

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  5. My sister adores that white cake. A couple of bakeries here make them and she gets one for her birthday. She is a baker but who wants to make your own cake in the August heat?
    Lavender is not a food! I gag every time I see it listed in a recipie. I am allergic to it and I think it smells badly too. Ew.
    PS smells badly or smells bad?

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      1. Thank you. I thought it was smells bad initially but then I overthink things and don’t trust myself. Bah.

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  6. I am so happy that Iris has rallied a bit. I thought about you and Iris last night when my dog, Franklin cozied up spine to spine with me.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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      1. I realized my dog Sophie is my spine pet when I go to bed in my bedroom which is not often enough. I am a recliner sleeper due to my asthma/chronic bronchitis ( which are mostly dormant ATM). I need to get an adjustable bed.
        I am very happy about Iris. I do know about that separating fur thing that happens to older cats.

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  7. “Paula” is ancient Babylonian for “Picky Fuck.” I am also picky. I am enraged about the sold plain scone every day. What idiots.

    Years (and years and years) ago when one of my original cats died, my mother also wanted the ashes. This was before they presented you with the ashes and a stamp of the pawprint and a frame. “Presented.” Pfft. “Charged” as part of the cremation is more like it. ANYWAY, mom brought a freaking huge mayonnaise jar to the vet for the cat’s ashes. The LIVE cat almost fit in that jar. My father and I laughed until we were weak when she came home with that mayo jar with a sprinkling of ashes at the very bottom. It looked like someone put out a small cigarette. A Virginia Slim maybe. Ultimately mom transferred the ashes to a squat little decorative pot (with a lid) and draped the cat’s fancy velvet collar over it. THAT was a cheery little knick-knack.

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    1. I thought of you and your Wednesday diet Coke problem when I read about Other Paula’s scone deficit. So *somebody* knows the troubles you’ve seen.

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  8. Also, telling Iris you’re asking for a friend’s cat. So much good stuff in this post I could go on but I’ll leave the room now. I do still have a suggestion for the mantilla but I’ll save it.

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  9. This post shows your true calling as a writer. I was zestfully amused. Go Iris.
    Cocaine setting! I want to meet this Paula. I eat very very very healthy because of a heart condition and people always act like I’m a PITA. Lu annoy.

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  10. Sweet Iris! So glad she wants to eat, that’s going in the right direction.
    So many subjects to discuss today.
    1. Picky eaters. My brother’s family is the largest group of picky eaters I have ever seen. They say, I don’t eat tomatoes, but they will eat pizza, I don’t eat onions, but when they are hidden in a dish they don’t even realize it, I don’t eat fish (I’m not a fan either, but I eat salmon because it’s good for you), I don’t eat this, I don’t eat that. Well, bring your own food to the Christmas party!
    b. Doctors that require in-person appointments for renewed Rx! This makes me furious. What makes you think you have a UTI? I have a fever of 102.8 and I burn when I pee! Grrrrr. Show me the money.
    #. Your mantull is lovely. You are way more energetic changing up the decor each season. My decor has been the same the past 44 years. Well, I have had furniture recovered and recently removed some of the clutter, but still, I don’t change a lot of stuff.
    Okay, I’ll get off my soap box (no pun intended).
    Tee

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  11. I started reading some old posts (just clicking on the related pics at the bottom page) and came across the time the four firemen came to your house to check on the alarm that wouldn’t stop going off. I was in stitches the entire post, and when it turned out to be the alarm to keep the dogs off the couch, I think I laughed harder than I did the first time around.
    I hope this appreciative comment doesn’t make me come off as a creeper…

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  12. So good to hear that Iris is doing a little better…and EATING. I love the grouping of like items on your manatee. Theme decorating. It’s what all the high fashion decorating mags suggest. So, there you go. Hope the doctor visit goes well. (Your mother’s neighbor)

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  13. Ahh well I do hope that Iris recovers! I do hate having sick babies. The manttilla ? is lovely! Those pills – I am a really old lady and I know that they do not want to look at “those” parts – so why do we have to go to the doctor for the pills? As everyone here agrees – yes, for the money! Ba humbug.

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  14. The mandible looks great, June. You did a great job. I like the idea of changing it up with each season. I hope sweet Iris continues to improve. Good luck at the doctor’s office.

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  15. My image for today is of your friend and Iris side by side on the dryer, each with their bowl of specialty food, neither interested in what the other is eating.

    Glad Iris felt like eating today. And, yes, I know what separate-looking hair is thanks to a long-haired cat I once had before she went to the happy vole-hunting place in the sky.

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  16. So glad Iris is having a good day, hopefully she has many more! For some reason your descriptions of people reminded me of something my husband said the other day that still has me giggling. There was this skeevy guy on a game show we were watching and I said how he was just one of those people who take a shower and still look dirty. Then my husband said you just know he has long fingernails. And that summed it up perfectly, the men with long fingernails painted a very vivid picture for me.

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  17. Lovely mantle!
    Your lavender Ze4st cake story makes me wonder if cilantro tastes like cilantro or soap to you. I taste cilantro, but I’m such a empathetic person that I can sort of taste its ze4st-like qualities.
    Good luck with braving the doctor’s office. And I love the vet receptionist! They are lucky to have her.
    I’m an old lady, too, when it comes to daily commitments. I recently bought snacks at Costco to give to a group of people I thought needed cheering up, and by the time I made the Costco run and delivered the snacks, I was exhausted and needed a nap. BY BUYING SNACKS. To be fair, I was scared of catching COVID at the already massively-overwhelming Costco. It about did me in, though.

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  18. So glad Iris is feeling and looking better! A big, delicate hug for her. I like the mantilla, too. It looks better with the dogs facing each other. There’s allegedly a Zest flavor that’s supposed to be the bomb. I can’t remember which one it is, though.

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  19. ‘Ze4stfully,’ I read that as zeastfully and immediately thought you were going to tell us about someone’s yeast infection@ And then I read your peeing sitch and right then i knew, you had a yeast infection@ and then you did not. I am glad for you, but this was a whole lot of drama for my brain to handle. I have had a yeast infection@ twice in my life and I did not like it, I was immediately sending you loves. So after this imaginary start to your writing I was able to take hold of myself and slow down to read. I am so happy for Iris and her rebound. Your mantle (mickey) looks great. I concur with the reader who suggested leaning the leaning pic against the hanging pic to get a sense of how the whole may change. Also, keep in mind that you can stack books on the mantle to act as a riser for some of your shorter ornaments.

    Also, you are a great writer.

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  20. Ohh, the mandatory visit for something you already know about is maddening which has happened to me with UTIs. “Oh, you’ll need to come in. The doctor won’t give antibiotics over the phone. We can get you in tomorrow afternoon.” “Ummmm, NOOO! I will die before tomorrow afternoon.” On THAT cheery note, I hope you have a completely germ-free day out on the town. Your mantel looks so zestful!

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    1. One thing that’s good about being a diabetic and know your doctor 31 years, they will will call some antibiotics in for me. My mother who is also a patient has kidney disease as well.

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  21. I’m picturing your friend on the dryer with her bowl of lettuce. Glad your little dryer pal is doing better.

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    1. Yes, a bowl of iceberg lettuce on the dryer was going to be my take-away image, too. Scanned to see if anybody else mentioned it first. Hi, BettyDH!

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  22. Love your special zest at tying it all in.

    We were raised by a picky eater mom. In college I held court in the dining hall with a crowd as they quizzed me on all the things I had not ever tried.

    In high school I worked at burger king. When I went on break I always ordered one hamburger only catsup. Taking full advantage of ‘have it your way.’ My funny teen coworkers would call my order over the handy microphone ‘one Ryan’ because Ryan was my maiden name and everyone knew what that meant.

    I do hate the ‘we must see you to give you a script because we want your $’ mindset.

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  23. So happy Iris is feeling a little better. Good luck with the doctor appointment. I have a feeling way too many people think since we have vaccines now it’s all over. Even though most of us can’t get it yet. I’m so far down the list we may have herd immunity before I get it.

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  24. All of this. Am dead. Am Zestfully Clean, however – do you recall that commercial?
    I have a friend who will only eat white food – just the color. Cheez-its? White Cheddar. Bread? White. Coffee or tea? Lots of milk. I did ask, once, if she seasoned her food with white pepper. That had not occurred to her.

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  25. Mantle looks lovely. Poor Iris. I hope she does like my friend’s grandmother who pulled herself back from deaths door a dozen times. She would be in the hospital and they would tell the family to say their goodbyes and there would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. They would alert distant kin. Then there she would be sitting in the chair eating jello watching Days of Our Lives and complaining what a whole that Marlana was. Then a month later back in the hospital and the whole ordeal would happen again. This went on for 10 years. She was 97 when she finally went to the big soap opera in the sky. My point is, I think I have a point, maybe Iris is like Grandma Long.
    Oh and having to go to the doctor to get medicine you are already taking that they prescribed to you is just stupid.

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  26. “You’ve never seen someone more enthusiastically put a cat on a dryer”

    Well, my day is done.

    Lovely post, pretty June. So glad Iris is hungry!

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    1. I nodded my head with enthusiasm and thought a whole lot of people would really get that. Where do you feed your cats if your dryer is in the basement? Or you live in an apartment and go to the laundromat? Can’t quite see tucking the cat under an arm and carrying the food bowl at a clip down the street, screeching into the laundromat, shoving people aside and tossing the cat and bowl on top of the dryer. But yet I can.

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