Friday, January 30, 2015

Freaky Friday: Switchplates

You know it's the dead of winter in upstate New York when you're so bored, you start decorating your switchplates.

 What's that?  Why yes, yes I DO have way too much time on my hands.  But at least the switchplates look pretty.

So, the plot thickens

Olive's potential adopter contacted the rescue again.  He didn't know that cats needed to go to the vet on a regular basis.  He thought cats only needed to go to the vet when they were sick.  It was news to him that indoor-only cats needed vaccinations.  If we let him adopt Olive, he'd take her to the vet all the time!


I'll tell you what, the rescue is agonizing over this one.  The guy's attitude is fairly common, and if he's willing to see the error of his prior ways, so to speak, who are we to turn him down?  And it's obvious he wants Olive.  But why?  She's cute, I'll grant you that, in the same way that the nine billion other cats in our area awaiting adoption are cute.   Does she remind him of a cat he had when he was a kid?  Was it truly love at first sight?

Complicating matters is the fact that Olive's foster mom would like her to go to a home with other cats, because she gets along so well with the foster's permacats.  This guy want Olive to be an only cat.  Something to consider, surely, but then again, we would also like our cats to go to homes where there are heated cat beds and caviar for breakfast, and we all know the odds of THAT happening.  Plus, unlike dogs, cats are not pack animals, so they don't need other cats around to be happy.

Thankfully, I'm not the one making the call on this one.  We'll see what the powers that be decide.

Crazy cat people.  SHEESH.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Oh, for Pete's sake

Gonna get a little ranty here, I ain't gonna lie.  Skip it if you wanna.

So, we had an adoption event on Sunday, and little Olive got adopted!

Except she didn't.

See, this new group, unlike my old group, does not do same-day adoptions.  They ask potential adopters to fill out an application, and then they contact the adopter's landlord (to make sure pets are allowed where they live), veterinarian (to make sure any pets currently in the house are up-to-date on vaccinations), and one personal reference (to make sure the adopter is not an ax murderer).  They also ask for information about any pets currently in the household, to make sure the new addition would be a good fit.  (There are some cats who are afraid of large dogs, for example, and who should probably not go into a household with big dogs.)  Some people think asking that many questions is intrusive, and frankly maybe it is, but the group is just trying to make sure all of the cats are going into good, loving homes where they will be welcomed and seen by a veterinarian when needed.

So!   A man comes to the adoption event Sunday, explaining that his cat had just passed away and he was looking for a new friend.  He fell in love with Olive, and filled out an application.   When the event was over, Olive went back to her foster family, to wait for adoption day.

On Monday, the group called the veterinarian he had listed on the form.  The only time they had seen his cat was on an emergency basis to euthanize it, because she was suffering from advanced kidney disease at age 14.

The group contacted the man.  Perhaps his regular vet was closed when the cat became ill?  Maybe he had just moved from out-of-state and hadn't gotten a new vet yet?  Where were his cat's records?

There were no records.  The cat had been spayed when young, and had not seen a vet until the day she died.

People.  People.  PEOPLE.

Cats need to go to the vet.

It's not just about vaccinations, although here in New York, if you do not vaccinate against rabies you are in violation of the law.

Cats develop all kinds of problems that, while treatable, are not readily discernible, especially since it is in a cat's nature to hide its pain.  Tooth decay and heart murmurs are two things that come immediately to mind - Things that are treatable if caught early, but can cause big trouble if untreated.

And this dude had a fourteen-year-old cat who hadn't been to the vet since kittenhood.

I mean, maybe the cat was fine.  (Well, except for the KIDNEY DISEASE, that is.)  We all have a Grampa Joe who never saw a doctor between birth and the morgue.  Except I'll bet that there were a lot of times that Grampa Joe wished he had seen a doctor.

Regardless, the man was not allowed to adopt Olive.  Oh, I'm sure he'll find a cat somewhere - Maybe from the rescue where I used to volunteer, who DID do same-day adoptions without vet checks.  Except now, I'm wondering how many of the cats who got adopted out while I was there went into homes where they never got taken to the vet.  Hmmmm ...

Please.  Take your cats to the vet.  Thanks.


And don't worry, Olive, we'll find you a home.  A good one.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The weekend in pictures

Well, come ON, I got a new camera - I HAD to take some pics, didn't I?

Let's see.  Saturday I cleaned the bathroom (thrilling!) and then went to the movies.  If anybody else has seen The Imitation Game, please let me know, because I haz a question.

Saturday after the movies, I took down some of the holiday decorations out front.  Soda and Pony came out to supervise.  Pony decided he needed an aerial view:

Soda was also watching closely:

You can see how the light reflects differently in his damaged (left) eye. And those white whiskers on his chin crack me up.

Pretty soon they were done supervising and ready to play:

Sunday morning I saw this blue jay fluffed up against the cold:

That pic was taken from inside my house (come on, it's cold out there!) and quite a distance away.  I am very pleased with the zoom capabilities on the new camera.

Another shot:

And then it was time for an adoption event, my first with the group for whom I am now volunteering.

Looks like a dead day, but the store was actually quite busy - we all took this break in the action to get some pictures.


That orange boy on the right was insanely friendly - I had him out and about on a harness and leash for a good part of the day.  There was a lot of interest in him, and a little black cat named Olive found her new home, so it was a good event.

Then I had to transport some of the cats back to their foster homes and head home myself.

Oh, and what did Tinks do this weekend?  He was the only smart one in the family - he declared it Sofa City Time and called it good.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Freaky Friday: Hallway

A while back I bought a set of Loteria cards on ebay and I've been busy putting them around my doorframes because why not?

I used to have a big mirror hanging in one end of my hallway, but it fell off a while back and when weeks went by and I still hadn't replaced it, I realized that I never looked in that mirror anyway.  I thought it might be cool if it looked like there was another world past the end of the hallway, so I took an old tree-of-life bedspread and hung it up there.

So then the rest of the hallway looked awfully boring, so I've been busy hanging crap up there:

The pics on the bottom were taken by me.  The pics up top were taken by a professional.  But you all could tell that, couldn't you?  Ha.

It's been a couple of weeks since I took that pic, and since then I've hung a bunch more stuff on that wall, so I'll have to get an updated photo of it.  A pic of the pics.

My sister TIB, the one I no longer speak to because she is a BITCH, has had the same damn print of tropical fish hanging in her living room for, like, the last thirty years.  At least it was there the last time I was in her house, over a year ago, which was indeed the LAST TIME I was in her house, because there are very few things I am sure of in life, but one of them is that I will never cross THAT threshold again.  I assume the picture is still there.  And I will never understand that, how you can hang up a picture, ONE PICTURE IN THE ENTIRE ROOM, and not even a GOOD picture, just a crappy print of some unlikely-colored fish, and leave it there forever.  I get itchy if any one thing is in any one place for too long, and pretty soon I'm taking EVERYTHING off the walls and switching stuff up and chucking old stuff and putting up new stuff.  

At some point I'm sure I'll get tired of all the stuff currently hanging on all of my walls and take it all down, but for right now I think it looks cool. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Leftover pizza tastes a thousand times better heated up in the oven than it does heated up in the microwave.

I just now learned that when someone is described as "burying the lead" in a newspaper story, it's actually spelled "lede", to distinguish it from the "lead" strip of metal that separates lines of type.  Who knew?

I saw some Madeleine cookies in the bakery outlet the other day and gave them a try.  Hoo boy.  It's like pure butter, in cookie form.  Oh yeah.

License plate seen:  "I SPRKLE".  You sprinkle?  Ew.

I was at Walmart the other day and got charged $81.13 for a package of sugar cookies.  Turns out the cashier typed in the bar code wrong. And I am left with two thoughts:  (a)  I am glad I thought to check the receipt; and (b) How often does that happen, exactly?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The one I couldn't let get away

I got interested in triple, or triptych, frames a while back, when I saw one featuring religious icons in a resale store.  I didn't buy it, but it got me interested in the whole triple-frame thing. And then in early December, I went to a flea market in a neighboring town.  I saw this triptych frame there:

OooOOOOh, prettttttty, I thought.  but I dunno.  It would seem kind of ... odd to have pics of people you don't know hanging in your home.  And then I thought, well, I could toss the pics and use the frame for something else, but it seems almost cruel to throw away other people's old photos.  Not to mention the whole dilemma of how do these photos end up in flea markets in the first place?!  Gah. Plus, I was square in the middle of one of my I-don't-need-any-more-STUFF phases, my presence at a flea market notwithstanding.

So I didn't buy the frame.  But I kept thinking about it.  This particular flea market is only open twice a month, so the next time it was open, right before Christmas, I went back to see if the frame was still there. 

But the table on which the frame had been displayed was covered - the seller was not there that day.  Drat!  Probably out of town for the holidays, I thought.

So the next time the flea market was open, two weeks later, I went back again.  I WOULD have that frame, dammit!  Except ... the table was covered.  AGAIN.  SH*T!

Last Sunday, the flea market was open again.  I decided that I would go back, ONE MORE TIME.  At this point I was fairly certain that I had spent more in gas shlepping back and forth to this flea market than it would have cost me to buy the frame in the first place.  Once more into the breach, my friends.  I went back.

I walked in, and the table ... was not covered!  The seller was back! She was setting up her stuff!  But ... would the frame be there still?

IT WAS!  The angels sang!  Almost giddy, I plopped down my eight bucks (yep - eight bucks) and bought the frame.  MinemineminemineALLMINE.

At first I thought it was a mom flanked by her kids, but on closer examination, I think the photo in the middle is of a young woman:

She doesn't look old enough to be the mom of the kids, does she?  (Please excuse the reflections.  I'm still figuring out the new camera.)

Her dress looks maybe ... 1910s?  1920s?

At first I thought these were two girls:

But I'm not sure.  The haircuts would indicate little boys (although I had a haircut JUST LIKE THAT at age five), and I know that boys wore dresses back in the day, so ... maybe these are boys?

Now, THIS one is a little girl, for sure:

Big bow in hair, big bows on shoes ... yep, it's a girl.  She is posed leaning on a chair, with some kind of leafy foliage behind her.  (I'll try to get better shots if anybody's interested.) The pic of the boys(?) does not have foliage in it, and shows a different piece of furniture, so I'm guessing the two photos were taken in separate studios.  I don't know if any of the photos were taken during the same time period, or if they were shot months or years apart.  And of course I don't know if these are all members of the same family, or if at some point along the line random pics were inserted into the frame.  The back of the frame is pretty fragile, and I'm afraid the whole thing would bust apart if I tried to remove the photos to see if there's writing on the back.

SO MANY MYSTERIES!  Obviously, I can't throw the pics away NOW - there's too many questions!  So the mystery family is hanging on my living room wall, facing the window so they can see outside.  I hope they like their new digs.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sneak peek

The new camera is here!  The new camera is here!  The pictures, let me show you some.

Well, of COURSE the first pic I took was of a cat.  What ELSE?

The bus stop, which got relocated when I moved stuff around  in the living room:

Oh, do I have a story to tell about finding this pic in a flea market (nope, I don't know who these kids are):

and  finally ... finally ... THE BIG REVEAL!

Ta da!  My tie-dyed ceiling.

So I'm still working out the kinks with the new camera, but at least I have one that works.  Progress!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Oh, screw you, Sterling Optical

I had an appointment for an eye exam, since it had been four years since my last one *cough* and I could tell that my eyes were getting worse, and since I wasn't really happy with the LAST place I had my eyes checked, I decided to give Sterling Optical a try.

(Sterling Optical is a chain/franchise eye place, if you don't have it in your area.)

So, I go to my eye exam, and everybody's all nice and friendly and attentive, which is a change from the last place I went, and I get my eyes examined, and pick out a new pair of frames, and it's time to pay up.  My insurance covers the exam itself, but not the glasses (or contacts).

And the woman helping me is all nice and friendly, and she's discussing the different options for lens coatings and blah blah blah, and I'm all,  how much do these different options cost?, and she's all, well, let me add it all up here, and she comes up with a price of eight hundred bucks and change.

And I LOL'd.  (I'll have you know that I have been waiting a long, long time to be able to type LOL and have it be accurate, and TODAY IS FINALLY THE DAY, because I LAUGHED OUT LOUD when she told me the price.)

"Yeah,  no," I said.  "I cannot pay eight hundred dollars for a pair of glasses.  I paid a little over three hundred for the pair I have on right now, and I understand inflation and all, but I am not paying eight. hundred. dollars. for a simple pair of bifocals.  The frames are one-thirty, so add some basic lenses, and let's do that.  Take off the extras, please."

"Oh, okay!," the woman replied.  "Well, let's see, the thinner lenses are nice, but we can make the glasses with regular lenses.  And we can take off the blah-de-blah and the what-de-what and ... seven hundred dollars!  That gets it down to seven hundred."

I will tell you right now, I am ALWAYS polite when dealing with retail workers.  ALWAYS.  And today was no different.  This woman was obviously working on commission, which I wish I had known before I walked in the door, but live and learn.  Here I was, chipping away at her bonus pay, and  I was about to keep right on chipping, BUT I WAS POLITE WHILE DOING IT.

"Okay," I said.  "We're getting there!  What else can you take off?  Let's get it down to the frames and the basic lenses and nothing else at all."

"Well ..." she says, tapping away at her keyboard.  "We CAN sell you the glasses with out the extra lens protection warranty and blah blah blah ..."

"Fine!" I said.  "What are we down to now?"

"Five hundred and sixty-four dollars!", she said.  "Isn't that great?"

"Well, it's a lot better than eight hundred," I said.  "You've got a deal."

So she keeps tapping away, doo doo doo, and she hands me the credit card receipt to sign, stapled to the itemized bill.  And I'm looking over the itemized bill, and I see a charge for Christal anti-glare something-something.  And it's a hundred and seventy bucks.

"Ummm ..." I said.  "What's this anti-glare thing?"

"Oh, that's what  I was telling you about!" she said.  (She had been telling me about all kinds of awesome super-duper lens options.) "You know, for when you're driving at night and stuff.  I've got it on my own glasses and I love it!"

"Take. it. off."  I was STILL POLITE, I will  have you know.  "Take it off, please.  The glasses I'm wearing RIGHT NOW don't have that special coating, and I've been getting around just fine, thanks anyway."

At this point, things became a little ... frosty.  I had just taken  away the last little bit of commission or bonus or whatever that she was getting from the sale.  She had just about HAD IT with me, and I understand that.  I also understood that I would take my prescription and walk out before I paid for one flippin' thing I hadn't asked for.

"Three hundred ninety-four!" she said.  "You're getting the deal of the day!  Oh, but wait ..."


"I forgot to add the fitting fee!" she said.  "I totally forgot! Oh my goodness!  So the total will be four thirty-nine."

Holy Mary Mother of F*CK, I paid the four thirty-nine and got outta there before the price could start going back up again.  And I'll pick up my new glasses in a couple of weeks, and hope to GOD that it's a long time before I need to get my eyes examined again.



Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Birthday, PB!

Today is Ponyboy's (approximate) fourth birthday.  My, how time has flown!  Granted, he came to me as a full-grown cat and not a kitten, so only two-and-a-half of those four years have been with me, but still, it's been an honor to care for him.

Happy birthday, Ponyboy!  and many more.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


This afternoon at work, my boss, while speaking to a friend of his within my hearing in the office, referred to a black man as the n-word.  Again.  And I walked out.  Again.

But I can't keep doing this.  I can't keep working for this racist asshole.  I think it's time to go back to school. I'll have to work at the same time, obvs, but I can do that.  Time to get a degree under my belt, time to move on.  I can't work for this dinosaur anymore.  I could keep doing what I'm doing now (office admin), but I've been  wanting to go to college forever, so it might as well be now.

On the bright side, my anger led to some crazy creative stuff this afternoon.  I left the office, and I was so pissed off, and I'm, like, I MUST MAKE SOMETHING PRETTY!  I took a cheap old picture frame and Rockyfied it, and then I pulled a switchplate off the wall and modpodged a page from a bird book onto it, and then I busted out the Jillian and did a workout because I still needed to blow off some steam.

Oh, man.  Time to fish or cut bait.  Career advice welcome.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Oh great. Now I'm never going to sleep again.

I briefly considered going to see The Babadook this past weekend, but decided that given my aversion to all things scary, it would probably be a bad idea.  And then I ended up spending all weekend tie-dying the ceilings anyway.

Which is good, because I ended up scaring myself badly doing laundry* on Saturday, so if I had also gone to see The Babadook, it probably would have pushed me right over the edge.

But then, I was paging through the Sunday paper coupon section, and I came across an ad for ... this:

What. the. actual. F*CK.

It's a monkey doll.  A MONKEY DOLL.

*stifles a scream*

I couldn't help myself.  I had to google this company.  Surely this was a joke, right?  Surely people aren't actually buying ... infant monkey dolls?

*runs into the bedroom and hides under the bed*

I ... really?  Is this really a ... THING?

The company website had FIVE PAGES of monkey dolls.  FIFTY-ONE ENTRIES.

I am hoping that by putting these monstrosities up here, it will act as a kind of aversion therapy, inuring me to the horror that is monkey dolls.  That is my fondest hope at this point - that once having seen monkey dolls, I am now immune to the horror.

Hold me.

*I washed a sports bra in the with rest of the laundry, and somewhere between the bed (where I sort laundry) and the drawer where I keep my bras, it ... disappeared.  Just ... gone.  A GHOST STOLE MY BRA.

Monday, January 12, 2015

So! THAT happened ...

I got my tie-dye on this weekend.  Was fun!  And exhausting.  I did the actual dying on Saturday, and then spend FOUR HOURS yesterday on a ladder with my arms above my head, staple-gunning.  When I finally knocked off around three-thirty, I was EXHAUSTED.  I honestly can't remember the last time I was that tired.  Staple-gunning beats Jillian for exercise, I'll tell you what.

But!  The ceiling looks ... interesting.  Which is to say, *I* really like it, I think it is beautiful, but I can picture somebody else walking in and going "".  Bottom line, it looks a thousand percent better than what it looked like before, so I am happy.  Plus, now that I've got some tie-dying (and overhead-stapling) experience under my belt, I can totally see myself doing other projects like this. Come visit me in my House of Odd!

Sadly, my camera's USB cable has stopped working, so I until I get a new cable, I won't be able to show you the results of my labor.  YOU ARE CRUSHED, I KNOW.

Here, let me console you with a picture of a frozen waterfall, downloaded before the cable died:

Pretty, no?  Prettier than my ceiling, even.

Friday, January 09, 2015

State Park

This past weekend, I went up to State Park.  (I keep falling farther behind with posting my hiking pics; I'll try to get them up more quickly.)

Anyhow, the geese were out in abundance:

 Mist was rising and it gave everything a muffled look:

 You could hardly see the mergansers through the fog:

Every time I see a beaver-hewed tree by the river, I wonder:  Are they trying to dam the entire river?  Because that seems kind of futile.  Maybe they're building a lodge on the riverbank?  Or just filing down their teeth?  Maybe beavers just gotta gnaw, same as ruminants gotta chew.  Hmmm. 

Even in January, there's color to be found:

This mallard is showing off his pretty wings - can you spot him?:

The days are starting to get longer.  Spring will be here RIGHT QUICK.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Well, look what I just came across

I was sorting through old photo files today and found this:

Awwwww.  A girl and her horse.  Good ol' Trigger.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Calling all hippies

I think I've talked before about the ceilings in my house.  They are awful, old acoustical tile.

I don't want to spend the amount of money it would cost to have them replaced, and they're impossible to paint.  So I got thinking ... maybe I could cover them some way.  Kind of like the top on a canopy bed, maybe I could drape material across the ceilings, to make them look pretty.

I decided to experiment.  I got out the ol' staple gun and half-assedly fastened a bedsheet to one corner to the living room ceiling.  (No, the ceiling is not actually yellow.  It's just the camera.)

The sheet held!  But that plain old sheet is awfully boring.  I wanted it to look like clouds, like the sky, like a pattern of air on the ceiling.  So I bought a bunch of plain white sheets, and some bottles of aquamarine Rit dye.

You see where this is going, right?  I am going to tie-dye the sheets in (hopefully) pretty patterns, white and aquamarine.  I've done some research and I'm pretty sure I've got the "dye" part down, now I just have to figure out the "tie" part, to get the look I want.  A marbled look.

Okay, all you old hippies.  Tell me your tie-dye techniques!