Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pet Parade

A few years ago we had the two sweetest pets ever. Missy was an old but soft, lovable, petable, hugable cat. She was affectionate and let the kids do whatever they wanted to with her. Roxy was also affectionate with us, but a little leery of the kids. She was a great watch dog and was very times. Like when Jerry trained her to bring her blanket if she wanted to get up on the sofa. Of all the pets we've had, these two were the best. Life was good...and quiet. But then we lost Missy -- at age 18+ years. And shortly after that, Roxie got cancer and we lost her, too. Very quiet around the house after that. Too quiet some times, but we said "no more pets". (Actually, it was Jerry that said that.)
Jessica has always loved cats and I found a friend of a friend who needed to get rid of a "really nice cat". She was advertised as "sweet" and she had been declawed and was used to being in an empty apartment all day. Seemed perfect. Her name was Samantha. Jess called her Sammy...among other things. I don't know what this friend's idea of "sweet" is...but Sammy is a cranky, fat, old cat. Once in a while she'll come up and sit on your lap but at the slightest movement she's outta there. After Jess had her for a while, a stray showed up around her apartment building. She, of course, let her in and fed her and adopted her. She called her "Little Bit"...because she was a tiny little thing and looked a little bit like Sammy. You can see how thrilled Sammy is to have a companion. They fought all the time and Jessica had to close them in different rooms in her apartment when she was at work all day.

After Roxie died, Jess said, "You need a cat...Sammy!" After a bit, I agreed to take Sammy off her hands. After all, I was responsible for her having her in the first place. She's not the nicest animal I've ever known, but she's really not much trouble. Kind of like a big, hairy door stop most of the time. She hates the kids and hisses at them whenever they come close to her.

Then the Sunday after Thanksgiving, while we were fixing dinner, there was this horrible yowling in the garage. Jess asked, "Is that the cat??" I said I thought the cat was sleeping on the sofa in the computer room where she usually is. We went out into the garage and finally saw a tuft of fur behind the recycling tubs. Neither Jess nor I were brave enough to pull the tub out and see what was back we called Jerry and made him do it. (It's so nice to have a man around the house. Think I'll write a song about it.) Something darted out from behind there. It was light tan or gray and had a long black tail and a black nose. I thought it was a possum or something, but Jessica was sure it was a kitten. So after dinner, she put some scraps out for it. For the next week or two we had our first cold snap of the season. Jessica came over every night after work and would bundle up and sit outside and talk to the kitty and try and gain her trust. The little thing came to recognize the sound of Jess' car and when she came over, she would climb up into the engine of the car to keep warm. With the patience of Job, Jess sat and talked and put food down and tried to coax her into a bed she'd made for her in the garage. We think she spent several nights in the garage, but would be gone all day. Must have had a "day job". But every night, when Jess came over, the kitty would be around somewhere. Finally, she was getting a little more trusting. Now it was getting hard to leave the house. If we wanted to go anywhere, we needed to check under the hood of our car/truck to make sure she wasn't in there. Then one of us had to be a "spotter" while the other pulled out to make sure she didn't get under a tire. Finally...when she trusted him enough...Jerry picked her up and we took her into the basement. She was so tiny...and truly sweet. When Savannah came over a couple of weeks later, she was beyond thrilled to have a little kitten that she could hold and pet and snuggle with.

So...we've been adopted. Savannah wanted to name her in Carmen SanDiego she said. I said that was a good name because she was so tiny I would look around and say, "Where in the world in Carmen SanDiego?" But Jess said that was too big of a name for such a little lady...and she named her Sophie. And now Sammy hisses and fights with a new little stranger in the house. But our house is bigger than Jess' apartment, so they can get away from each other. It's been fun to watch a kitten playing again, even though she does get into some mischief from time to time. And when she wears herself out from knocking things off any flat surface, running up and down the stairs, irritating Sammy, chasing a ping-pong ball around the living room floor, and whatever else amuses her -- she's always ready to snuggle up with somebody for a little "cat nap".

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Here's your sign....

We saw this sign in front of a church this morning:
"If God is your co-pilot...change seats."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Climate Change...Cha Ching

If snow in Georgia is part of climate's one I'll enjoy. I think. For the second year in a row, we've had enough snow to play in. Last year was the first time 7-year-old Savannah had enough snow to really enjoy. Last year's snow was perfect. A soft, wet snow that covered the ground, was great for packing and was gone the next day. This year's snow was a little different.

We were predicted to get snow and then it was to turn to ice...maybe accumulating up to 1/2"! So our excitement about the snow was mixed with anxiety about the possibility of losing our power. Jodi and I tried to decide whose house it would be better to "hunker down" in. In case of a power outage, we could build a fire in the fire place and bring the grill into the garage to cook on. So we became the house for the snow party. I thawed a bunch of chicken breasts that we could cook on the grill if we needed to and Jerry did something he hasn't done in years -- cut fire wood. Jodi's family and Jess came over. We made chili and got ready.
What we got was a "snow sandwich". It started just about dusk and was just sleet at first. Then that turned to snow and when we went to bed it was getting really pretty out. In the morning we had about 3-1/2" of snow, but we could hear the sleet again. So there was all the pretty snow...between two layers of icy stuff. But just after breakfast the fine, sleety rain quit and we went outside to play. It was pretty cold, but we had a good time anyway. We got out the trusty trash bags and used them for sleds. Once we got a few paths made down the slope in the front yard, sledding was good. In order to build a snowman (or snow woman), we had to sort of chip the top crust off, but then the packing was good. I like to make my snow persons sitting on something. This year I made a little person sitting on the fence. The other...more impressive...snow person was a family effort. We all rolled and packed and finally got a good sized body made. I went to the garage to get Grandpa's old straw hat and the kids' broom while Emery went in search of sticks for arms. Savannah, however, had different ideas about accessorizing. She went into the dress-up clothes box and came out with a green Tinker Bell nightgown and matching (of course) green sandals. Now this girl was ready to be decked out. We went back to sledding and it wasn't long before we noticed Jeremy using the snow girl as target practice!! He took her hat off with a snowball and we all cheered...then joined it. She was cute, but short lived.

Last year I remember the kids complaining of being cold after a while. This year even though the temps were lower the snow was drier and didn't get in their sleeves and necks so they didn't want to come in even for hot chocolate. Another difference between this year and last is that this year's snow wasn't gone the next day. Luckily, we never did lose our power. But it stayed cold and the roads stayed slick. The snow started on Sunday night and the precip part of it was finished by Monday morning. On Monday afternoon Jodi and Jeremy made their way driving 20 mph all the way. Jess only lives 2 miles from our house but at the end of our road she has to go uphill to get there. She was with us till Tuesday afternoon...and then made her way carefully home. But she still didn't go back to work till Thursday.
Today is Friday and the schools have been closed all week. Any daytime thawing has been followed by nights in the teens and refreezing. Today is supposed to be warmer, so that should get us back to life as we know -- and like --it. Jerry and I ventured out to Kroger's on Wednesday afternoon...all of a mile away. But when we got there, they had no produce, no eggs and very little meat. It was easy to save on groceries this week.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

I've written before that I like new beginnings...Mondays, new months, new years and, in this case, a new decade. I feel energized. As a matter of fact, I'm writing this at 6:00 in the morning and I've been up and "doing" for about an hour now. If you know me at all, you're shocked.

I've never thought of myself as a goal oriented person, but I like getting organized in the hopes of accomplishing some particular thing(s) I guess that's a goal. This year really calls for me to change my ways. The first year that I was fully retired was somewhat productive. But this past, second year, has been a total waste of time. It's so easy to procrastinate when you have what feels like all the time in the world to do whatever you want or need to get done.

Like many of my friends, I have fallen victim to FaceBook. I love the idea of keeping in touch with friends and family and reestablishing a connection with folks I thought I'd never catch up with again. But the games are an addiction that I may need to join a 12-step program to overcome! My habit this past year has been to jump on the computer first thing in the morning to read my e-mail and check in on FB and a few other favorite sites. Then I would play a game or two (or more) while deceiving myself with the idea that I was waking my brain up. The truth is that I was dulling it down and wasting the most productive time of the day. I need to get back to my writing, sewing, making scrapbooks, organizing photos, and several other projects on my "to do" list. Some of these seem overwhelming and that's why it's been so easy to put them off. But I intend to make some major changes in my routine this year.

One other goal I have set is to get back to blogging more (has it really been since August that I posted last???) So you will be able to tell if I'm at least keeping up with one of my intentions. I hope this new year will be a productive and satisfying one for you, too. And now, as Emery says, "Let's do this thing!"