Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Okay, obviously, OBVIOUSLY, I am missing something here ...

So, the NBA has banned Donald Sterling, the owner of the L.A. Clippers, for life, and fined him 2.5 million, and is going to insist that he sell the team, because he was caught on tape making racist comments.

Sterling was taped telling his girlfriend, who ironically is black and latino, that he didn't want her bringing any of her black friends to games, and he didn't want her posing for pictures with black people, and all kinds of other reprehensible stuff. 

Well, since he doesn't like black people, I'm wondering why he wanted to own an NBA team in the first place, and why he's dating a black woman, but I'm also wondering what would have happened if, oh, I don't know,  a black business owner was caught on tape telling his white girlfriend to stop associating with white people.

I wouldn't patronize his business anymore, because if he thinks of me as a yucky honky cracker I don't want to give him any of my money, but other than that?

I dunno.

Lots of people are racist.  Lots and lots.  Look at all the right-wing fanatics calling Obama a "half-breed" and worse.  I don't see any of them getting fined and banned. 

And while I think Sterling's comments are awful, do I also think he has the right to say them?

I do.  His comments are horrible, but if he wants to talk about how much he hates black people, well, that's free speech.  I understand that he also has a history of racial discrimination, and that IS punishable, because discrimination by race is illegal, as it should be.  But speech?

I also think that his players have the right to walk out, and people have the right to boycott the Clippers, and commentators are free to call him an a**hole. 

What I don't understand is why the incredible uproar, why now, when this kind of racist crap is spewn every day, everywhere, in every neighborhood.  It's not RIGHT, but it happens every. day.

Why Sterling?

Please, someone, explain this to me, because I don't understand, and it's embarrassing the sh*t out of me, and I'm afraid I'm somehow racist because I don't understand why this one man is being pilloried when other people say the same awful crap every day with no consequences.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Recently Read

As usual, skip it if you wanna.

1.  Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson.  Eh. Meh.  I don't know - Sometimes I wonder if I'm just not smart enough to appreciate some of these "modern classics".  This novel, about sisters who are cared for by relatives after their mother dies, just rang blah to me.  None of the characters are particularly likeable, and I got the feeling that even the author didn't really care for them, she wrote about them so dispassionately.  Can't recommend.  So sue me.

2.  Tallulah Falls by Christine Fletcher - YA novel about a teen runaway.  Good.

3.  Eggs in the Coffee, Sheep in the Corn by Marjorie Myers Douglas - Memoir by a farmer's wife in the fifties and sixties.  Interesting.

4. The Liars' Club by Mary Karr - I've read this one before, but I really enjoyed it, so I read it again.  Memoir about the author's messed-up Texas childhood, told so that you'll laugh out loud.  I wasn't so fond of her later memoirs, but this one, the first, is a gem.

5.  Documentary time!  Paul Williams is Still Alive is an eponymous doc about the 70's songwriter.  I LOVE his songs, and yet this documentary was annoying as sh*t, so I gave up about a half-hour in. 

6.  The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg - I love anything Ms. Flagg writes, and this book, about a group of sisters in WWII, was very enjoyable.

7.  Time for another documentary:  Twenty Feet from Stardom is a doc about backup singers.  Very interesting.

8.  Joyland by Stephen King - I almost skipped this one, because it was marketed as a one-off, a noir novel, but it really wasn't noir.  Atypical  King, for sure, because it came in at under 300 pages, but it was almost a relief to pick up a King book that I didn't need to invest the next few months of my reading time in.  Good book about a murder at an amusement park and one summer in the life of a college student.

9. Movie time!  Geez Louise, I'm not taking recommendations  from other bloggers seriously anymore.  "What Maisie Knew" is a boring-ass, painful movie about divorce from a kid's point of view, featuring Julianne Moore and some random dude screaming at each other in front of their daughter.  The young actress who plays Maisie is great, but the movie itself is a dog.

10.  The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani - This book got great critical reviews, but I didn't like it.  I need to start reading the negative reader reviews on Amazon* - If I had done that with this book, I would have found that reviewer after reviewer called it boring with unlikeable main characters, and I would have skipped it.  As it is, I only got 40 pages in.

So!  Better World Books had another awesome sale, so I've got more books on the way.  Hopefully they'll be good ones.  What have you been reading?

*Which are sometimes hilarious.

Monday, April 28, 2014


So!  Saturday was another adoption event:

I like the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign overhead.  You betcha, all these kitties come with guarantees.  You will fall in love, or your money back.

This little miss could've been adopted out twenty times over:

The rescue is reviewing approximately nine kabillion applications for her to see who will be the lucky new servant of Miss Sally.  We found new homes for two of the older cats, Smudge and Reese, as well, so it was a good day.

Sunday, I walked the creek down by my old apartment.  During the flood of 2011, the waters rose over this bridge:

Portions of people's yards get transplanted to down by the creek when the floods come:

The paintballers have been busy reinforcing their bulwarks:

I think it's great that the kids are outside screwing around, instead of inside with their eyes glued to video screens.  I just wish the little sh*ts would clean up after themselves; there were water bottles and soda bottles and, yep, beer cans, and empty ammo cannisters all over the place.  I guess they're waiting for their moms to come clean up.  *sigh*  (and GET OFF MY LAWN!  *shakes cane*)

I think this old deer stand has about had it:

The scrub brush is starting to green up:

Soon it will block lovely views like this one, of an abandoned car:

Can you spot the chipmunk in the pic above?  How about now:

There he is:

The entire forest to play in, and he picks the junked-out car.  Go figure.

Another out-of-focus pic of a blooming flower:

Bright and sunny, like I wish the weather was.  Ha.

Let see, the weekend also involved charging up the mower, and using boltcutters, and!  A picker stopped by the house and asked if Mr. Z was for sale! 

Nope, I said.  I can't sell good ol' Mr. Z.

And one more pic of Little Miss Sally, just for you:

Squee at will.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Freaky Friday: Doorbell

This is a magnet that I've got next to my doorbell.

I don't know - it doesn't seem to keep the Jehovah's Witnesses away.  Maybe they like monkeys.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ponyboy update

Well, we are now at three weeks after surgery.

Pony spends most of his time in the spare/foster room, but when I'm home, I let him out to stretch his legs.  As you can see, he has a fair way to go in the fur department:

He's got a hell of a lurch, but he motors around amazingly well, considering.  He is constantly trying to chase after the other cats, and he loves to hop up on the low bookshelf in front of the living room window.  I trail him around like he's a little Faberge egg, trying to make sure he doesn't do anything too strenuous.  He's like, "Mooooooooooom, stop FOLLOWING me!"

Snoozing is always good:

He will go back to the specialist vet next month for a followup visit.  Good boy!  Now grow some fur.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Salt Springs, baybee

Okay, first off:  Trigger alert.  This post contains a photo of a .... snaaaaaaaaaaaake!

It keels me how people get all funky over snake pics.  And certain words.  Someday I'm gonna do a "trigger post" and it's going to be 100% pics of snakes and spiders and clowns, interspersed with words like "panties" and "tinfoil" and "damp".

Did I just run everybody off?  OOPS.

So!  Back to the regularly scheduled post.

Sunday, I went to Salt Springs.  It was a little bit warmer than on Saturday, which made for a nice walk.  A strenuous walk, actually, which I can now feel in my legs, two days later.  Am old.

The park is full of farmers' stone walls:

The Fern Forest is still mostly brown.  A month from now, it'll be crazy-green and beautiful - I'll have to remember to go back and take an "after" pic:

At least the skunk cabbage is green:

I have no idea why they call it skunk cabbage.  It doesn't smell skunky - not even when you crush the leaves.  Maybe skunks like to eat it?  I dunno.

Look!  Flowers:

Yeah, I know that pic is blurry.  But I had to take a picture of the first flowers of spring!

And I felt like belting out THE HILLS ARE ALIIIIIIIVE and spinning around in circles when I got to this field:

Well, no, they're not alive right NOW, but give it a month ... That's spring around here.  The promise of what will be, if we can just display a little patience, for Pete's sake.  Sheesh.

Look!  A snaaaaaaake!

Here is where I presume a bird met its demise.  Can you spot the feathers?:

There's still ice on the walls of the gorge:

But the falls are flowing:

And warm weather is just around the corner. I hope.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Note to Ginny

Google "Master Hare by Joshua Reynolds".

The girl is a boy!

Saturday, in the park

Saturday I went up to Greenwood.  The sun was warm, but the wind was cold, but at least it wasn't snowing, so all was good.

I had the place practically to myself.  The trees are juuuuuust starting to leaf out.  They take their sweet time in this neck of the woods - we won't have really green hillsides for another month.  Here's a shot looking at the beach/picnic area of the park - empty of people:

Here is a bog that the beavers dammed up.  You can see the dam, right up front:

They decided to double-team this tree:

Look! Frog eggs!:

Can you spot the salamanders in this pic?:

SOMEbody forgot their sneakers:

It was actually kind of ominous, seeing those sneakers by the shore.   But they weren't dragging the lake with sheriff's boats or anything, so I'm assuming ... somebody just got ... tired of their sneakers?  Yeah, I got nothin'.  The Mystery of the Sneakers.

At least the moss is nice and green:

Many years ago, the former owners of the land planted pine trees.  Lots and lots and LOTS of pine trees, which continue to reach for the sky.

Pretty pines.  Pretty day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

One more Butter update ...

... in honor of Easter and new beginnings and all.

Here is an email we got from Butter's new family:

"I've been meaning to e-mail you for a week now. Butter is doing well. It took him about a week before he would walk freely through the house. But he is much more comfortable now.

His personality is sooo great! We love having a cat that wants our attention, and he does! It doesn't matter if I'm feeding the baby, reading a book or sitting at my computer, if I'm down he is in my lap.

We do appreciate all you do and did for us (and Butter). He is great fit for our family."

Butter is risen.  Hallelujah!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Freaky Friday: Garage Art

Yes, it's the return of Freaky Friday!   The occasional series where I take pics of the weird sh*t around my house and show it to you!  I haven't done it for a while, mainly because I kept forgetting to take more pics, but also because when you live with this stuff every day, it starts looking normal to you. 

But!  Let's do some Freaky, shall we?  Here is some of the "art" that I have hanging in my garage, because when you run out of space in the house, it's the next obvious choice.

 I picked up this painting (actually, two:  I bought this piece and another, similar one) at the Thrifty Shopper a while back.  I really like it; it reminds me of the Highwaymen painters of Florida.

p.s.  Ignore the lovely fiberglass insulation walls.  I do plan on finishing the garage, someday.  Maybe.  When hell freezes over, actually, because WHO CARES WHAT THE GARAGE WALLS LOOK LIKE?  Slap some art up and call it good.


I am sure this next one is a reproduction of a famous painting; I just don't know which one.  Anyone care to inform me?  Anyway, I bought it because I liked the over-the-top frame:

And here is a lovely mermaid I picked up in the junk bin at the Sal.  She hangs over the washer and dryer.

So there you go.  The garage gallery.  Happy Freaky Friday!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

They're ready for their close-ups

Sunday afternoon, I was trying to get a pic of the beauty mark under Callie's chin.  There was a fly on the ceiling catching her attention, so it seemed like the perfect time.

Isn't that a funny little mark on her chin?  It looks like somebody jostled her hand when she was putting on her eyeliner or something.

 Bindi spotted the fly, too:

Get that fly, guys!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Ballad of Butter: The Next Verse

So!  Butter was making great strides in foster care.  He decided that maybe the whole "housecat" gig wasn't so bad, after all.  The rescue decided to start calling people who were wait-listed for an orange cat, and the very first family who came to see him?

Met him and fell in love.  They looked past the frostbit ears, the ratty fur, and the faint-but-still-lingering mancat odor, and saw the loving mushball I came to know.

Butter went to a home on five acres in the sticks.  He's now a preacher's kid!  A baptist minister, his wife, and their five children will be Butter's new companions, along with a bassett hound and a nine-year-old female cat - Butter does love the ladies.

From beat-up street stray to beloved family member - Good boy, Butter!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's a better man than me who can resist the fifty-percent-off sale at the Thrifty Shopper

Yeah, whenever I get the email notification, I basically have to go.  The Thrifty Shopper is a better class of thrift store, don't ya know.

I wasn't able to get there until Day Two, but I was still able to score some cool stuff.

I LOVE this dress:

It's just so ... odd.  Like me.  Ha.

And yes, I hung my clothes off the scrubby brushes out back for these photos.  Doesn't everybody?  Believe it or not, those are lilac trees.  A month from now, they'll be gorgeous.  Right now?  Bare branches with buds.  Post-winter around here looks like post-apocalypse.  It'll green up.

I also picked up this skirt:

I had to have the skirt.  It has fierce tigers on it!

This shirt is Alfred Dunner, which, shhhhh, don't rat me out,  because ninety-nine percent of what Alfred Dunner puts out are abominations on the Grandma-level, but I thought this particular shirt was cute:

That's where I'd like to be right now.  On a patio overlooking the ocean.  Someplace warm and sunny.

A look into my closet, and my dressers, and the spare room closet, and the spare room dresser (I KNOW) has led me to conclude, a little late to the game,  that I now have all the clothes I will ever need and thus no longer need to buy any more. 

Until the next Thrifty Shopper sale, anyway.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Oh lord, where to start?  Friday night I watched Kitchen Nightmares, which I usually avoid, but they were showing a return to Amy's Baking Company, i.e., the only restaurant Gordon Ramsay ever flat-out gave up on.  On the one hand, it seems kind of rude to voyeur-in on someone else's obvious batsh*t-craziness, but on the other hand, I practically fell off my chair when she started imitating her cats' "voices". 

Let's see, Saturday I had to take back the loaner and pick up my car from the dealership.  Which was kind of sad, because the loaner, a Sonata, is MUCH NICER than my Elantra.  Best part?  The satellite radio, which means that you basically have access to every song ever recorded.  I mean, they have an entire station of nothing but Billy Joel!  Which would be awesome, except, well, his back catalog isn't that deep, which means they were playing more or less everything he ever put out, even the clunkers, several times a day.  I can only listen to "Uptown Girl" so many times.  It wasn't that great of a song to begin with.

Saturday afternoon was move-the-furniture day, where I jenga'd stuff in the spare room so that Pony could safely step up and look out the window.  Yep, that's right - no more crate for ol' Pony.  He is relishing his freedom by standing by the bedroom door and squeaking indignantly about the unjustness of being confined to one room.

 Oh, and on Saturday, I ate an entire chocolate Easter bunny for lunch.  I ... have no defense for that particular move.  I was hungry?

Sunday was state park.  And

IT     WAS     TURTLE    DAY!!!!

Every year, there comes that first warm day in mid-April, when all the turtles come up out of their mud beds to view the world again.  I love Turtle Day.  It's kind of hard to tell, but there are approximately nine billion turtles in this pic.  You might be able to double-click to enlarge it (let me know how that works out):

After that it was time for a baby-size soft-serve vanilla cone with blue raspberry dip at Jones' Humdinger Ice Cream.  I'm pretty sure nothing that came from nature was involved in that cone, but damn, it tasted good.

and THEN it was off to the Thrifty Shopper for the fifty! percent! off! sale.  I'll save that for another post.

Sunday afternoon it was time to rake all the godforsaken willow branches from the backyard.  But first, I had to bring my supervisor out to oversee the work:

That's Pony, chillin' in his crate, with Tinks outside the Big House looking in.

The lilacs are budding out, the daylilies are popping up, and we're supposed to get snow tomorrow night.  Spring has arrived.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five years

In all of the hubbub surrounding Ponyboy last week, a milestone passed by pretty much unnoticed.

Last Thursday marked the five-year anniversary of the day I quit smoking.

Shall we run the numbers one last time?

Number of cigarettes I would have smoked between April 3, 2009 and today, had I not stopped smoking on that date: 54,750.00. (!)

Amount of money saved:  $9,763.75. (Just to clarify: I smoked cheap cigs I bought on line. Had I been buying name-brand smokes at the 7-11, that number would have easily been double. And using today's cost-per-pack, you could triple that amount.  I used a figure of $3.56 a pack, since that's what my cigs cost at the time I quit.)

What can I say?  I'm a quitter.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gratuitous Cute Kitten Pics

Remember the window-well kitties?  Well, be prepared to squee:

 Two black, two orange, all adorable:

Feral Mama was successfully live-trapped and reunited with her babies.  All is well.

Tis the season, after all.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The old arm-fling maneuver

I remember riding in the car when I was little.  Most of the time, I'd hang out in the back seat and read comics, and then crawl up over into the front with mom when I got bored.

I guess maybe there were seatbelts back then, in the sixties, but I don't remember us ever using them.

And whenever I was in the front seat, and mom had to stop suddenly,  she'd fling her right arm out, across me, to keep me from hitting  the dash. Or, you know, going through the windshield.

And to this day, whenever I have to stop a car suddenly, I fling my arm out across the passenger seat, just like mom.  Of course, I never had any kids; I guess it's just a reflex from watching mom do it all those years.  At most, it stops my purse from falling onto the floor of the car.

And now I'm wondering:  Is it just me, who does the arm-fling maneuver?  Are there other old pre-seatbelt folks out there who still do it, too?  Or how about riding in the way-back of the station wagon?  Remember that?

Monday, April 07, 2014

Ponyboy Update: Pony Pooped!

Oh lord, I've become that person, haven't I.  The one who talks about her cat's bowel movements on her blog.

 ANYway, Pony's painkiller-induced constipation was relieved by mineral oil (mixed in with his food - don't ever give a cat straight mineral oil), and *I* was relieved to see a massive poop in his litterbox this morning.

One step at a time, peeps.

And speaking of stepping, Pony is walking.  Like a drunk reeling out of a bar at 3 a.m., but he can walk.  His gait should improve with time. 

Of course, he is being kept crated for healing purposes, but I do let him out a few times a day to stretch, and he takes full advantage.  He is able to put weight on that leg, and even use the scratching post with it.

He'll be crated for the next week, and then, once his sutures are removed, he'll be kept in an empty room for several weeks.  No furniture, because the vet does not want him trying to jump up/down, which trust me, we have already had some close calls when he was out for a stretch.  Cat wants to MOVE, is what I'm saying.

He's doing very well.

Anybody want to come help me move some furniture?

Saturday, April 05, 2014

and the rescue cats say ...

Many, many thanks to blog reader Ginny (you may know her as James P.), for her very generous donation to our little rescue.  This pic was taken at today's Tractor Supply adoption event. 

Ginny, it's people like you who keep us going.

p.s. and Ponyboy is doing fine today.  I put him in a small crate on a dresser in the bedroom so he could bird-watch, but for right now he's content to snooze, which is what he needs.  Good boy.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Look who's home

Yeah, I'm going to keep the heat turned up in that room - poor bare boy.  He's in a big dog crate, so there's a litterbox in there, and food and water, and some soft spaces to relax.

He's on some pretty heavy-duty painkillers, and will be for the next week.  He is being so damn sweet about the whole thing - I think he's just relieved to be out of the hospital at this point.  And it looks like the nerve damage won't be an issue - earlier tonight, he was making biscuits with the paw that was knuckling just two days earlier.

Sweet Ponyboy.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Ponyboy Update

Ponyboy is doing well today.  He is still at the vet's, under sedation.   They will start weaning him off the major painkillers this afternoon, and if all goes well, he will be coming home tomorrow.

And as an aside, you KNOW you're in trouble, wallet-wise, when you pull in to the emergency vet's parking lot at 1:30 in the morning and find the vet already there, waiting for you ...

... in his Mercedes.

yep, looks like those emergency calls really pay off!

In any event, I lucked out in that the vet on call in this area that night was the respected owner of his own practice.  And once we got to Ithaca, the orthopedic surgeon who operated on Pony was the owner of HIS practice, so Pony got treatment from head kahunas all the way.

So!  Pony will be crated in a large dog crate for at least the first several days of an expected six-to-eight week recovery time.  After that, he will be confined to one room, from which I have to remove ALL of the furniture, so that he can't jump up on anything and risk a re-injury.  Which also means no window view, so I am planning on crating him in a small crate a couple of times a day and moving him onto the dresser in my bedroom, so he can view his future bird victims.  I am currently trying to re-home the marrrrvelous Craftmatic adjustable bed in the spare room, as it weighs a metric sh*t-ton and I have no place to store it, anyway.  So if you know of anyone in the upstate New York area who could use a like-new, twin-size, fully functioning adjustable bed, please send them my way!

No, I'm not putting it on Craigslist.  My nerves are shredded right now, and I have absolutely no time or energy to expend on the Craigslist Crazy Contingent.

The other cats know something's up - they are restless, and not eating much, and if Pony could see them, he'd be all, "How DARE they waste perfectly good canned food!"  Oh!  Speaking of which, they hand-fed Pony this morning, because sometimes cats on narcotics lose their appetite and stop eating, so injury aside, Pony is basically living the life of Riley right now.

I'll update again as soon as I have more news.  And thanks again for all your support - you guys are the BEST.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Kind thoughts for Ponyboy, please

Ponyboy was hit by a car last night and suffered major injuries.

He has a broken scapula (shoulder), nerve damage to that leg, and a huge laceration on his side.

As soon as I discovered what had happened, we were off to the emergency vet.  He was sedated until he could be thoroughly examined this morning.

The laceration was sewn up, and we were sent to Colonial Vet in Ithaca for a consult.  The scapula will be surgically repaired as soon as possible, hopefully this afternoon or evening.  The nerve damage should heal itself with time. When the specialist looked at his x-rays, there was an possible issue with his bone density (possibly due to malnutrition prior to him coming  in to rescue care), but barring any complications from that (and THERE WILL BE NO COMPLICATIONS), his prognosis is good.  He will have to be crated for several weeks while he recovers.  I'll have to rig some way to get a crate in front of a window, that's for sure.

He is currently on painkillers while waiting for surgery and is alert, if somewhat groggy.

I'll keep everyone posted, and please keep those kind thoughts coming toward Pony.