2023… So Far…

A sunny winter afternoon after the snow storm.

I don’t think I’m alone in wondering where January has gone.

I know we have two days left but that’s just it…. there’s only two more days left to the first month of 2023.

Does this mean the rest of 2023 is going to buzz by in a similar fashion?

Whiskey helping me with my book re-reads!

If January is any indication of what I’m going to get done this year, then 2023 is going to be busy!

I took this month off from the veterinary clinic largely to focus on both my writing and my skating. It has been a couple of years since book #4 came out and I felt like I needed to hang out with my characters full-time again. I’ve never done a re-read when starting the next book in the series but it was really fun! I loved hanging out with my characters and remembering little comments or nuances that I probably wouldn’t have remembered without the re-read.

I had a lot of help during the re-read!

I didn’t necessarily enjoy seeing typos or the issues with tense that pop up primarily throughout the first book (Lost and Found in Missing Lake.) The same issues are slightly improved in the second book (The Dragons of Missing Lake) but there are still some boo boos. Books 3 and 4 are in a league of their own when it comes to editing, though, and I was pleasantly surprised by how those books are so much more mature than the first two. Its humbling to see my own growth that way, even though there are still some errors (how on Earth did I miss the fact I called Bethany’s dog, ‘Molly’ in one entire chapter when her name has always been, ‘Mollie’?)

(Another aside is the fact that Mollie, Bethany’s playful Springer Spaniel, is named for the Fyfe cousins’ Springer over in Scotland!)

The real Molly! (not my photo)

(There are actually a few names of characters, human and non-human, borrowed from my friends and family in all walks of life. That’s part of the fun of creating my own little world!)

I managed to fit a few other things into my January, including the much-needed neutering of Whiskey Drambuie as well as neighbor-kitty, Newt. Whiskey had started leaping onto his big sister, Martini a bit too enthusiastically and she was hissing at him so we scheduled a Testicle Festival for a Sunday morning when Newt’s mom, Jessi could assist.

Dr.Me and eager assistant, Jessi before the Testicle Festival

Its not the first time I’ve called a friend up to see if they want to come over and help me neuter a cat on our freezer and it probably won’t be the last. Its how things go down when you’re a veterinarian and feline testicles need to go.

Cat neuters are the fastest surgical procedure we veterinarians do. They are usually done with an injectable anesthetic combination (we call it “Kitty Magic”) and a bit of lidocaine and a scalpel blade. The entire procedure takes maybe five minutes with me monitoring heartrate and respirations throughout the surgery and recovery.

Jessi wasn’t sure how she was going to handle watching her own kitty get knocked down and operated on so we did him first. I needed the extra set of hands to help me give the anesthetic (in the muscle) and help recover the boys afterwards.

Sweet, sedated Whiskey stoned out of his tree on “Kitty Magic”.

We stayed with Newt and Whiskey the entire time they recovered and once they started moving a teensy bit we recovered them in our arms. It was really cute being able to do that in our nice, warm laundry room and we had a great visit for a couple of hours while all of this went down.

Recovering our post-op, testicle-free kitties in our arms earlier this month.

Whiskey still pounced on Martini but as the days have passed I’ve noticed this behavior has become less aggressive and less frequent.

We’ve made time this month to hang out with the Bee Gees and the whole Business of ferrets a couple of times. We miss them and their ridiculous antics but its hard to imagine separating them from their besties. Thankfully, Joel and Jeanette let us break into their house to play with all six of them.

Andy and me earlier this month

Its so cute how they recognize us when we’re there. Andy and Maurice tend to spend a lot of time licking my arm, chin, or fingers and even Ivan gave me some sweet kisses. Tiny little Bink, who joined The Business last summer, is a holy terror full of energy and boldness! She climbs, she leaps, she takes on the much larger ferrets like Barry and she likes being held by us, too. You can’t be sad or depressed for long when you have six domesticated weasels running around.

Alistair and the Bee Gees last week, Andy, Barry and Maurice!

Another reason to not work at the vet clinic this month was that the drive to Deer Lodge has been sketchy at best a few times this winter and it was starting to get to me.

On dry roads (and with somewhat of a lead foot) I can make the trek one-way in an hour and fifteen minutes. My truck burns through diesel when I’m speeding and diesel prices were nuts for much of last year so I don’t always haul ass like that but an hour and fifteen has been do-able for the more than 2 years I’ve been cruising through Western Montana early in the mornings and into the evenings once or twice each week.

Driving to Deer Lodge for Kickoff

It was a solid reminder to me how awful the roads can be when I drove there last week for our clinic’s annual “Kickoff” event. Ice, slush and rain were the highlights of the “Winter Weather Advisory” that I was in the middle of, while driving in the middle of nowhere.

Not surprisingly I was one of the only rigs on the road that morning which can be good (I was in the center of the road at times because that’s all I could see) and bad (going off the road could be lonely for a very long time, especially if there is no cellular service.) I was ten-and-two the whole way and it took an hour and forty-five minutes. I had allowed for the likely extended drive time and made it to Kickoff just on time.

Kickoff 2023 with me, Crystal, Corynn and Jessica!

It was a very productive day with a lot of laughter, discussion, planning and yummy lasagna. One of the reasons I have done the drive to the clinic for over two years is the fact I love my teammates and enjoy spending time with them. I’ve said it before and Bailee said it at Kickoff- its a special thing to want to hang out with your colleagues outside of the workplace.

It snowed all day, though, and as much as I wanted to stick around and visit after the event I knew it was going to be a grind to get back to our farm. I took it slow and after an hour and a half with me gripping the wheel I pulled up our driveway and made for the hot tub with the hubby.

Just a few minutes from home that night…

When I look at my day planner (which is hilariously filled with girl-power reinforcement, cheeky stickers, encouraging phrases like, “Its f**king Friday. Knock back a cold one” and a plethora of naughty words) for January its no wonder it feels like the first month of the year flew by.

On top of the four-book re-read, the Testicle Festival and Kickoff, there was the flooring finish, Alistair in Bismarck, skating in Missoula on Mondays, showings at my Seeley Lake listing, Tiffany 1 for Alistair, Tiffany 2 for me, a trek to Helena, a vet assist for a good friend to help one of her best friends over the Rainbow Bridge, Alistair’s root canal, an afternoon trying out an indoor golf simulator, continuing education courses, snow shoeing, skunk shooing, veterinary house calls, kitties to cuddle and a few real estate days on the floor.

I’m whupped just thinking about it all!

Even managed a dinner date with this guy at Seeley Lake’s great Mexican restaurant, Casa Caro!

The thing I’m probably most excited about, next to starting my fifth book, is my skating. I’ll go into more detail in another blog down the road but I’ll say right now that I needed to upgrade my equipment and, after a long search and a few discussions with long time skater peeps, Adrian and Liz, my brand new MK blades arrived from Toronto.

Hockey Wolf in Missoula nailed the mounting and I’m re-learning what its like to have sharp edges and a rocker.

Again… I’ll give you more on this aspect of my life and the importance of rockers (along with how I’ve been accommodating having no rocker and no blade left to sharpen for so long) sometime down the road.

My new babies!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

I’ll finish my first blog of 2023 skating tomorrow and maybe sleeping in on the 31st.


My life has always changed with every phone call so I won’t bet on it. I will bet on it being busy, entertaining and fulfilling, at least and I’ll try to bring you along when I can!

After my most recent visit with Tiffany 2!
Hanging out with Andy and Bink last week!
Martini loves Whiskey!
Boris came back twice in January and even moved into the barn. Barn kitties weren’t impressed.
Back on snow shoes this winter. Its been awhile!
The Fyfe Farm yesterday afternoon. We live in a postcard!
And Sonny Makai turned one! Birthday party pics from Kauai just in (not my photo).

4 thoughts on “2023… So Far…

  1. Merielle M Kazakoff

    I love your at-home cat repair shop, lol. Nice to see pics of everyone happy and healthy. Can’t believe Sonny is a year old already!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s