Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me




Today is not only the first day of winter, it is also my 40th birthday. The Big 4-0! I have decided 40 is the new 20, as much of the time I don't even feel like an adult, much less a 40-year-old one.

Today I'm going to get away from the usual writings about cats and/or snow. But, I do reserve the right to get back to those later on. For now, I'm going to mark my 40th birthday by listing major events for each month in the year I was born, 1969 of course. Let's see how many of you remember these.

*January: Led Zeppelin I is released marking the beginning of Heavy Metal, Richard Nixon becomes the 37th President of the United States, The Beatles give their last public performance on the roof of Apple Records

*February: Yasser Arafat is elected leader of the PLO, The last issue of The Saturday Evening Post hits newsstands, the Boeing 747 makes its maiden flight

*March: the novel The Godfather is published, Apollo 9 is launched to test the lunar module and returns safely

*April: Dr. Denton Cooley implants the first temporary artificial heart, Robin Knox-Johnston is the first person to sail solo around the world without stopping

*May: Apollo 10 is launched and returns safely (a "full dress rehearsal" for the moon landing), John and Yoko conduct there "Bed-In" for peace, the film Midnight Cowboy debuts

*June: Elton John releases his first album in the UK, the Stonewall Riots in New York mark the start of the modern gay rights movement, Give Peace a Chance (the first single by a solo Beatle) is recorded by John Lennon

*July: Apollo 11 makes it's historic trip to the moon and returns safely, Chappaquiddick ('nuff said), the very first US troop withdrawals are made in Vietnam

*August: the Manson Family murders take place, Woodstock music festival takes place

*September: the first ATM machine in the US is installed in Rockville Centre, NY, the very last Looney Tunes cartoon is released by Warner Brothers, The Brady Bunch premieres

*October: Monty Python's Flying Circus premieres on BBC One, the "miracle" New York Mets win the World Series, the first message is sent over ARPANET (precursor to the internet)

*November: Sesame Street premieres, Dave Thomas opens the first Wendy's, Apollo 12 goes to the moon and returns safely

*December: the first draft lottery since WWII is held, the Boeing 747 makes its public debut carrying mostly reporters and photographers (191 in all) from Seattle to NYC

Those are just a few highlights from 1969. There are lots more, and I found the list on Wikipedia. And that is my way of marking my 40th birthday. Thanks for listening. ;-)



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Kitties



We got over a foot of snow up here in the mountains, and a bit more is falling now. I figured the kittens wouldn't leave the front porch except maybe to go to the basement while the fluffy white stuff was on the ground, and boy was I wrong. Besides following me around the yard while I took some pictures, they actually played in the snow. Google especially seemed to be enjoying himself.


video
I would love to edit our voices out of the video, but don't have the software on this computer. But it's cool, watching little Google play in the snow like that. This is before the bulk of the snow fell, of course, and later on, when it was so deep, he mostly played in areas where I had walked.



Hope followed me out into the yard, but wasn't real happy about it. She stayed right next to the house, then walked out to get under the car. From there, she ended up under the storage building, then hightailed it under the deck.



Was surprised to see her sitting in the snow on the deck with Google for a bit.




Yahoo did follow me around the yard, but not for long. He stayed mostly under the deck (trying to clean snow off his fur)...




...or on the porch, curled up on his favorite cushion.


I really want to find a home for these guys. They are just the sweetest things. Yahoo especially loves to sit on your lap and be held. They are still young enough that they would make great indoor kitties. (They are constantly trying to come in our front door.) They are now spayed/neutered and are up-to-date on their shots. All I ask for their adoption is a donation to the local animal shelter. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today, I am thankful for...

...my husband. Even as we have been dealing with his recent illness, he still tries to keep me smiling. And this through his own severe pain. When I told him that I had seen a co-worker of his at Wal-Mart, and that he had asked how I was doing, Chris was appreciative of that. He felt people should be thinking about me as much as about him. (Which we're sure they are, but he just like hearing it.)

...my cats. Yes, they are a pain at times, but they also provide some entertainment and brief respites from the stress and frustration of daily life. Even the kittens, who will hopefully have a furever home at some point soon, are a welcome addition. We often go outside and watch them play in the leaves, or run through the backyard.

...my many and varied friends, including those I have only "met" on the internet. Even distant friends who you may never see face-to-face bring joy to your life. Imagine/remember how BIG the world once seemed, how far away so many people were. Now, with a few clicks of the mouse, a few taps of the keyboard, we can "talk" with people all over the world. How cool is that?

...my life in general. True, there are some things I haven't done that I've always wanted to, but who doesn't have that list? And there are some things that have happened in my past that were pretty painful, but again, who doesn't have things like that in their life? Everything that's happened in my life has made me who I am, and I kinda like me. (Well, most of the time, anyway.)    :-)

...bacon. I am so very thankful for this wonderful, fattening, tasty product that makes everything taste better. I even heard about a chocolate-bacon cake. Gotta find that recipe.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SESAME STREET!




Everyone is getting in on the celebration, even Google. For several days the search engine has put a character from the show into their logo. Today, it's a group shot. Most of my favorites are there, with Big Bird being my all-time favorite character of the show. Wouldn't be Sesame Street without him.

Sesame Street debuted on November 10, 1969, one month and 11 days before I was born. I grew up with the show, learning my ABC's, numbers and even a smattering of Spanish (agua - water - agua). My mother said it was a babysitter of sorts. She'd come in from working nights, get the other kids off to school, set me in front of the TV to watch Sesame Street and be able to catch a nap on the couch. (I hear the grumbling going on out there about television and kids and quality time, but hey...you do what you gotta do.)


My favorite characters on the show have always been Big Bird and Snuffleupagus. I remember in the 80's hearing about how they were going to finally let the adults of the show see Big Bird's "imaginary" friend. How cool was that, to finally have have his frustration end. And he would be able to say "I told you so" to boot.

I have to say, I am glad to see Sesame Street is still going strong. It's nice to know that future generations will continue to enjoy the wonderful characters that live on this street. As a matter of fact, I always wanted to live on this street, too. I wonder if there's an apartment available near Big Bird's nest.

Monday, November 9, 2009

IT'S A GIRL!!

Well, the kittens are still here, and I am hoping to get them to the vet to be neutered in the next week or so. The person I was hoping would take them wasn't able to, but she has promised to keep watch for anyone who might be interested. In the meantime...Jeeves has given us a bit of a surprise. He is a she.



I would have sworn Jeeves was a boy. I would have sworn I saw little...thingies...as she walked away from me. But it must have been a visual trick played by the way the fur was growing, because now they are obviously not there. Then I took her to the vet's office on Saturday and had my suspicions confirmed. The littlest brother is now the little sister. (She still play fights better than her brothers, though.)

So, we are trying to figure out a new name for the little girl, but aren't having much luck. We're still calling her Jeeves for lack of anything better, and she doesn't seem to mind. We thought about Eve since the sound is close to the same, but it just hasn't stuck. Maybe Jenny, but that hasn't made the cut yet either. If we stick with the search engine theme, the task becomes even more difficult. There just aren't many search engines out there using female type names.



For now, Jeeves is still Jeeves, and her brothers (Google and Yahoo) still treat her like a little brother, wrestling with her in the front yard, chasing her up trees. Or maybe, that's how little sisters are routinely treated. Either way, she doesn't seem to mind.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kitten Update

May have a home for one or more of the kittens. (Keep fingers crossed.) For now, they are still running all over my front porch, raising a heck of a racket. Today, I gave them a treat...a bit of sardines. Boy did they like that.

My usual readers know I have a small house outside for the cats. (a couple actually) The kittens recently discovered the foam one that Muffin usually sleeps in. I'm betting the little microwaveable "heater" I put in there has something to do with their discovery. What's odd is what they're doing with this "new" item they have taken over. Instead of sleeping inside it, they seem to like the idea of sleeping on top of it, collapsing the thing around them.




That's Jeeves and Yahoo in the picture. When I went out there early yesterday morning, Jeeves and Google were laying there like that. They came running to me, and then I was surprised to see Yahoo come crawling out of the house. They were laying on top of him. Maybe it was his idea, a way to keep warm.



I still get a kick out of Google's eyes. He is always wide-eyed and ready to go.





And Yahoo is such a beautiful boy. Sometimes he just sits beside me and watches the others play.





Jeeves is a hoot. Still more standoffish than the others, but does come running to be petted. He's a doll.


They're growing like weeds. I see a difference every day. Such beautiful little guys. Even Muffin is learning to accept them being around.



Sort of.


Friday, October 9, 2009

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

One of my favorite times of the year has arrived. The weather is turning cooler, the leaves are changing and the catalogs have begun to arrive. And I don't mean the usual clothing, toy or electronic catalogs. I mean the cheese, sausage and chocolate catalogs.

Every year I pull these colorful marketing tools out of my mailbox and drool over the items they contain. I have long dreamed of one day getting a huge box of assorted meats and oh-so-wonderful cheeses from the likes of Hickory Farms, petits fours from Figi's or even a Forest Friends log from Swiss Colony.

I've even told my husband he is welcome to get me something from those purveyors of pure pleasure for Christmas or my birthday, but he thinks that wouldn't be a good present for a husband to give his wife. One year, my mom did send me something from one of them, and I eagerly ripped open the box to find...a small soup pot and bag of 21-bean soup. No chocolate. No cake. No cheese.  *sigh*

I may have to break down and purchase something for myself one of these days, but for now, I will enjoy my trips to the mailbox. I will revel in the visually aromatic photos of cheese spreads, chocolate-covered cakes and various fudges from various parts of the world. For now, I will simply continue to indulge in one of my favorite fall/winter traditions. Maybe I should purchase that sterling silver drool cup I saw online.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life Goes On

I still start to cry when I look at pictures of my Little Buddy, or read about him in my journal, but there are three other kittens, not to mention all the adult cats, who need my attention.




This is Google (on left) and Yahoo (on the right). Google was the first named because he had such googlie eyes. His eyes are always wide open like that. We decided to go on with the search engine theme and called the other one Yahoo...because it's another search engine and he follows along behind Google, who seems to be constantly searching for something. It all works.



In thinking about other search engine type names, we decided to call this little guy Jeeves (along the lines of Ask Jeeves). We don't know for sure yet if he's a boy, but it works anyway. He's the most skittish of them, but he always has been. We're working on it though.


Here's Yahoo letting me pet him. It helps if I try while he's eating. He's getting to where he really wants to be petted, though. I even managed to pick him up for about a second or two this morning before he yelled at me.


Not everyone around our house is happy about the kittens being here. Muffin gave them a good talking-to this morning. But, with all her hissing and such, the other night I went outside to find her actually running around playing with them. When she saw me watching, the play stopped of course. You know how cats are.



Saturday, October 3, 2009

I'm Sad Today

I lost one of the kittens last night. Second from the left, looking up at the camera, is the one of the bunch who let me hold him. He had gotten to where he would come up to me and rub on my legs and we'd play a bit when I went out to feed them. He was a sweetie and I was really hoping to find him an indoor home. But, it wasn't to be. I found him lying in the grass this morning. There was a small wound on the back of his neck, and we figure a dog probably got hold of him. (You know how they shake things like that.) I have seen a coyote not far from my house, but if that had been what got him, it probably would have taken him off.

The other kittens are a bit more skittish now, which is understandable. After my pet sitting appointment this morning, I came home and buried the little guy in my front yard. As I was digging, the others came out from under my porch. They sat near and watched me until I was done. Almost like they were saying goodbye themselves. I think they will probably move over here now as they can go up under my porch where there is a small opening that leads into my basement. Much safer area.

I wish I could handle things like this better. A part of me wishes I didn't get so attached so easily. I'm second guessing myself when it comes to how I've been dealing with these guys now, and I'm really tired of crying over animals like this. (If more people would take care of their own pets, this type of thing wouldn't happen so often.)

At least I know the little guy was pretty happy. He and his siblings were over here on our porch late last night and I held and played with him. He had the loudest purr I've ever heard on a kitten. I'll never forget that, or him.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm Back...I Hope

OK, after a long absence, I am returning to the world of blogging...hopefully on a regular basis.



Updates: (1) The hubs is still home, but getting better. He's had his gallbladder removed and they are now working on getting the correct combination of medications to take care of his other issues, as well as the usual ones brought on when you have the gallbladder removed in the first place.















(2) I am giving up on vegetable gardening. What a time I had with it this year. I did manage to get a few tomatoes, but had a better crop last year when I planted them in buckets. When I dug up my potatoes, every single one had teeth marks in them; moles or voles I assume. Two cabbages managed to grow a bit, but one was run over by a lawn mower when a friend came and mowed the lawn for us. (I'm not complaining. I was happy for the help.) The other cabbage was covered in slugs the last time I looked, and it was pretty well devoured. The green peppers never grew, I got 3 radishes, the beans didn't grow and I did manage a very few small green onions. The soil here is more clay than anything, so I think I'm going to hit local farmer's markets next year and just plant some wild flowers to attract the humming birds and butterflies.



(3) I am again earning my title as the Crazy Cat Lady. Four tiny kittens showed up at my neighbor's house about a month ago. We figure they were about 2 months old. Don't know where they came from, but of course I couldn't just let them alone. I have been feeding them and doing my best to socialize them. Our local shelter doesn't work with ferals (don't really have the room or the funds) and would put them down if I had taken them in. They don't think they can be socialized, but I know better. So, for the past several weeks, I've talked to and tried to pet each little guy. So far one will let me hold him, two will let me pet them some and the one really shy one has finally gotten to where he doesn't run away like he used to. I have emailed a cat rescue organization in Morganton to see if they can help me find homes for them. I wouldn't even mind if someone wanted them as barn cats. At least they'd have a chance at a life. (Anyone want a kitten?)


There are other things going on here and there, including a deer who visited us last month, but I will write more about that later on. I think I've written enough for now. I'm beginning to think I should open a wild life park here. :-)



Friday, September 11, 2009

We Will Never Forget


On September 11, 2001, our world was changed forever. Time passes, but we still remember where we were that day, what we were doing when we heard. We will always remember.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Please, Sir. I Want S'mores


OK, I am not a camper. The closest I've ever come is one of those campgrounds that have the shower/bathroom building in the center of the area, and the campsites have a water faucet and usually a grill. I remember having fires...usually in the back yard and often in a barrel of some sort. What I've never had is honest to goodness, sitting around the campfire type s'mores.

That's not to say I haven't had s'mores at all over the years. I've just had to go about getting them in nontraditional ways. This usually involved either a gas stove or a microwave. (Yep, I have more than once roasted marshmallows using the flame from a gas stove burner.)

For some reason, I have been craving these gooey treats like crazy this week. And I mean craving them like I'm addicted or something. I just cannot get them out of my mind. (And no, I am not pregnant. Although if I was, I would definitely be rich as I know a certain doctor who would owe me LOTS of money. But I digress.)

So, I decided to not only give in to my craving, but to find different ways to satisfy it. I thought about the marshmallow in the microwave thing, but that would be too easy.

My first foray into the world of chocolate/marshmallow goodness involved the usual graham crackers and Hershey bar. To that I added mini-marshmallow (the only kind I have on hand), a wooden skewer and a cigarette lighter. I like my marshmallows pretty crispy, so I just put a bunch on a skewer and light 'em up. Burning marshmallows make such a pretty light. And the results were pretty tasty as well. But of course, it didn't end there...

Next, I decided what the world really needs is INSTANT S'MORES. I took one graham cracker and spread it with milk chocolate frosting. Then, I took another and spread it with marshmallow fluff. Put them together and VIOLA! Instant s'mores. Not warm and gooey, but not too bad when you're in a hurry.

Then, tonight I tried what I think is the best s'more inspired concoction of all. Graham crackers, chocolate ice cream and Smuckers Marshmallow Ice Cream Topping.

I did not even know this stuff existed until a couple days ago. What genius came up with this, I don't know, but I hope the powers-that-be at Smuckers gave them a nice big bonus. How wonderful to be able to get that s'mores taste in a cool, creamy treat. Pure bliss.

Now, I wonder what kind of s'mores delicacy I can find next.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Anniversary

Me and the Hubs - 1995

Chris and I went out on our first date on July 8th, 1991. We were married on July 8th, 1992. It's been 17/18 years, and I'm looking forward to many, many more. We are lucky in that we are not only husband and wife, but best friends as well.


For our first date, we went to see the movie Terminator 2. You hear a lot of couples who say their song is from the first movie they saw together or some such. Well, there really weren't any romantic songs in this one, so that was kind of out. And I couldn't tell you anything that played on the radio that day. Wasn't paying much attention I guess.

After seeing Prince of Thieves, the song Everything I Do (I Do It For You) by Bryan Adams became our song. There are others of course, many songs that remind us of each other, but we always come back to this one. Yes, it's sappy and sentimental as heck, but we like it. And the words describe perfectly how we feel about each other. (And I get all gushy every time I hear it. It's amazing knowing someone actually feels that way about you.)




(Everything I Do) I Do It For You
Written by Bryan Adams, Robert John 'Mutt' Lange and Michael Kamen 1991

Look into my eyes - you will see
What you mean to me
Search your heart - search your soul
And when you find me there you'll search no more
Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for
You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for
You know it's true
Everything I do - I do it for you
Look into my heart - you will find
There's nothin' there to hide
Take me as I am - take my life
I would give it All - I would sacrifice
Don't tell me it's not worth fightin' for
I can't help it there's nothin' I want more
Ya know it's true
Everything I do - I do it for you
There's no love - like your love
And no other - could give more love
There's nowhere - unless you're there
All the time - all the way
Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for
I can't help it there's nothin' I want more
I would fight for you - I'd lie for you
Walk the wire for you - Ya I'd die for you
Ya know it's true
Everything I do - I do it for you


Chris, to steal a phrase from another great song, I love you more today than yesterday, and half as much as tomorrow. Happy Anniversary.



(The sappiness is over now folks.) ;-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Let Me Talk...

Hi everybody. This is Blondie. No, I'm not one of the sisters. (Trust me, I did not pick out this name for myself.) I am Major's big brother. Well, not BIG brother really. He does weigh quite a bit more than I do. But, that's an issue for another day.

Anyway, I read what Major wrote the other day, and I thought he was nuts. Why would any self-respecting cat want to sit down at some monkey's computer, no offense MommyLady, and blog? Who came up with this blogging thing anyway? It's just nuts. I mean....wait, I'm off topic again.

So, I sat back and proceeded to make fun of my brother every chance I could. Until today. I heard the MommyLady and DaddyMan discussing something rather disturbing and decided I just have to put in my two-cents worth.

It seems they saw a news report this morning about this President Obama fella killing a fly during an interview. After this happened, some group called PETA sent up a bit of a fuss. Over a fly. A FLY!!!

OK, first off, get over it. Have you ever had one of those things buzz around you nonstop for hours at a time? It's annoying. It's beyond annoying. It really sucks.

Second, what are flies good for? Buzzing around and annoying you for hours at a time. Period.

Third, I can think of only one thing wrong with the president's actions. It was a waste of a good snack. I love flies. If you pick one up in your mouth and let it buzz for a few seconds before you swallow it, not only does it kind of tickle, but it really impresses your siblings. Major and my sisters Face and Eddie thought it was a really neat trick when I did it. Not to mention the reaction I got from the MommyLady and DaddyMan when I finally swallowed the annoying creature. I did not know it was possible for someone to gag like that without coughing up a hairball. That is so cool.

Well, that's my opinion, and you're very welcome to it. You may go back to what you were doing now. I think I hear something buzzing in the next room. I'm going hunting.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's My Turn

Finally, I get my turn at this computer thing. This is Major...the handsome one among all these cats around here. I swear, if any more cats show up, I'm leaving. Well, maybe not leaving. But, I sure will be miffed. May even stop letting the MommyLady hold me on her lap so much.

The MommyLady and DaddyMan went out the door a few minutes ago, and I've decided to take this opportunity to set the record straight about a few things. I can't imagine why they go out that door so much. Every time I've gone out that door, after being shoved into a box mind you, I end up in a real horrible place where they set me up on this cold metal table and a mean lady in a white coat not only sticks me with needles, but worse...she puts some sort of stick up my butt. What kind of perverted thing is that to do to a cat? I give MommyLady the cold shoulder for at least an hour afterwards, but she still insists on taking me there. She just doesn't understand.

Anyway, what I want to set straight is all this talk I hear about these cats she has outside. I see them in the window once in a while. They just sit there and stare in. The girls, Eddie and Face, don't like that at all. They jump and hiss at the window, then at each other, which is all just a waste of time and energy. The problem is, MommyLady just keeps on feeding them. I don't understand that. If she would stop feeding them, they'd stop coming...and there would be more food for me.

Which brings me to another point; there can never be enough food. MommyLady has put us on this thing she calls a "diet." What confused human came up with this concept? Probably the same one that came up with the stick up the butt thing. I mean, who in the world thought it would be a good idea to limit the amount of food that is given to a cat? What bunk!!!!

Look, I'm working on getting the MommyLady to go back to the way it used to be, when our bowls were kept very full all day and night, but until then, let me tell y'all how it should be. Cats do not need diets. Cats need food. The bigger we are, the happier we are. Skinny cats? Miserable. They hate the way they look. Fat cats are much happier. Why we.....

...Oops, gotta go. I hear them at the door. Just remember: lots of food - GOOD! Sticks up the butt - VERY BAD!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Books, Books and More Books

I've been reading a lot lately, and I've noticed more than ever how my tastes run pretty much all over the place. I tend to read at least two books at a time, sometimes up to four, and they are rarely all the same type of book. I read biographies, mysteries, paranormal novels, science fiction....you name it, I've probably at least tried to read it.



One of my recent reads was William Shatner's autobiography Up Until Now. When I was a kid, I loved to watch Star Trek reruns. We moved a lot, and it seemed like everywhere we lived, one of the local channels played Star Trek. And then along came T.J. Hooker. Remember that one? I adored that show. Even wrote lyrics for the theme music. (No, I won't sing it for you.)


Now, Shatner has become a bit of a joke over the years. His biggest redeeming quality came along when he finally decided to jump on the bandwagon and start making fun of himself. Then came Boston Legal. He was pretty good in that. In this book...? Well,


This book is very disjointed and hard to trudge through. He bounces around, interrupts himself, and even gets some of his facts wrong (Dale Earhardt, Sr. is the one who died in a crash, not Dale Junior). A good bit of the time, I found my self asking "where the heck was the editor?"



I discovered this book about a month ago. It's the first in a series about a cat who suddenly finds he can not only read and understand English, but he can talk as well. Throw in a murder and you have the makings of an interesting story. It's not the most complicated plot, but it held my attention all the way through, and that's saying something.



I love Denis Leary's comedy. When he gets going, you just sit back and enjoy the ride. This book is just like that. As you ready, you can just about hear him. It's great. It's funny. It's thought-provoking. What more can you ask for?


And the thing about Denis Leary, who has an honorary Doctorate and can use that title now, is no matter who you are, you will find yourself agreeing with at least some of what he says. He makes sense, even when he's saying something that is actually aimed at people like you. I mean, no one is safe, not even himself. One thing I did notice though; he points out more than once how wonderful his wife is and how lucky he is to have her. She sure has him trained right. ;-)


Well, that's the latest ones I've read. Right now I'm reading Serena by Ron Rash...which if you like regional novels should be on your must-read list. It's the first book of his I've read and his main character gives me the heebie jeebies. **shudder**


I'm also reading Deadly Harvest by Heather Graham. It's the second book in one of her series, but one thing I like about her books is the fact that if you pick up the middle book like this, it stands alone enough that you'll be fine reading it. (Kay Hooper's are much the same.) I've just started this one, so I don't know for sure how good it's going to be. I'll just say "so far, so good."


I guess that's it. I'm always on the lookout for something interesting to read. If you have any ideas, pass them along.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month

June is National Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month, and you all know how I feel about cats. They are wonderful animals full of love and mischief. They make great companions, friends, bed-warmers. They are nothing if not honest and will let you know exactly how they feel about you, your friends and your family. They are full of personality.

So, if you are looking for a great companion, someone who will accept you as you are, then make you into just what they want you to be (just kidding - sort of), then head down to your local shelter and adopt a cat. (For those in my area, I am offering pet sitting discounts if you adopt.)

Now, that's not to say shelter dogs don't still need good homes, and please go to the local shelters if you are looking for a dog as well. (And remember, October is National-Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month.)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Adventures In Pet Sitting

Remember Emma and Gracie, my first official pet sitting clients?

They are just the cutest things, aren't they?

I got the chance to pet sit for these two again over Memorial Day weekend, making me one of the happiest people in NC that weekend. I love these girls. They are adorable, lovable...frustrating. :)

OK, the frustrating part: Emma gave me my first job-related injury on Sunday morning. It was a great morning really. Emma ran around outside more than anything, while Gracie sat with me in the living room. We rough-housed a bit (she loves to growl back and forth with you). The weather wasn't too bad, so I left the back door open so Emma could come and go as she liked. She mostly stayed out.

Time to leave and I got Gracie in her crate with no problem. No sign of Emma. I walked around the house to find her in the yard "playing" with a chipmunk. (Little critter was beyond playing by that time.) I tried to get it away from her, and she was having none of it. She managed to drop it, and I got my hand under her collar to pull her away. She was barking and yelping, I was fussing...I'm sure the neighbors thought I was killing the poor girl. She wanted that chipmunk bad.

At one point during all this, she twisted and went under my arm trying to make her way to where the chipmunk lay in the grass. When she twisted around, my fingers got caught up in her collar and got yanked good and hard. I managed to keep myself from saying the words that came immediately to mind as I extracted my finger from the collar. Wow...that hurt like heck.

My mind finally kicked in and I went back into the house and got Emma's leash. She saw that in my hand and came running, chipmunk firmly in mouth. I hooked her up, managed to get her to drop the chipmunk and led her to her crate. All this time, my finger was throbbing like crazy.

I guess the finger was just bruised pretty good. Got one of those little finger braces and have been wearing it. I could barely bend the finger for a bit, but now I can make a fist without much pain in that finger. I still wear the brace at night since it seems I manage to bang it around in my sleep.

Funny thing is, it was my middle finger. Perfect.

I still love these dogs.

























Monday, May 18, 2009

What's Going On

I have been so buy lately with the garden, yard work, getting the business going and doctor appointments for the hubby, I just have not been able to find the time to sit and write or work on my blogs.

First off, Chris (the hubs) has been sick off and on for several months now, and he finally decided to start really "bugging" the doctor about it. (You know how men are when it comes to going to the doctor.) After a small abnormality in an EKG, he was sent for more tests on his heart which thankfully came out negative. He was also sent for an ultrasound of the gall bladder as well as a HIDA scan, another gall bladder test. We were actually kind of hoping something would show up there as it would explain a lot and would probably be pretty easy to take care of. But, those tests also came out negative. So, it's back to the doctor tomorrow to see what's next. (Keep good thoughts for us.)

Second, the garden.....OH MY GOODNESS!! This gardening thing is driving me nuts this year. I finally got it all in, but it's not looking too good. Now, I haven't had to go out and water it but once since it's rained a bit every day around here, so I guess that's pretty good. But, the tomatoes and peppers aren't looking too good. I'm hoping it's just taking them a bit of time to really take hold. The baby limas haven't come up yet and neither have the carrots. The icicle radishes are holding on, so maybe I'll at least have some of those. The potatoes and onions aren't poking through, but they haven't been in long enough really. The cabbages? Well, I think I will be holding their funeral pretty soon. **sign**

Every thing else is the usual. The yard has grown up a lot, but I'm slowing getting it tamed. The pet sitting is slow moving, but I am still hopeful. I've had a few initial consultations, which are free, and have clients who are going to be taking vacations during the summer and will need me then. (If you surf over to my pet sitting blog at www.tccrittersitters.com, you can see a pet adoption success story I'm pretty happy about.)

Well, I remember hearing about an old Chinese curse that says "may you live in interesting times." Interesting? I think that may be an understatement.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Earthworms and Cats and Ticks...Oh My...

OK, first off I have to apologize for not having any new photos for today's post. Both batteries to my digital camera are dead, and organized person that I am, I can't seem to find the charger. It's around here some where.......


So, between rain showers, I finally got a bit of my garden in today. Not all of it mind you, but a good bit of it. It's actually a trial and error type of thing. I have a feeling some of my plants will be moved before all is said and done. I may have planted them too close together. But, at least they are in the ground.

The soil here isn't the best, but a while back, when I dug out my little garden spot, I tossed a couple bags of Miracle Grow Organic Garden Soil on top. I am trying to grow my veggies with no chemicals, which is why I chose the organic mix. As I was digging and planting, I did come across some wiggly little earthworms, which is a good thing. Maybe there's hope after all.

Muffin followed me out into the yard, as usual. I'm a pretty realistic person. I know there is no way I'm going to be able to keep her, or any of the other little monsters....I mean felines...completely out of my garden. But, about five minutes after I got my icicle radish sprouts planted, she was playing around, tossing a dirt clump in the air, and she dug one of my radish babies up. So, I told her to get out of my garden (she just laughed at that one) and replanted the sprout. Cats!!!

Then, there is the tick problem. I have a feeling it's going to be a bad year for ticks. I walked back into the house and immediately pulled one off my pants leg. Of course, any time I work in my garden, I will head right for the shower and scrub like crazy. I am so paranoid about ticks. Any time I find one on my person, it's all I can do not to run screaming hysterically around the house. And for good reason, too. Let me explain....

When I was a kid of about 5 or 6 I reckon, Dad decided to take me camping on one of our weekend visits. So, late into the evening of our first day on this little trip, I suddenly started screaming and holding the side of my head. Dad had no idea what was wrong, just that I was going nuts basically. The youngest of my brothers, Dennis, was along with us on this trip, and Dad figured he had done something. (Dennis was picking on me a lot apparently.)

Dad started getting onto Dennis for picking on me, and in the mean time, I kept on screaming. Deciding something else entirely was going on, he piled us into the car and and off we went to the ER. Upon close examination, the doctor found that a tick had gotten into my ear and was sitting right on top of my eardrum. (There was no pain as it hadn't bitten me, but the screaming was set off by the crawling of the thing I'm sure.) **shiver**

The doctor was worried about getting the tick out as quickly as possible so it wouldn't bite into my eardrum of course, but he didn't want to try and get it out with any type of long instrument as I might not be able to sit still and a worse injury could ensue. I guess the solution was obvious. While nurses, my dad and the hospital janitor probably, held me down, he shined a light into my ear and let the tick crawl....SLOWLY....up on its own. Yeah, there was more screaming involved. But, it did work.

Now, I know that was a long story, but can't you see why I am so nuts when it comes to ticks. My heart feels like it's going to beat out of my chest when I find one of those things on me. And if it's actually attached, I'm just plain gone. I can't even remove it...have to get Chris to get it. (The things he puts up with.)

I have a feeling this gardening thing is going to be interesting......

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From the DUH Files

OK, this was the view over New York City yesterday. The Boeing 747 is Air Force One (when the prez is on it anyway), and it is being followed by an F-16 fighter jet. Now, if you live in NY, this is a sight that would put a good bit of fear in your heart. As a matter of fact, people actually began evacuating some of the taller buildings in the city, and who can blame them.

But, this wasn't another attack of course. It was a military photo-op. Seems they've done this in other areas, taken photos of Air Force One around national landmarks (the photographer is in the F-16). This time around, the photos were to include the Statue of Liberty. Now, not only is this a stupid idea anyway given past events, but then no one thought to let the city of New York know they were going to do it. The mayor wasn't even told.



Here is one of probably many videos on YouTube of the flight.

If I was a conspiracy fanatic, I'd wonder if this was actually a military exercise or some thing. Some way to see how prepared the city or control towers or some such are since 9/11. But, I think it was just a very stupid idea that someone came up with then managed to get past some other idiots who also weren't thinking right, or were asleep at that time.

I mean....DUH!!!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Local Glass Art

My husband is taking an online art appreciation class as part of his work toward a Bachelor's Degree. One of the projects he had to do for this class is check out some local art work. So, off we went to the Crimson Laurel Gallery to see what they have. I'm going to post some photos of the glass art here, since those were some of our favorite pieces. I figure that would be a good way for his fellow classmates to get a look at what he's talking about in his postings on the class site (as well as a way to get even more traffic to my blog). :)



This is an untitled neon glass piece by artist Jacob Fishman. It's a kinetic work, one of those things with electricity running through you and when you touch it, the light follows your hand.


I like the detail of the glass human figure encased in the blown glass. It's pretty cool.



This is another neon glass piece called Life Form by artist David Wilson. This one is in a wood display case, and is a bit more expensive than the other one. They are both way cool, but I have to say I kind of like the other one better. Has more visual impact for me.




This is one of my favorite pieces. It's called Earth Paperweight, and it's also by artist David Wilson. I would love to have this one. When Chris and I first moved up here, we saw a larger version of this, and it was so amazing. I am going to try to get a better photo later. This one just doesn't do justice. I am so amazed at how the Earth just appears to be floating in there.




This is another favorite of mine...second only to the Earth Paperweight. This is called Acro Bag and it is by John Littleton and his wife Kate Vogel. (John's father Harvey Littleton is the founder of the American Studio Glass Movement) I like this piece because it's actually pretty simple and is very colorful. If I could afford it, this would be on my mantle...right along side the Earth Paperweight. **sigh**

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Newest Addition





Finally, some photos of the newest member of the menagerie. This is Alexander (my husband tells me that's his name). He showed up around here a few weeks ago, and is still a bit wary of me. But, I can pet him some when he's eating, and he does let me hold him, just not for too long. He's not quite solid black; has about four strands of white fur on his chest, and from this photo, I think he has a few on his belly as well.





I'm assuming Alexander is a stray as he's pretty skinny and very timid. So, soon he will be "taken care of," so to speak. We have enough kittens running around out there, and in our shelters, and he will have a much longer, healthier life in the end. (Not to mention that hopefully he and Tango will stop their little territory-marking competition on my porch.)



And from the looks of it, Alexander is starting to feel pretty safe here. :)


Monday, April 20, 2009

Just Stuff



Well, I'm a bit too busy to write much of anything, but since it's been so long, I wanted to do something, so here are some funnies to keep us amused. Enjoy.





you die








sup cat










*Pictures courtesy of LOL Cats at http://www.icanhascheezburger.com/.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pet Sitting Blog

I'm writing this under Muffin's watchful eyes. Well, figuratively speaking I guess.

I own the URL for my pet sitting business, but haven't been able to get a website built yet. Everyone I've contacted about doing it seems to be too busy, or just too busy to even get back to me at all. So, for now, I have started up a blog for it (http://www.tccrittersitters.blogspot.com/). It's not much yet, but it will grow. I have posted my services/rates list there as well, so that will help a bit. Once the site is up, I can just include a link to the blog and keep it going with stories about my pet sitting "adventures."

So, let's see, that brings my blog count up to four. I think I'll hold there for a while. :-)