Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Christmas is almost here! It seems to me that it was just yesterday when we were celebrating Thanksgiving and before that only a day or two since the sunny skies and much warmer temperatures of summer. With all the snow that we have been getting here in Erie I sure do miss the warmer temperatures of summer!
I have my house all decorated for the season. The Christmas tree is up with the presents under it that family is giving to family. I am sure that Santa Claus will add his gifts when he tiptoes in on Christmas Eve.
I have been collecting Hallmark musical snowmen for the past four or five years and they are all lined up in a row across the television stand. With the other holiday decorations my home is looking quite festive. I sometimes get the crazy idea that I will keep my holiday decorations up all year round. I love all the snowmen, Santa Claus', reindeer, nutcrackers, elves, angels, etc that are used to decorate this time of the year. I think houses look so inviting with all the lights and decorations in the yard. Jim and I are going to go out driving on Christmas Eve to look at the houses in the area and see the decorations. It is sad that the economy has caused many people to cut back on their celebrations this year. Many houses that usually light up the neighborhood are dark this year.
Four of my Hallmark singing Snowman
Despite having six cats in the household and four of them kittens that are just six months old the Christmas tree is surviving very well. A few sprays with water and they have learned to avoid the tree like it is going to eat them. I don't want them playing with the tree because all of them had a fascination with the icicles and I do not want to have to run a kitten to the vet that has ingested tinsel and has a bowel obstruction because of it. I prefer to keep the holiday season safe for everyone that lives here. The biggest danger to the tree has been the dogs tails. It seems no matter what is going on the dogs manage to turn their butt towards the tree and wag their tails merrily. It causes a dilemma because I can't yell at the dogs for wagging their tails. So we use distraction and get them away from the tree as soon as possible. Still the bottom third of the tree is looking a little worse for wear. The branches are a bit bent, the icicles pushed into the tree or on the ground. Ornaments have been doing half gainers all over the place. We did think far enough ahead to put all the unbreakable ornaments on the lower half of the tree.
Christmas tree all decorated before the dogs tails started their redecoration efforts!
Here are a couple of my other Christmas decorations. I love giving and getting Christmas decorations. They are something you can use every year to remember the person that gave you the gift. I also buy myself at least one new Christmas decoration every year. It keeps the decoration of the house fresh and new every year and makes every Christmas just a little special. You have the comfort and memories of the older ornaments that have been used every year and you have the new ornaments or decorations that will be in your memories of Christmas in the future.
Close up of the Angel tree topper
The angel is a treasured memento of Cindy Peters, Jims mother, she passed a few years ago. Christmas was her favorite holiday and she really loved this angel.
Dogs Christmas StockingsThe dog's Christmas stockings are definitely not hung by the chimney with care because we have no fireplace. So they are hung up out of reach of snoopy puppy noses which works out just fine.
I want to wish everyone peace and happiness during this Holiday season. May everyone be safe and enjoy this special magical time of the year.
Best wishes everyone! Merry Christmas.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Trouble perched on back of chair after arrival back at our house.
I was also very upset for several reasons. One that I considered the neighbors to be responsible animal lovers and I would never consider that they would throw an animal out in the snow because of litter box issues. There are other avenues that you can follow, retraining her to use the litter box, finding her a new home, taking her to the shelter, etc. They have other cats and two dogs, I am wondering which of them will get thrown out for trivial reasons next. There are things that you can do to get a cat to use a litter box when it breaks litter training. Why if this was an ongoing problem had we not heard about it earlier? Something did not smell right about the entire situation but I did not want to see the kitten trying to survive on her own in the middle of winter or worse find out she died so we agreed to take her back. I am sure if they were callous enough to throw her outside they would not bother to take care of her and provide shelter or feed her anymore. I basically felt we had no choice.
This came at a very bad time because we had seriously considered taking the remaining kittens to the no kill shelter in town because having five cats was just a bit too much. Now here we are with six cats! This is not progressing in the correct direction.
Trouble right before she left our house when her name was Squirt!
Now we have Rommel going through cat infatuation again because there is an new cat in the house so he is on high alert to chase and play with any thing that moves. Trouble is hiding and spitting and hissing at the other cats in the house. She does not remember that they are all family. Of course the resident cats are all returning the favor and growling and hissing back at her. I have not ever heard so many sounds of cat discontent in my life. I have had to keep a small dish of cat food next to me so Trouble can get something to eat because the other cats will not let her share their dish yet. She has used the litter box so I guess that the reason for dumping her is a figment of someones imagination.
Now we not only have another mouth to feed and care for, we have chaos in the house that will probably take several days or weeks to resolve itself. We still have to make the hard decision on whether to take the kittens to the shelter where they will hopefully find good homes or keep them here because they have of course worked their little fuzzy selves into our hearts. I am not happy with my neighbors and I am hoping that I will not see them for quite a while so that I have time to calm down before I tell them what I think of their attitudes towards raising kittens.
Oh well, life goes on. I need to take a deep breath and get on with things. Excuse me but I have to go grab a German Shepherd that is flying past me chasing a cat. Life is definitely going to be so bizarre, that is for sure.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
One beautiful Turkey just out of the oven!!
All the extra fixin's get their turn in the oven!
It was a great day and it will remain in my memory as one of the great holidays of my life. I am thankful for good friends and family and chances to spend time with them. I am thankful for the food on the table, the roof over our head and the beautiful day that God gave us.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May the spirit of giving thanks stay with you throughout the year.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Today is my sister Stacy's birthday! She turns the half century mark today! Since she lives in Colorado we do not see each other much but family is still family. I sent her a birthday card with best wishes for her to have a wonderful day and a wonderful year. It has occurred to me that I do not have any recent pictures of Stacy. I will have to remedy that situation and post one here when I get a chance. Until then my best wishes will have to do. Happy Birthday Stacy.
This past Sunday evening through Monday we had about nine inches fall where I live. Snowfall throughout the county ranged from just a couple of inches up to a foot. At times there was thunder and lightening flashing across the sky. That is a strange phenomenon during a snow storm to hear the rumble of thunder and then the snow lights up with a glare of light. Since I usually only associate thunder and lightening with a summer storm it was sort of surreal.
This is a picture of my car with all the snow that had fallen by early Monday morning.
The one thing that I love about a heavy snow fall when there is minimal wind the snow tends to lay on the branches of the trees like white fluffy frosting. The stark white of the snow against the blacks, browns and grays of the tree branches is truly beautiful. So of course I had to take a picture or two!
Shortly after I took the above photo the snow started falling in a steady downpour almost like white rain. It obscured the view to across the street so that it appeared that you were looking through a fog. In the pictures I took you can't really tell that it is snow that is causing the foggy sensation but you can get a sense of the decreased visual acuity.
We have had a couple of days break where we have had no additional snowfall. I think that some of the snow actually had started to melt. That is of course until today when it started snowing again. Today we are having more of the light, large fluffy kind of snowflakes. I haven't heard anything about approximate accumulation amounts yet, I do not want to get depressed. I did dig out the camera and attempt some pictures of the snowflakes coming down.
As you can see the trees have lost their frosted appearance over the past couple of days. Also some of the trees have not even had a chance to lose all of their fall finery due to the early arrival of snow.
Kai and Rommel like the snow and they were outside playing while I was taking pictures. At one point when the snow was coming down a little heavy, Rommel was slowly being covered in a blanket of white and did not look too happy about the prospect of staying out in the snow much longer.
I think that the best way to spend the winter months is to hibernate like bears do. You go to sleep in the fall and when you wake up it is spring! What could be better than that! I don't have that option so I am going to make the best I can out of a bad situation and take pictures and try to enjoy myself. Since I have a bunch of sour lemons I might as well make lemonade! Only one month till winter officially begins and then just three more months until the official start of spring. I am already marking my calendar.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Rommel when he first arrived, looking just a little confused and stressed.
Fortunately Rommel LOVES cats and kittens. He likes to gently pin them down with one paw while he sniffs them thoroughly from nose to the tip of their tail. If they run then he loves to chase them as far as they want to run. He was in heaven when he found out that there were four cats here and that none of them were afraid of him. As a matter of fact all the cats walked right up to him a few minutes after he arrived and gave him the once over.
Jim and D.C. say hello to Rommel
Rommel brought his own food, food dishes, leashes and collars as well as a large cushion that he uses as a bed. We put the cushion off to one side in the living room and soon the cats have claimed it as their own. Poor Rommel walked over to his bed and looked down at the cats that were sprawled there and turned and walked away. According to Lynn he won't dispossess a cat from anything that it has. That includes food, a cat can walk up to Rommel and steal his food right out from under his nose and he will just watch it walk away with it. So if the cats get on the bed first then Rommel looks for somewhere else to lay down. I keep telling him to climb up on the cushion and threaten to lay down on the cats, I am sure that they will move. He is such a gentleman, he won't do it.
Pippin and Gabby make themselves comfortable on Rommel's bed
I am thrilled that Rommel is staying at my house now. He is fitting in well with the rest of the menagerie that lives here and by that I mean the crazy humans also. He is such a handsome boy and an excellent ambassador of his breed. Considering he was rescued by Lynn from horrible conditions when he was three months old he has come a long way. Kai is very happy to have an older brother to play with. Welcome to my family Rommel.
After a long first day Rommel settles in for a nap.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Log cabin birdhouse
It is an interesting collection of birdhouses, statues, benches and other items. Anything can make a good picture if you get the right angle, lighting, etc. I do not put together all the elements of a good photograph. While my pictures may never be award winners they do please me and they do remind me of a wonderful day spent with friends enjoying one of the last nice days before winter comes to northwest Pennsylvania.
Is this a frog or a turtle. It appears to me to be the head of a frog (buggy eyes) with the rest being a turtle!
Butterflies and Birdhouse
Roy owns a Cockatoo that came out on his perch to visit with us for awhile. He is quite the comic for a bird and very entertaining to watch. He would say "Hello" and then bob his head up and down quickly while raising his crest as high as it would go. When he got bored he would pull splinters of wood off his perch. Later he climbed down on the tray grabbed a large piece of wood that he had ripped off the perch and used it to scratch his head, combing his crest with it. And some experts say animals don't make or use tools!
Our friend the Cockatoo, responding to "Hello"
What a pretty bird!
The yard is overshadowed by a huge old locust tree and the sun filtering through the leaves made a wonderful picture. So of course I took several. Here is my favorite one.
The evening of course progressed to a game of Texas Hold'em Poker. For once I was doing quite well and really cleaned up on several of the hands. The black cloud that follows me when I am playing any type of game was absent for just a little while and I took full advantage of it to gloat and tell everyone what a wonderful poker player I am. I have to get my bragging in when I can because when it comes to games of chance I don't get many opportunities! Just one last picture of our host Roy. I apologize for it being blurry but Jim took the picture not me. I will have to leave it here until I get a better one to put in its place.
Another day spent with good friends that I can file in my memory book. I like to remember times spent doing simple things, sharing good food and time with people that you like. Even quiet get togethers can be the happy memories that weave together to make the quilt of your life.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
1960's Stutz Bearcat electric ride on toy by the Marx Toy Company
This toy is Randy's pride and joy. He is a toy collector and he likes unusual toys and also toys from the Marx Toy Company. To find both an unusual toy and one from Marx made his day.He obtained the toy from the original owner that rode the car as a child. He has since kept it under a tarp in a barn. Despite that it remains in very good condition. Randy has plans to take it apart and restore it. I know it will be beautiful when done.
The cats have all adopted the car as their very own. Fortunately Randy finds this amusing and does not seem worried that they will damage the car. At any time of the day or night you can find at least one of them sitting on the seat of the car, playing with the steering wheel, climbing over the hood or taking a nap. It is Gabby's favorite perch by far and you will find her there more often than the rest.
Gabby enjoying the view.
D.C. and his brother Pippin have discovered that the seat of the car is an ideal perch to sit on and watch television from. These kittens have never shown any interest in watching the television until the car appeared right in front of the TV set. Watching television now is an interesting adventure because at any moment a cat paw or the entire cat will pop up in front of the screen to chase something moving there. I have heard that you can purchase a video for your cats to play when you are not home for their entertainment. Sort of a cat babysitter. I have never given much thought to purchasing one because I have never had cats this dedicated to watching TV. Maybe I should buy them one but then what happens if they learn to program the VCR! Will Kitty porn be far behind!!
Pippin watching TV
I am waiting for the cats to present me with demands for their drivers permits. And the when Randy gets the car running again there will probably be arguments over who gets to drive! This could be as bad as having a house of teenagers! Yep, I really need this. Is anyone interested in having a precocious cat come to live with them, sorry but you will have to provide your own car!
Monday, October 6, 2008
Kai catching some "Z's"
Cats and kittens seem to also be able to sleep while hanging over the edge of chair backs, tangled up in a knot together or in other equally strange contortions. Maybe it would be a good idea to get into the business of being a pet chiropractor because surely after sleeping in some of these positions they have to need an adjustment or two.
This is Yankee taking a nap
Pip just hanging out At times the kittens pile on each other and it is anyone's guess where one kitten ends and the next one starts. At least they can share body heat and keep toasty warm when sleeping in a pile like that. Not a bad idea on a cool fall day.
Just one more, I could not resist.
How many cats do you see?
Okay I will resist the temptation to put more pictures here. It is a beautiful sunny day and I think I will take myself and my camera and see what we can see! So long till next time.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The ideas keep flowing so I think I will have fun with this column.
I am also going to be writing articles for "Show Dogs Online". I am planning on sending my first article for that magazine this month. I am working on ideas for stories so I can query the editor and get started. She is looking for columnists for future niches so I need to get my niche squared away early. I am definately more comfortable writing about performance events than I would be writing about conformation or breeding.
I need to get busy writing now. I would cross my fingers for luck but I have such a hard time typing when I do!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
This is the kitten we jokingly refer to as D.C. which stands for devil cat or demon cat or just plain darn cat (slight editorializing there, must keep this PG after all!) depending on how much trouble he is causing at the moment! I have never met an animal that since birth has devised more ways to frustrate, annoy and generally irritate all of us living in this household at one time or another. At the same time everyone loves his personality so much that he has become the kitten we are absolutely keeping. Guess it pays to be annoying sometimes.
D.C. was having a grand old time entertaining himself in the dryer where someone had left the door open. Randy had decided to wash a load of laundry and found him cavorting in the dryer so he took a few pictures.At least he is capable of entertaining himself when he needs to!
D.C. playing in the dryer!
For a little change of topic we went over to my friend's house yesterday and helped her to move some furniture around and other household chores. While we were there I managed to snag some nice pictures of her and her two German Shepherds Rommel and Otto. They are two of my German Shepherd Kai's best friends and playmates. Here are a couple of the pictures.
Rommel chilling on the couch
This cool dude is Otto!
Otto and Lynn, definately Best Friends
I am going to say so long till next time. I have places to go and things to do today. Hopefully I will return with more photos and other interesting things to share.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Jim, the organizer of everything and anything!
Jim's brother Randy drove, I rode shotgun and Jim got the honor of sitting in the back seat with the dogs. As we made a quick stop at a convenience store for last minute oops items. You know those things that after you have been on the road for five seconds to five minutes pop into you head and you say "Oops I forgot .......". We soon arrived at Roy's house. Then there was the major job of unpacking the car and carrying everything to Roy's yard. I left that to the boys and just took care of myself. My philosophy is if men come along on any trip their main purpose is to carry everything so the women don't have to.
Jim's brother Randy.
Among the Oops items on my list was Kai's training collar. The entire purpose of training a dog is so that eventually they will not need a training collar but Kai has definitely not reached that point yet. Since Roy's yard is not totally fenced in he set up a tie out so that I would not have to
sit and hold Kai's leash the entire time. Randy's dog Trinity is older and past the training stage of needing to be leashed during an outing. She never wanders farther than about fifty feet from Randy. I don't know if that is just her temperament or if Randy did one heck of a job of training but it is really makes life easier.
Randy's dog -- Trinity.
Kai knew that his training collar was not on after about three seconds of being on leash so he decided that all bets were off and he could behave as he wished! I have never been so embarrassed by his behavior. He kept jumping around, running up to people and annoying them, begging for food (a definate cardinal no no in my house) and other obnoxious behavior he must have just thought up that day. Any commands given were ignored or just given fleeting attention. I do not think that this dog wanted to live to see his second birthday or even the next day! Finally as the day progressed sheer exhaustion set in and he finally settled down and fell asleep.
Kai power napping!
We had an awesome picnic dinner despite all the distractions. The food was great and the company was greater. We played texas hold 'em and just about every other version of poker known to mankind. We were not playing for money, just chips and I had some good hands and some bad ones but mostly it seems towards the end that I could not get a break and my chip pile dwindled into nothing. One of the many reasons I have never had the urge to gamble for money is my inability to win consistently at a game where there are no stakes. I can just imagine what would happen the first time I put any money on the line. I would be broke so fast it would be a worlds record I am sure. When they handed out lucky genes I must of skipped that line.
Kai's power nap revved him up for the trip home. He got excited by all the fun of packing everything in the car at the end of the evening and on the way home all you heard in the car was Jim arguing with him over the seat space in the back. I have learned that until a great deal more training, all bets are off with Kai unless his training collar is on. Some lessons are just more embarrassing to learn than others.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The kittens are growing like bad weeds. We are down to four, found homes for three of them but I still am hoping that we can find homes for at least three more of them. While I would possibly consider keeping one, I do not want to keep all four, that would up the cat count in this household to seven. That may be a lucky number for some people but do I want to test it!! We have given them all names mostly for ease of telling who is who.
left to right: D.C, Precious, and Punkin.
The kittens are all very active now and it is harder to get a picture. At other times they sit real still or doze off like above and I have gotten some cute pictures. This is probably the most photographed litter of kittens ever! Good practice any way.
Thundercloud over Lake Erie, picture taken from Conneaut, OH Municipal Park. Upper picnic pavilion.
We went to Jim's family reunion on a Saturday during the first part of the month. It was a gorgeous day, warm, breezy, no humidity to speak of. The sky was a beautiful blue with those white puffy cotton candy clouds over head. His reunion is held in Conneaut, Ohio at a park overlooking Lake Erie. When we arrived ther was a huge black thundercloud out over the lake, you could see the rain coming down off the cloud into the lake. All the boats on the lake headed for the marina. We could hear thunder and occasionally lightening would streak across the cloud. We all expected to be getting wet soon but the cloud just slowly drifted from west to east across the lake in front of us and never moved any closer to the shore. Soon it was past and it left no trace except for increased wave activity in the water.
Water spout that formed ahead of the thunder cloud.
Jim's birthday was this past Tuesday. We went out to dinner, had a wonderful meal. Didn't spend too much time talking to each other because Jim as usual was too busy listening to the conversations at the tables around us and interjecting comments into their conversation whenever he felt the urge. I get really upset that he does that, I consider it rude to deliberately listen to other peoples conversation, but then to just jump right in the conversation which just proves you were listening! really pisses me off. Amazingly no one has ever seemed to resent his butting in, or at least they haven't told him to mind his own business or punched him in the nose when he does it. I guess if I want him to talk to me in a social situation I need to be sitting at another table talking to someone else, then he will jump right in and talk to me!
Jim at family reunion, as usual paying attention to anything and everything except me, sigh!
That is a quick update on my month of August. September is rolling in here quick. I have lots of birthdays, including mine (which will be the dullest day in history). Doctors evaluation for my disability claim and testing for Kai to become a therapy dog. So there should be lots of interesting items to talk about and take pictures of. Now if I just remember that I have a blog and I should post just a little more often.
So long for now,
winning the award for the worlds laziest blogger!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
They are all so cute it is hard to resist the urge to keep them all but I just keep reciting the mantra: "I do not want SIX more cats."
See what I mean, aren't they just too cute! Everyone cross their fingers that we find them wonderful homes in the next few weeks. If they stay past the "Aw, aren't they cute" phase, it gets really difficult.
Wish us luck.