Thursday, March 26, 2009

Welcome to the Menagerie

My house is turning into a menagerie. Who am I kidding? Turning? It's been a menagerie for a long time now. Besides the various birds that I feel the need to provide tons of feed to, other animals keep showing up...mostly those of the feline persuasion. But, the "herd" is not limited to cats.

Of course, there's the neighbor's cat, Tango. He's a sweet guy, but since another tom cat has started hanging around, he's taken to marking every part of my yard, including items on the front porch. (I've given the people around me the neuter lecture. Only so much I can do.)

Then there's Drifter. This one has been hanging around for a while and still won't let me too close. I think it's a girl, but haven't been able to tell actually. (The new tom cat that's hanging around is jet black. {Haven't been able to get a photo of him yet.} What a contrast the two make.)

And of course, there's always Muffin. She's a sweetie, but a bit odd at times. Yesterday, she ran out into the rain to greet me when I got home from an appointment, then complained the whole time about getting wet. I kept telling her it was her own fault, but she didn't seem to believe that at all.

Squirrels used to be very abundant in my yard, but seemed to disappear for a bit after we had the large maple tree trimmed back last year. No where good to hide I reckon. But, I think they will return. I do know I often see them using the power lines to cross the road and come to my feeder. Maybe they just wanted to use that little trip as their form of exercise. This little guy looked up just as I was taking the picture. How perfect was that? (On a later post, I'll tell you about the three "regulars" we used to have and how they got their unusual names.)

This is Herman, the mostly black opossum that shows up at night to eat the cat food. He's pretty cool really. We have a couple old tables on the porch that were supposed to be hauled off, but the cats started using them, so now their food gets put up there. This guy just climbs right up to eat.

This is the little house Muffin uses sometimes. It sits right by our living room window, and since she doesn't like the wind, when it's cold and very windy, I'll put her plate of food in front of it so she can eat without being bothered. One night, I looked out the window to see Herman happily chomping away. I grabbed my camera and tried to sneak out the door. He panicked of course, and turned and ran into Muff's house. No escape there. I didn't get too close as I really didn't want to scare him any more than he already was, so the zoom feature came in handy. (Took the picture then went back in the house so he could eventually come out and finish his nightly raid.)

And of course my four "little" cuties who love to watch the others from the comfort of the bed or sofa. Have I ever written about how I got these guys? I'll have to check back and see. For now, I'll just say they are a bunch of bottle-raised, spoiled-so-rotten-they-stink fur babies...and I love them as if they were my children, because when you think about it, they really are.

And so the menagerie continues to grow. We even had a mama raccoon at one time that came around in the wee morning hours to eat. (Probably the only time she cold get away from the little ones.)

Wonder who's going to show up next?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Vicki Lane has given me my very first blog award. I'm doing the Snoopy Happy Dance here. Thanks Vicki.

Now, I have to pass it along to five deserving blogs. That's a hard thing in a way. I'm always surfing around and finding new blogs to read. There are so many good ones out there. But, here are five I feel deserve this little honor. (Just right-click and copy the picture of the award for your sites, then pass it along to five you think deserve it as well.)

First there is my friend Stephanie over at Blogging My Way to a Better Life. Steph is a member of my writers' group, and the first client of my new pet sitting business. (I ADORE her dogs.) She's a great writer and definitely a major sports fan. (Go Steelers!) :0)

Katey Schultz is another local writer. She is also one of the organizers of the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival which takes place in Burnsville, NC, as well as the Eve's Night Out monthly open-mic poetry event. She is currently working on a book about Western North Carolina's swinging footbridges. Check out her blog, The Writing Life.

The CUPZ by Watie in Malaysia is all about cupcakes. Yep, an entire blog about cupcakes. She's a baker and decorates those wonderful little cakes for different occasions. I love checking out her blog. The photos of beautifully decorated cupcakes are enough to make your mouth water. YUM!

Over at Frugal Family Recipes...What's for Dinner Tonight?, Michelle Jones of Atlanta has put together a great blog of home cooked recipes geared toward the very busy cook with very little time. (That's most of us, isn't it?) I'm a huge recipe addict, and this site is one way I "feed the need" without stacking up even more cookbooks in my house.

And last, but most definitely not least, is Angie Bailey over at Eclectic Catladyland. I love this blog. Maybe it's because we're both "crazy" cat ladies, or the fact she's from the Twin Cities (I was born in St. Paul), or because according to her profile we're the same, now that I look at all the similarities, it seems kind of creepy. ;-)

Check out these great blogs when you get a chance.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Business Logo

When I decided to start my pet sitting business, I searched around for some sort of artwork to use as a logo. My search on the net brought me across the picture above. It was posted with a statement that anyone who wanted to use it was welcome to. Well, it was pretty close to what I was looking for, but not quite. For one, it shows only dogs, and my business isn't limited to just canines. So, I put out a call to people I knew who were artists, and my friend Gera Girard answered that call. I told her my ideas about adding in a bird cage and fish bowl on either end of the couch, as well as changing the hair to look a bit more like me...and of course adding in cats. She took those ideas and ran with them.

This is what Gera came up with and I am happy as can be. I especially love the look on the fish's face. Best part of all, when I first saw this picture, it made me laugh. That's important to me. I want people to know that their pets will be safe and happy while they're gone, and I want them to know how happy taking care of animals makes me.

It's a happy little picture, don't you think? :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Erin Go Bragh!

Here it is...the one day a year when EVERYONE is Irish. :-)

I have added the book Irish Girls About Town to my reading list, and will start on it today as way of celebrating my Irish heritage (Family name is Flanagan way back there).

Today, find your own way to celebrate your Irish heritage, or that of a friend. Read a book, wear green, drink green beer, dye your hair red...go for it.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Five Questions

OK, I was reading Vicki Lane's blog the other day and she wrote about how on another blog, the author had invited her readers to answer five questions on their blog...and then invite their readers to do the same. Vicki got her questions and answered them, and passed along the invite. So, I figured why not, and threw my hat into the ring.

Vicki posted my questions in the comments section of my blog, and I grabbed them and went to work. And what work it was. I still think I could add more to my answers, but it's time to stop "fiddling" around and post them already. If any of my readers would like to do the same on their blogs, let me know in the comments section and I'll pass along some questions of my own for you to post.

1. What was your favorite toy when you were a child?
For some reason, I have very few clear childhood memories. I do remember having a box of toys in the basement at one house we lived in. There were so many odds and ends in that box, including empty tomato paste cans for some odd reason. I also remember having a Weeble’s Treehouse that I adored, and a Big Wheel that my stepsister (for a time anyway) would tie to her bike so she could pull me along behind her.

But, in the end, I have to say my favorite toy was, and still is, my teddy bear, Fudge Brownie. Still have her. She’s 37 now, and a bit beat up, but she’s still a comfort when I’m in a bad mood or sad about something. For some reason, she gives my hubby the creeps, so I kind of keep her in a place where he doesn’t have to see her a lot. :-)

2. If you could spend a day being invisible, what would you do?
This is a tough one. (Thanks a lot, Vicki.) ;-)

My husband has lots to say about this one. Mainly things like how it would depend upon, when we say invisible, do we mean only in the visual spectrum, are we still detectable through body heat, etc? (Kind of annoying, that.) I’m thinking totally invisible. I’ve tried to think of what I would do, especially since time travel isn’t involved. (Would love to see my parents first meeting so I could know how those two ever got together – albeit temporarily.) I’d love to spend a day in the west wing of the White House, just to see a “typical” day in the running of our country (if any day is typical there).

Then, there’s that little part of me who would just like to be able to hang out in my own home without anyone (cats included) knowing I was there. To be able to sit outside in the sun reading a book, or stretch out on the bed and take an undisturbed nap with one of my Enya CDs playing in the background…ah, what dreams.

3. If your cats could speak English, what would they say?
Major (as I’m getting ready to walk out the door): “Hey, where’re you going? You can’t leave me. Wait a minute. You can’t leave.”

Eddie (the Princess): “I really should be an only kitty. I just don’t understand why you had to let those others live here.”

Blondie (the former athlete): “Hey, did you give me my snack today?” (then at about 2am) “HEY, ARE YOU AWAKE?!?! Just checking.”

Face (the Empress): “Feed me now, monkey, before I die of starvation.”

Muffin (originally Muffinhead – an homage to her vast intelligence): “Why do you keep all those cats inside? Did they do something wrong?”

4. What would you like to be doing in 25 years?
Writing still, but actually being paid for it. Maybe with my pet sitting business expanded enough that I can either “retire” and let someone else run it for me, or just sell it to someone outright. (I can dream.)

5. What is your favorite tree and why?
I’ve never really thought about my favorite tree. Favorite flower of course, but tree? Let’s see…there are three trees I really like: the Weeping Willow, the Magnolia and the Live Oak with lots of moss hanging from it. Out of those, I have to say the Live Oak is probably my favorite, especially those that stretch down, touching the ground so you can just climb right up and sit on a branch. I also love those places that have moss draped live oaks on either side of the road or driveway, the branches crossing over above you like some giant canopy. They just draw you in, seeming to call you down the lane, making you want to see what just might be waiting for you at the other end.

Small Voter Turnout...

...but it looks like the referendums passed anyway. (

I woke up at 1:30 this morning and just could not go back to sleep. Hate it when that happens. But, I figured since I'm up, I might as well go to the Board of Elections website and see how the vote went yesterday. It does look like all four of the alcoholic beverage issues passed, but I have to say I'm kind of disappointed in the voter turnout. Only 51.71% of registered voters actually showed up to vote on an issue that it seems EVERYONE had an opinion on. Well, maybe that worked out for the best in the end.

I also have to wonder why it appears that some people voted on one or two of the issues but not on all four. That's kind of odd to me, but who knows why people want one thing and not the other, or vice versa.

So, we are finally coming up into the modern world. Took long enough.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Am I Just Being Picky?

There are currently four dry counties in North Carolina, and I just happen to live in one of them. Of course, we're only dry on paper if you ask me. There is golf course in our county that has a store that sells beer and wine. How that works, I have no idea.

That being said, today there is a vote in town to bring in sales. (Four different referendums on the ballot actually.) Now, this is only in the city limit, so only those living in the city limit can vote. Which leaves me out...which I hate. I understand there are those who don't want any of the referendums to pass, but I for one like an occasional glass of wine, or *gasp* even a mixed drink. (I discovered chocolate martinis a couple years ago. Yum.) And considering how many people go outside the county to purchase now, our we are losing out money-wise. (Even purchases made at the golf course do not benefit our county.)

So, here we are, awaiting the results of a city vote. If this stuff passes, maybe it will open things up county-wide. Who knows. There are many signs around town pushing both sides, which brings me to my actual reason for this blog. Do you see the problems with these signs?

I'm not an English major or anything, but I have this issue with signs that are just plain wrong. This one for instance. It should read "proposals," plural.

And then there's this one. If I'm not wrong, it should read "alcoholic beverages." (Someone correct me if I am wrong.)

Now, since I'm on the 'other' side of this issue, some may think that's the only reason I'm pointing these out. That really isn't true. These are the only such mistakes I've seen in the dozens of signs that have popped up in my town. And I really wonder if I'm just being too picky when I say that grammatical and/or spelling mistakes on signs (ANY signs) is one of my biggest pet peeves.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Always Welcome Fluffy White Stuff

Just some snow pictures today.

Ankle deep snow, too fluffy to make a snowman or a good snowball, but very beautiful.

Muffin hates the stuff, and really hates the wind (as do I) but still insists on following me around the yard as I take pictures...complaining all the while.

If the squirrels want corn today, they're going to have to work a bit for it.