Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Seen on the Street

That's been there since, oh, December-ish.  Yeah, the local DPW leaves something to be desired.

Monday, March 30, 2015

So! The weekend!

There was a lot of this going on, of course:

Mama and babies continue to do well.

On Saturday, I found a faaaaabulous wicker chair at a resale shop.  SOMEONE promptly took it over:

The weather continues to be CRAP but I did manage to get the front gardens netted, and just in time, too, because this morning there was a herd of damn deer grazing in the yard.  (In the wintertime, when there's snow on the ground, they tend to stay down by the creek and in the more heavily wooded areas. Once the snow melts and the grass is showing, they're back in the neighborhood for easy grazing. *sigh*)

On Sunday I was supposed to meet an acquaintance for lunch, but she was a no-show, which ... really?  In this age of cell phones and texting and pm-ing and everything else, I think not showing up to something is just not something that should be done. HARUMPH.

But!  With the extra time, I managed to paint another Bob! Ross! Masterpiece!  Ha.  Not as good as the first one, but still not too shabby if I do say so myself.  *cough*

Museum of Bad Art, here I come!

Now I haz a question:  Where do you stand on the whole not-showing-up thing?  I'm inclined to cross her off the list, so to speak, of potential lunch dates, because it really irked me to be stood up.  Even though she apologized, profusely, afterward, I'm just not inclined to cut a lot of slack to someone I wasn't really friends with to begin with.  Too harsh?  Or justified?  Enquiring minds want to know.

Friday, March 27, 2015


Six hours old:

One day old:

As I said yesterday, I was NOT expecting babies this soon. I was thinking an April delivery.   I swear, the more I foster, the more these cats surprise me.  "Surprise!  KITTENS!"

Now I know why Honey wasn't eating very much - She didn't have anyplace to PUT it.   I'll tell you what, she is eating like a CHAMPEEN now that those babies are out.

She had the babies on a folded blanket underneath a dresser.  I had plenty of nesting spots set up, and I would have preferred she use one of those, but I don't know if there is a mama cat in the history of mama cats who has ever chosen the "preferred" birthing area.  I'll put fresh bedding under there this weekend.

Mama and babies.  Pretty as a picture.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sugar (doo doo DOO doo doo doo), aw, honey honey

BREAKING NEWS!  I had this post about Honey all set to go this morning, except!  When I went in to the foster room, she was busy HAVING KITTENS!  Yes, that's right, our dear Honey child is having her kittens TODAY!

So!  Right now she has four:  Two orange, one gray/black tabby, and one tortie.  Whew!  I'm not sure if she's done yet or not, although I'm sure she's HOPING she's done!

Okay, so, first, let's go back to the regularly scheduled post, which I actually composed yesterday.  Here we go:

Yes, Honey is still ensconced in the foster room.  She has lots there to entertain her:

She's a funny little thing.  Even though she was raised in a house with other cats and was crated with another cat when she first came into rescue care, when one of MY cats peeks into the room, she reacts by trying to attack. She'll CHARGE right at the screen door and BAM right into it, so hard that it would fly open if I didn't keep it latched.

Maybe she's thinking, "It was a MALE CAT just like YOU who did this to me!"  Ha.

If I've been petting one of my cats and then go into the foster room, and she smells my hand, she starts to HISS at it.

Calm down, Honey.  It's just the hormones talking.

Oh!  And when I head toward the door, she will run to get between me and it and start hissing and yowling, like she's going to prevent me from leaving.

Funny Honey.  She does appreciate a good head-scritching, though.

 She's definitely showing now:

When will she deliver?  I have no idea.  She came to my house on March 8, meaning she got pregnant some time before then, and she was showing a little tummy then, so the knock-up date was probably at least a week before that.  Average cat gestation is 65 days, but this is her first (AND ONLY) pregnancy, so she may hold on a little longer, although she's so petite it may indicate an earlier delivery.  Bottom line is, I have NO IDEA when Mama may pop, or how many kittens she may have.  First pregnancies often result in only one or two kittens, although I had TWO first-time mamas last Spring who each delivered SIX, so who knows?

Okay!  Now!  Back to today!  I WAS going to have a contest, a name-the-delivery-date type of thing, but obviously Honey beat me to the punch.  I swear, she LOOKED like she had a little ways yet to go, but I guess she thought differently, which just goes to prove that I know NOTHIN' about birthin' no babies.  Ha.

I'll keep you guys posted, and I'll have photos soon.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It worrrkkkkkkks! It worrrkkkkkkkks!

I've been trying to teach myself to paint for a long time.  A VERY long time.  The one place around here that offered lessons was largely self-directed, which didn't help me very much, and is no longer around.  So I've been slogging along on my own, trying (and failing) to figure out things like perspective and shadows and, you know, ART stuff.

I am big on blue.  Skies and water, man, they're my favs.

Work in progress: 

I just didn't seem to be getting any better.  I've seen ninth-graders crank out better art.  Like, way better.

So I bought a DVD.  A Bob Ross DVD.

I guess Bob Ross used to be big on PBS?  He had, like, a series?  Either my local station didn't carry it or I didn't watch it, because I was not familiar with Bob Ross.  But when I put "learn to paint" into the search bar on ebay, up popped a LOT of Bob Ross. 

Sunday was the big day.  I plopped down in the middle of the living room with my canvas, my brushes, my paints, and some accomplices:

popped in the DVD, and went to work.  With Bob Ross, you go step-by-step.  Look at how awesome those mountains in the background look!  I PAINTED THAT!:

Here is the finished product:

I need to work on my clouds, and the bottom right is a little ... busy ... but I think this painting is AWESOME!

On the wall:

Dear Bob Ross:  Your method WORKS.  I love you.  Ha.

Monday, March 23, 2015

What the hell did I do to myself NOW?!

I woke up this morning and the fronts of my thighs* were KEEEEEEELING me.  It feels like a horse kicked me in my thigh-fronts*, repeatedly.

I ... I have no explanation for this.  I have narrowed it down to two things:

1.  I did a new workout on Saturday.  But it was a LAME workout, a Jillian-lite, and after I got done I was all, like, is that all there is?  So I kind of doubt it was the workout.

2.  I did a painting (wait till you see it!) yesterday morning.  The only space I have to paint these days is on the coffee table in the living room, which involves sitting on the floor with my legs folded under me.  I was like that for approximately an hour and a half.  But, seriously?  Could sitting wrong have created this incredible pain the next day?  Guys, I can hardly walk.

Of course, there could be a thing the third, but I honestly can't think of anything else I did over the weekend that would invoke this level of pain. 

Sucks getting old, is all I have to say right now.  Thigh pain.  Bah.

*actual anatomical term.

Park Geese

I'm betting they're wishing they'd stayed South a few days longer right about now.

Friday, March 20, 2015


I was scanning through the Sunday flyers the other day when I came across the Sears ad.  "Gee," I thought, "Those pants look rather ... unfortunate.  Why are they so short?"

First off, these pants in the Sears ad are really ill-fitting - check out the bunching in the crotchal area and the way the pockets jut out in the above photo.  AND they are too damn short.  Back in MY day (heh), we called them highwaters.  Highwaters are really popular with the elderly, who fear tripping over their pant hems and falling.  My Mom, as she got older, would cuff her pants halfway up her calves so as to avoid an inadvertent fall.

But!  Evidently highwaters are a thing now, because Sears is calling them "ankle pants", and it's not elderly people who are modeling them but considerably younger models.  Who presumably will not understand if somebody MY age yells out "Hey, when's the FLOOD coming?" as they pass by.

Ankle pants.  What WILL they think of next?  Bell bottoms?  Oh, wait, bell bottoms already came back - a couple of times.  Overalls?  I actually saw some overalls in a store this past weekend.  It's like we are doomed to repeat the fashion faux pas of the past, over and over again.

Too bad I already threw out all of my seventies-era polyester running shorts.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Because what life situation DOESN'T mirror a scene in "The Homecoming"?

Back in the seventies, there was a made-for-TV movie called "The Homecoming".  It featured the Walton family and spawned the series 'The Waltons".

In the movie, set in the Depression, the dad has had to take a job out of town and the family is waiting for him to come home for Christmas.  At one point in the movie, the mother, Olivia, goes into the root cellar to get some potatoes or something, and comes back with a blooming Christmas cactus she had put away the previous winter and forgotten about.

"Would you look at that?!", she marvels to the children.  "Blooming in the deaaaaaaad of winter!"

This morning, at my house:

Not to be outdone, the hibiscus decided to put its two cents in:

Blooming in the deaaaaaaaad of winter.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Wearin' O' The Green

As I said on Facebook, you know it's been a long winter when putting hats on your cats seems like a legit thing to do.

Sorry, Tinks.  You're a good sport.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Hey, it's still winter around here.  We've gotta celebrate SOMETHING.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Smile! You're on Candid Camera!

Anybody else besides me remember that old TV show?  No?  Okay, moving on ...

I set up the game cam in the foster room this weekend, to get a better bead on Honey.  She is making great progress:  She has started eating more (once I figured out that evidently the magic food for her is Fancy Feast Broths for Cats, which is a looooong way from the Friskies canned I am used to feeding), she will occasionally let me pet her briefly, and she's expressing an interest in toys.  She is still very, VERY vocal, but she doesn't seem quite as distressed as she was a week ago, except she really, really wants out of the foster room.  I have to wonder:  She came from a household of five cats.  Maybe she misses her housemates?   But when I have taken one of my cats in the room for a visit, she hides and howls and yowls, sending my boys fleeing out of the room in fear.

I think there are two possibilities, here.  Either she was never properly socialized as a kitten, or she is just not a real friendly cat.  But if anyone else has suggestions out there, I'm all ears. She's not aggressive at all; she just doesn't quite know how to interact. Or else she just doesn't want to. :)

Like I was saying, I set up the game cam.

She is a pretty girl.  Her fur is actually closer to a tan color than an orange.

She is very, VERY active.  She spends most of the day and night hopping up on to that dresser so she can look out the window.  The only inactive period she really has is during the day, between noon and four p.m., when she snoozes in the closet (her favorite "safe" place).

At first I wasn't sure if she was pregnant at all, because she was eating so little.  But this pic appears to tell a different story:

Yeah, I'm fairly certain that she's knocked up, although it looks like she's got a ways to go.  Easter babies, maybe:

Remember that book?  Salem's Lot? Where the vampire floats up to the little boy's window?  That is what these pics, with her reflection in the window, make me think of:

Unless there really IS a vampire cat floating outside the window, in which case we're all screwed.
So!  She's very pretty, she's very active, and I really need to take those Christmas lights down out of the window.  Ha.  Sorry, Honey, I'll get right on that.

She may be getting some company this weekend.  Turns out she has a brother who is a high-functioning wobbly cat, who also needs to be rehomed out of the household where he and Honey were living.  The rescue may be placing him with me, to see if it calms Honey down to have a littermate in the room.  It might work and it might not, but if the rescue wants to give it a try, I'm game. 

Pretty little Honey.  She's a sweet girl.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The people in my neighborhood

Spring must be on the way, because the people in my neighborhood are out walking again.  This is my favorite neighborhood family:

Okay, first off, LOOK AT ALL THAT SNOW.  *sob*  I swear to CHRIST I'm ready to go out with a hairdryer and start BLOW-DRYING the snow off of my yard.

But!  Back to the family.  Daughter, mom, big dog, little dog, and dad, and they usually have their son with them, too, so I'm  not sure where he was last night.  This family actually STOPPED walking their dogs past my house for a while last year, after my crazy neighbor L's crazy-ass, out-of-control rottweiler ATTACKED their dogs one evening, and it broke my damn heart because for some reason I just love seeing this family out and about.  L's crazy-ass dog hasn't been around lately (THANK GOD), so the family is once again making the rounds.

And you can't tell it by this pic, but the big dog?  Only has three legs.  Which means that, yes, crazy L's crazy-ass dog attacked a three-legged dog.  I HATE THAT CRAZY-ASS DOG.

But I LOVE the three-legged dog.  And I LOVE that it's finally warm enough outside (okay, okay, it's in the high thirties; beggars can't be choosers) that the neighbors are once again making the rounds.

Like I've said five thousand times this winter, SPRING IS COMING.  And this time I MEAN IT.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Blair and clothes that last forever and 5XL

Let's talk about Blair, shall we?  Are you familiar with Blair, the women's clothing catalog?  The home of elastic waistbands and tragic sandals?  The poor woman's Lands' End?

I say that with no snobbishness whatsoever, btw, at least as far as price-point goes.  Lands' End sh*t is outrageously overpriced.  "But it lasts forever!" people say.  You know what?  Some of us don't want our clothes to last forever.  Some of us get sick of clothing items that last year after year after year. I've got blouses in my closet dating back to HIGH SCHOOL, ffs.  I WISH that sh*t would wear out, so I could throw it away in good conscience.  But noooooo, there's that STUPID gray pinstripe cotton shirt that will. not. die.  Bah.

So while I will not bag on Blair for being cheap, I WILL bag on Blair for their horrible clothes.  The only company making uglier clothes than Blair right now is Alfred Dunner.  Don't even get me started on Alfred Dunner.  Who wears that sh*t? 

But!  Back to my point.  I think.  Inexplicably, there was a Blair catalog in with the rest of the ads in my newspaper this morning.  And right on the front of the catalog, there was a star, emblazoned with "Introducing sizes up to 5XL".

5XL.  What. the. actual. f*ck.

What is size 5XL, anyway?  I checked out the size charts in the middle of the catalog.  Guess what?  Blair has "updated" their size charts, so that what used to be an 8 is now a 6, what used to be a 24W is now a 22W, etc. I see what you did there, Blair. And a 5XL is a 32W/34W, for measurements up to 63-59-65.


I don't know what my fascination is with grossly obese people.  I really don't.  I guess it's watching all those new episodes of My Six Hundred Pound Life that's doing it to me.  Did you see the one last night?  With that guy?  Who tipped the scales at 777 lbs?  Yeah.  Six Hundred Pound Life, my ass.  Dude was going for Eight.

I think maybe it's the amount of food you would have to eat to sustain that weight that interests me.  Maybe it's envy.  Maybe *I* want to be the one eating a dozen donuts at a time, or five quarter-pounders-with-cheese, or an entire gallon of ice cream for dessert.  Except I don't think I could do it.  I'm pretty sure that I'd just end up making myself sick.

Except I think I read somewhere where if you eat a really really lot for a really long time, your stomach starts to ... stretch.  So pretty soon you can fit more and more food in there, and it takes more and more to make you feel "full", so you just ... keep on eating.

But ... at some point, don't you look in a mirror?  Don't you hit, say, four hundred or so, and go "whoa doggie, time to ease up a little bit"?  I mean, looks aside, who cares about looks really, how could you possibly think that it's good for your heart to be trying to pump blood through all that fat?  What about, like, your arteries?  To say nothing of your joints.  Last night's episode started when the dude twisted his knee and landed on the floor and had to lie there until the next morning because he couldn't get up by himself.

Hey, YOU try lifting seven hundred pounds off the floor.  Sh*t, I'm amazed the dude was ambulatory at ALL.

And yes, I get it, these people obvs have other issues going on besides the food.  Maybe just like anorexics, where it isn't really about the food at all but instead is a need to have control, maybe obesity is ... is it the opposite of anorexia?  Is it about having no control at all?  About not wanting to have control?

And none of it's any of my business whatsoever, in the end.  Hell, if you wanna eat your way into the record books, freaking go for it, as far as I'm concerned.  It just seems so ... sad.  These people can't go for a hike or push their kids on a swingset or do anything.  Except eat.

I dunno.  I'm just musing, is all.  Musing about Blair and My Six Hundred Pound Life.   I wish I was a better muser.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Shout it out

I was in the bank last Saturday morning, and there was a little old lady ahead of me in line.  She was very small, and crippled up, but she was chatting merrily with a young man, twenty-ish, who I assumed was a grandson helping her with her errands.

The teller called them up to the counter.

"I have A LOT OF STUFF TO TAKE CARE OF TODAY", the old lady said, loud enough so everyone in the bank, including people in line at the drive-thru, I'm sure, could hear.

"They took my husband off life support yesterday!" she crowed.  "HE'S DEAD NOW!"

Wellll, THAT got everybody's attention right quick.

"Yep, HE'S DEAD!" she said.  She didn't seem sad, or even shell-shocked.  She was downright chirpy. "Now I have to figure out how to get his social security transferred to me.  And I've got to switch over all the bank accounts, because they took him off life support yesterday, and NOW HE'S DEAD!"

At this point the people in line were looking everywhere except at this woman.  We were intently studying the walls, the ceiling, our cell phones, ANYTHING to avoid looking at the little old lady who was merrily yelling about the death of her husband.  In my case, it was because I knew that if I looked right at her I might bust out laughing, although I certainly can't speak for the motives of the rest of the people in line.

The teller said something to her that I couldn't hear because THE TELLER WASN'T YELLING, and the little old lady was directed to someone in a cubicle, who promptly got the "My husband was taken off life support yesterday and NOW HE'S DEAD!" treatment.  I could hear the cubicle worker murmuring about death certificates and proper procedure and blahblahblah, but I'm not sure if the old lady was paying attention, because she was busy making sure that everyone knew that her husband?  WAS DEAD!

Rest in peace, dude, whoever you are.  Don't worry about your wife - I'm pretty sure she's gonna be okay.

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Song of Her People

I was sitting watching TV last night, and I realized that it was STILL LIGHT OUT at six-thirty, and I was all, what strange miracle is this?

Daylight Savings Time, man.  THANK GOD.  Now if it would just warm up long enough to melt the crap-ton of snow in my yard, I would be eternally grateful.

I had to make a little roadtrip yesterday to pick up a special package:

When a rescue in a neighboring town put out a plea on facebook for foster homes for pregnant rescued cats, well ... you KNOW I had to jump right in.  Fools rush in and all that.  And I had that foster room just waiting for a cat in need:

Honey was an owner-surrender, from woman who had way too many cats, none of whom were spayed or neutered.  (They never are, dammit.  Freakin' hillbillies.)  Nature had taken its course, and she realized that she couldn't even properly care for the cats she owned, let alone the next generation.  Luckily she found the rescue she did, which is no-kill; if she had surrendered the cats to the SPCA shelter in that county, they would have been put down.  Well, first the SPCA would have charged her money to take the cats, and THEN they would have put them down.

Honey is under a year old.  This will be her first (AND LAST) litter.  She's got a ways to go in her pregnancy, so she will be with me for a while.  Her eyes are a bit of a mess, but we don't know if that's due to stress or something else, so I'll be watching to see if they improve or worsen.  She is scared to death right now; every time I enter the foster room she dashes underneath a dresser, so treating her eyes is a non-starter until she calms down.  Thankfully, she is not feral or aggressive, so she should start making progress socially once she's not so scared.  She sang us the Song of Her People all. night. long. last night, so needless to say nobody got any damn sleep.  Hopefully the frequency of her vocal concerts will diminish as she starts to feel more comfortable.

Yep.  Here we go again!

Friday, March 06, 2015

Cold Again

Yeah yeah yeah, I know I keep going on and on and ON about the weather, but seriously, we are dealing with some evil sh*t here in the Frozen Northeast.  I woke up this morning and it was fourteen below in the backyard.

Every morning that I wake up and it's below zero YET AGAIN, I think, "Maybe this will be the last one.  Maybe this will be the last night this winter that it goes below zero."

I've thought that A LOT this winter.  It's not doing any good.  Daylight savings time starts Sunday, "official" spring is a couple of weeks away, and my yard is STILL buried in snow.  The driveway is covered with frozen ice ruts.  I'm running a space heater in the garage at night to keep the pipes from freezing.

And just to add insult to injury, turns out that February was the coldest month ever here in my little town.  The average temp was twelve degrees.


I think I'll go buy myself a bouquet of flowers this weekend.  I need to see some green.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

But ... but ... I've got the carrier IN THE CAR!

I was supposed to pick up my newest foster this afternoon.  A frostbitten stray, he was supposed to be neutered today, and I was going to pick him up after the surgery and take him home.  I popped a carrier onto the back seat of the car this morning so I could pick him up straight from work.

The foster room was all prepared.  Food and water bowls, clean litterboxes, toys, cozy spaces for him to nest in ... all set. A new foster!  I'd told the permacats that there would be a guest coming home with me this afternoon and they should be on their best behavior.  I was a little apprehensive, because I would be meeting the foster under trying circumstances for him and I knew there might be some behavioral issues, at least to start with, but here we go!  Time to meet the new foster!

And then I got an email this morning.  A neighbor of the woman who had been caring for him wanted to adopt the cat.  He would not be coming to stay with me.

Woo-hoo!  Another stray cat finds a home!  Yippee!

But ... but ... he was supposed to be MY cat.  He was supposed to come stay at MY house until a home was found.  I was supposed to have a new foster to fuss over and love up until he was adopted.

I've got the carrier in the car!  *lower lip quivers*

Of course, this is for the best.   This is the best darn thing that could happen for that cat, just happening a little ahead of the planned schedule, is all.  It's actually a good thing for me, too, because I really didn't want to get too involved with the new rescue, due to personality conflicts (the woman who is running it has a GREAT BIG FAT GIANT EGO just like all of the other rescue-runners around here), and this will give me a graceful out and time to find another rescue to foster for.  It's a GOOD thing.

But ... I had the carrier in the car. *snif*


Tuesday, March 03, 2015


So!  This morning!  Two below.  And we are supposed to get more snow this afternoon.  But then!  It is going to warm up!  Into the thirties!  And we are going to get a delightful mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain, and possibly popsicles falling from the sky I don't even care at this point.   

This is me, to winter:

 On the bright (?) side, there HAVE been some pretty sunsets.  Took a pic last night as I was out shoveling the habitrails:

But then I pan out and you can see the massive ice dams on the roof of the house and the buried shed and yeah, I'm beyond over this:

I DID get a pretty good pic of the habitrails in use:

In this winter of our discontent, Tinks has discovered a secret lair in the garage:

Can't spot him?  Look a little closer, up in the storage loft:

Here is one of the paintings I've been "working" on:

What's that?  Why yes, yes I COULD benefit greatly from some art classes, thankyouverymuch.

Birds on one side of the window, Soda the lurker on the other:

The birds are all, pffffff, you can't get us, you big moron!

haha you tell 'em, birdies.

Monday, March 02, 2015


Yeah.  If I put some paint on his paws and let him walk around, do you think I could pass it off as "outsider art"?