Wednesday, August 3, 2022

clementine ~ and thoughts on birthdays

My Clemmie girl has yet another UTI. This is her third one in less than two months. She just finished her second round of antibiotics last week. This morning, I discovered small spots of bloody pee on my comforter again. I immediately called our vet. I have a phone consultation with him tonight. Chronic UTIs can be a problem in cats with CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease), but I don't know how they're treated. Hopefully, I will get some good information and help from our vet tonight. 

Brian's birthday was last week. One of the things he wanted to do was to take a walk at Volo Bog, which is only 10 minutes from our house here in northeastern Illinois. It's a state natural area, and the only open-water quaking bog in Illinois.

We hiked about 2-1/2 miles, which was lovely, sweaty, and bug-y.

Loved this plant and wondered what it was, so looked it up on a plant ID app on my phone. It's Western Ironweed. I'm hoping to find it next year to plant in my butterfly garden.

I wish my butterfly garden were this prolific. Or, better yet, I wish this were my backyard!

Illinois has some of the most beautiful cloud formations.

Onto the thoughts about birthdays. Mine is coming up next week. And it's a milestone one. I'm not normally big on birthday celebrations though. Everyone keeps asking me, "What are you going to do for your birthday?" My reply is, "I don't know." I thought maybe we could find a little cabin or cottage somewhere in Wisconsin to spend a couple of days. Get away from it all, hike, maybe kayak, just rest and read and have some good food. But with Clementine being so sick, we can't leave her. 

I have a few friends that have always celebrated their birthday week. I even know someone who celebrates their birthday month! While I think this is sweet, it was never my thing. But this year it got me to thinking what a good idea that was for a milestone birthday. So that's what I've been doing every day. It doesn't have to be big things. Or cost anything. It can be as simple as cutting flowers from your yard and putting them in a vase on your table because it makes you happy.

Some other ideas to celebrate your birthday week and treat yourself:

  • Order something from your Amazon wish list.
  • Get your favorite beverage from the Starbucks or Dunkn Donuts drive-thru (or whatever your go-to place is).
  • Take the time to actually rest and read a magazine in its entirety, or a few chapters in a book.
  • Call a friend that you've been meaning to call and talk to, but haven't.
  • Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers ~ or cut them from your yard.
  • Order a beautiful candle or hand cream in a delicious scent.
  • Take some kind of class - yoga, photography, gardening, watercolor, cooking.
  • Get a massage.
  • Take a nap.
  • Go ahead and order that cocktail or glass of wine when you go out to eat.
  • Watch a movie that's been on your to-watch list.
  • Take a solo walk in a beautiful, peaceful place...a park, a quiet neighborhood. Don't look at your phone. Take in the beauty around you and listen to the birds.
  • Get a manicure or pedicure. Or both. 
What would you add to this list?
Do you celebrate your birthday week, or even month? Let's talk! 


  1. Happy birthday! Thanks for the list of ideas. I have a 'big' birthday next Friday. And I am taking the day off from work - actually both Thursday and Fri. Thursday I plan on walking/hiking 6.0 miles to celebrate, do some shopping (maybe plant shipping as I typically hate shopping), treat myself to lunch out. Then on Friday my hubby is planning a day out which includes kayaking - my only request.

  2. tried to subscribe but I don't think it worked

  3. Sending Clementine healing hugs and kisses. ❤️
    You already know my feelings regarding birthday months and weeks. I had no idea Mike and Brian had the same birthday week! Today is his birthday. There is so much joy all around. For your birthday, I'm sending you a big hug. I'm looking forward to celebrating you in a few weeks. ( Brian, happy birthday!) Xoxo

  4. Ha Ha I love the adult supervision sign with Brian! Hope the Vet can help with Clementine and get her feeling better. Have a great rest of the week. xoxo Kris

  5. Poor Clementine. Hang in there, girl. Love the cloud formations. At this point, I just want to be able to walk.

  6. Aw, poor Clementine...and poor you. It's a lot of worry when your kitties are not well. I hope she's feeling better. We're not big on birthdays around here...for the kids, yes, but for us, not so much. I think celebrating for the whole month with small, joyful things sounds lovely...Happy Birthday!!

  7. Some days I feel like I need lots of adult supervision. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings to you in every area of your life.

  8. Birthday greetings to you and Brian. I like your ideas for celebrating a birthday week. The older I get the more I value the experiences in life, whether big or small.

  9. Happy Birthday to you and Bryan, Melanie! I love your list of suggestions and am all for celebrating the month. I hope you enjoy as many of them as you can. When our daughter lived near us when her boys were little, for my birthday we would dash them to mother's day out at church and head to Franklin, TN for a few hours of boutique shopping and lunch. I sure missed doing that with her after her work took her to Florida, Montana, and now back to Florida again.

    I had no idea what a quaking bog was and had to look it up, I only think of sphagnum moss bogs as belonging to Scotland so the information was fascinating. How fortunate you are to have one so near you and to have a husband who chooses that for his birthday walk! You two really enjoy so many of the same things, don't you? I know you are hurting for your sweet Clementine and taking the best care of her is more important than travel right now. Again, a very happy birthday, Melanie!

  10. Happy Birthday. You look marvelous. 60 is just a number. Ha ha on the sign that about sums it up for Chicago and surrounding places lol! Have a great week. xoxo Kris


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