Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

yeah, probably not a *good* noise to hear

So!  I got home from work last night, and headed to the mailbox to grab the mail, when I heard a sound.

zzzzzzt          zzzzzzzzzzzzt         zzzzzzzzzzzzt

It was coming from ... up in the air.  Up where the power lines run through the trees in my front yard.

zzzzzzzt  zzzt zzzzt zzzzzzzzzzt

"Meh," I thought.  "It sounds like something arcing, but I don't see any arcing.  Probably nothing," and I walked into the house.  All the power was on, TV/phone were working just fine.

A little while later, I had to go out to the car

 zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt   zzzzzzzzzt  zzzzzt zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt

And this time I could smell something.  Something ... burning.

"Oh, for f*ck's sake," I thought.  "My first day back to work, and now I've gotta deal with this?"

I went back in and called the utility company.  The woman I spoke with was very nice, said she'd get a truck right out, and added, "If anything else should happen before the truck gets there, please call us back."

"If anything else happens, the FIRST thing I'm doing is LEAVING," I said, and we both had a little laugh.  Arcing power lines!  Are funny!

So a little while later, up pulls the utility company truck, and a dude gets out and starts walking around the front yard, looking up into the trees.  Because I feel the need to inject myself into every event, I walked out and asked him, "do you hear it?"  "Naw, not right now," he said.  "Um ...," I said, "You might want to ... shut off your truck?"  That great big diesel was idling about ten feet from where we were standing.  "Oh, yeah!," dude said, and shut off the truck, and sure enough

zzzzzt   zzzzzzzzzzzt   zzzzzzzzzzzzt  zzzzzzzzt

"Yep," the dude said.  "I'm afraid I'm gonna have to take down some of those branches."

"Take 'em ALL," I said.  "Those trees are a pain in the butt!"  They are.  They are locust trees, nearing the end of their lifespan, and they keep dropping branches and drooping and in the fall the little tiny leaves are too small to rake, meaning they stay on the lawn all winter.  I don't know who ever thought that planting trees directly under power lines was a good idea, anyway.  IT WASN'T ME.

The dude laughed.  "Usually people get upset when I tell 'em I have to take down branches," he said.

"Take as many as you want," I said, and went back inside.

So dude got up in his bucket with his saw thing and went to work.  About twenty minutes later, there was a great big pile o' branches in my front yard, one of the trees looked decidedly ... lighter, and no more zzzzzt zzzzzzt zzzzzzt.

It's just one dang thing after another, I tell you.  It's always lively at my place.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Oh hai! I'm back!

Well.  THAT was a much needed break.

What did I do with my time off?  Not a whole heck of a lot.  The remaining kittens and I went to two adoption events, and now there are only THREE kittens in the foster room.  Seems empty in there!

I did a lot of sitting in the sun, some lawn mowing, some shopping, and a lot a lot of sleeping.  I take after my dad, who was a world champeen sleeper.  Give me the chance and a nice comfy bed and I'm good for ten hours, no prob.  *yawn*

Let's see.  One of the kittens learned how to do this:

Yeah, there went ten years off my life, right there.  (And ignore the cobwebs in the corner.)

I did go the to the county fair, which honestly seemed pretty rinky-dink compared to the state fair, but hey.  Free entertainment.  After the fair, I went to a nearby dam for a little hike.

Here's the ... dam ... thing:

Behind that ... dam ... thing ... is where the river goes in:

And there went another ten years off my life.  It doesn't look it, but I was up really, really high to get that pic, and there wasn't any, like, barricade or anything.  Scary!  The things I do for this blog.  Sheesh.

Here's the reservoir on the other side of the dam:

There were sailboats out that day; it was really pretty.  And yes, I WAS ON TOP OF THE DAM.  You're welcome.

And look!   I could see the fair from the top of the dam!:

Can you spot the ferris wheel?

So, yeah, that was my big exciting week.  A whole lot of nada, and it felt great.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Oh, hai! *waves hand*

I'm taking a few days off from work to get my equilibrium back.  Taking a few days to unwind.  Taking some time away from the internet.  Taking a few days to catch up on some sleeeeeeep.  I was about to lose it with the kitten load, especially since one of them came down with ringworm over the weekend, so the rescue shuffled stuff around and now I've gone from ten cats in the foster room  to four.  I knew that if I didn't get a break now, I was going to burn out of the whole thing, and I didn't want to do that.  (Don't worry; the extra cats went to the home of the rescue founder, where they are fine.)

I spent the afternoon in the backyard sitting in the kiddie pool with a beer in my hand, and I see no reason to do anything differently for the next few days.  Might go buy a National Enquirer for my trash reading pleasure; might not.

See you in a few days!

Friday, July 18, 2014

whut whut whut

Tomorrow we are doing an adoption event at a produce stand out in the middle of nowhere.  You know that joke about a b-list celebrity who'll show up at an opening of a 7-11?  Yeah, that's us.  Next thing you know, we'll be sending little kids to stand outside of Walmart with boxes of kittens.  Desperate times, folks.  Desperate measures are indicated.  These kittens aren't getting any younger, you know.

So, we had an adoption event last Saturday, and one of the assistant managers of the store where the event was held has a crush on one of our volunteers, which we all thought was kind of cute until the months went by and it became evident that even though the assistant manager was aware that the volunteer in question was (a) married and (b) now visibly pregnant, he was going to continue flirting with her.  So now it's just skeevy, and the volunteer is not amused, and I don't blame her.  But hey, she's a grown woman, both of these people are in their thirties, and it's up to her to say something, am I right?  I mean, if she comes to me and asks me to speak with the dude, I certainly will, but I'm staying out of it until then.  She's a strikingly attractive woman, so I'm thinking she probably gets this crap all the time and has gotten used to it.

So, then, last Saturday, things were kind of slow, and one of our other volunteers decided to go outside for a smoke break.  The assistant manager, let's call him Tom, saw her grab her pack of smokes and said, "That'll ruin your looks, you know."

"What?!," the volunteer said.

"Smoking," Tom said.  "It'll ruin your looks, and then you'll never get a husband." 

whut whut whut

The volunteer said, "You know what?  It's my looks, and I've already GOT a husband, so bug off."

and she went outside to have her smoke.

I dunno.  (Full disclaimer, I used to smoke myself, and did so for thirty years.)   I mean, if one of our volunteers was overweight and had been eating Cheetos, would this dude have felt free to comment on it?  ("You'll never get a husband if you don't lose some weight!")  Is it ever appropriate to comment on someone else's behavior, unless they're, like, a loved one?  Or about to commit a crime or something?

So I used to like this dude, and he even adopted a cat from us and may be adopting another one, but really?  And what's funny is, this guy is young-ish and good looking and fairly articulate, and I used to wonder why he wasn't in a relationship with someone.

I guess now I know.  Geez Louise.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

In the garden

My garden has been horribly neglected this year.  Luckily, over the years I've kept adding perennials, so by now I don't have to buy any annuals as "filler", and things are carrying on just fine without me.  Well, I DO need to do some massive weeding, which hopefully will happen soon.

Summertime.  The best time of the year.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How to kill an entire afternoon

I just managed to get our rescue into another local store for adoption events, and now I feel like a total bad*ss.  Kind of makes up for that whole "yelling at a little kid" thing.  Sorta.

But!  While I was on my lunch break I was perusing the internet, as one does, and I checked out GOMI, one of my favorite sites (see again: am horrible person), and came across this gem of a trainwreck:

Forum Hall of Fame:  Beverly and the Haunting of GOMI Manor

Dudes, it's priceless.  Make sure you check out the actual forum itself as well.  I'm only, like, sixty pages in, and it just keeps getting better and better. 

Oh!  And while I was scanning through the forum posts, I came across a link to this, which creeped me right the f*ck out:

My dead girlfriend keeps messaging me on facebook

Warning:  You may never sleep again after checking out that link.  I'm not even kidding.

Happy  reading, and you're welcome.

... so then I yelled at a little kid

yeah, I'm winning all kinds of humanitarian awards over here this week.

Last night, I got home from work, and I had tons of crap to get done before I could even think about relaxing.  So I changed into my civvies, fed the cats, and got some pasta boiling for pasta salad. I figured I could vacuum the foster room while the pasta boiled, then make the salad, then move the kiddie pool before it killed all the grass underneath it, and yada yada yada.

So I'm vacuuming the foster room, turning off the vacuum every few minutes to listen for the buzzer on the pasta.  And then I turn off the vacuum and I hear someone pounding - POUNDING - on the front door.

"Rocky!  ROCKY!  HEY!  Where ARE you?  ROCKKKKKKYYYYYY!" pound pound pound pound.

What. the. f*ck.

I go out into the living room to see the neighbor girl at the door, the one who used to come over and play with the kittens all the time until I told her that if she was going to come over every day, she was going to have to start helping scoop litterboxes, and then I didn't see her anymore.

Well.  There she was, pounding and yelling and peering through the screen door.  "Open up!  OPEN UP!"

"YOU KNOW WHAT?!," I yelled.  "THAT'S REALLY RUDE!   What is your PROBlem?  I can't always answer the door INSTANTLY!"

"uh ... uh ... uh," she muttered.  "I ... I thought you were hurt!  And that's why you weren't coming to the door!"


but, I mean, really?

"Look," I said.  "I'm sorry I yelled.  I was vacuuming - didn't you hear the vacuum cleaner?  THAT's why I didn't come to the door. I can't always come to the door right away, especially if I don't hear you.  Now, I'm really busy, and you're going to have to wait a minute until I finish vacuuming to visit with the kittens."

"Oh ... okay," she said, and sat down on the front steps.  She came in after I finished vacuuming, and I apologized again for yelling, but she only stayed a few minutes and then left, and frankly I was glad, because see again NINE MILLION THINGS TO DO, but then I felt bad for feeling glad, and then I was all, like, "well, she's going into seventh grade, so it's not like I yelled at a damn TODDLER or something," so, yeah, Justification City, but still, DON'T POUND ON MY DAMN DOOR.


I need a break.  Calgon, take me away, would ya?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Time flies

Sorry for the dearth of posting around here - I'm so damn busy it ain't funny.   Family drama, which I thought would die along with my mother, has managed to rear its ugly head again, so much so that I scared the cats the other night with my loud swearing as I listened to (yet another) message on my answering machine about the newly-sprung idea of MANDATORY contributions to my mother's headstone.  Coming from the people who couldn't be bothered to be here for her actual, you know, death.  Sweet Christ on a Cracker let her go already, people.  AND LEAVE ME OUT OF IT. F*ck.

Cat count?  Let's see.  There's my three, the two feral fosters, Mama Puff, four from Litter A and five from Litter B, for a total count of ... I'll think about it tomorrow.  Unfortunately, Kitten Season comes square up against Camping/Cookouts/Family Vacation Season, which means slow adoptions.  I'm drowning in cats over here. 

We did have an adoption event Saturday.  Can you believe that both of these gorgeous cats are STILL available?:

And there was a sighting of the rare and elusive Parrot Cat:

Someday, SOMEDAY, I'll have time to hike and relax and drink beer by the kiddie pool.  SOMEDAY.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Recently Read

As usual, skip it if you wanna.

1.  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Novel about a young girl in Germany in the 1940s, I found it stilted and disjointed.  I didn't finish it.

2.  Couldn't Keep it to Myself by Wally Lamb - Life stories written by women prison inmates.  Interesting, but they were all kind of the same:  "I got involved with a bad man, and now I'm in prison."  Eh.

3.  Bootstrapper by Mardi Jo Link - Memoir about a single mom raising three sons.  The subtitle of the book - "From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm" made me think they were back-to-the-landers, but other than a few chickens, no.  Still, a fairly interesting read.

4.  A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen - I tend to stay away from cat biographies, because, well, we all know how they end, but this one, about a recovering addict street busker in London and his stray cat, was a charming, quick read.  Recommended as a gift for the cat nut in your life.

5.  Hunter's Horn by Harriette Arnow - Novel about a backwater Apalachian family in the runup to WWII.   Very, very good.  I loved her book "The Dollmaker", so I'm not surprised I loved this one as well.  Hated for it to end.

6. A Way of Life, Like Any Other by Darcy O'Brien - I  thought this was a memoir about growing up in old Hollywood, but instead it was a novel.  Meh.

7.  The Bartender's  Tale by Ivan Doig - Novel about a little boy and his father, who runs a western saloon, in 1960.  Good.

8.  Sisters - Coming of Age and Living Dangerously in the Wild Copper River Valley by Samme Gallaher and Aileen Gallaher - Memoir of two sisters in Alaska in the 1920s.  Very interesting.

9.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  I don't know why I pick up murder mysteries; I don't like them.  This one got rave reviews, but I found it contrived and only got about fifty pages in before I gave up.

10.  Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller - Memoir of a woman who grew up in a hoarding household.  Interesting.

11.   A Land  More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash - Novel, told through different viewpoints, of a boyhood tragedy.  Good.

12.  Mary Coin by Marisa Silver - Novel about a Depression-era mother, told from three different viewpoints.  I read the parts that were set in the Depression, and skipped the other eras (60s and modern-day), and it was good.

Okay, guys, I'm looking for some good books to read.  Whaddaya got?

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Taking a page from the Adam Richman playbook

An on-air personality for the local public radio station took it upon herself to start commenting on our rescue group's Facebook page yesterday, telling us, basically, that we were doin it rong.  At the time, we were trying to raise funds to take a kitten with an unusual medical condition to the vet.  What, according to her, were we doing wrong?  Well, we were dicking around trying to raise money instead of just rushing the cat to the vet, already.  GEEEEEZ, what a bunch of ignorant hillbillies.  (The kitten's situation is not life-threatening.  Just so you know.)

She was very condescending and abrupt.  Just ... assy.  And while some people tried to respectfully inform her that she was commenting on a situation she knew nothing about, and maybe she ought to get some more information before she started offering unsolicited advice, well, one person did call her an a**hole, which I may or may not have silently applauded.  From then on, it was time to grab the popcorn and watch the show.

Pro Tip #1:  Do not offer unsolicited advice on a situation of which you have no knowledge.

Pro Tip #2:  When gently advised that you do not have all of the facts of the situation, do not double down and inform the other party that you have much more experience in this type of situation, i.e., you've just spent the last five minutes googling it.

Pro Tip #3:  Do not inform the other party that you *were* going to help them, but since they weren't respectful enough of your vast knowledge, well, forget about THAT.  (The "help"?  A twenty-five dollar donation.)

Pro Tip #4:  When a major part of your paid position is fundraising for a non-profit, and you are very much in the public eye, be careful about dissing other non-profit organizations who are staffed completely by volunteers and are involved in animal rescue instead of, say, raising money so that Ira Glass can get a raise..  That can backfire in a hurry.

Ah, Facebook. Always entertaining.

Monday, July 07, 2014

survey SEZ ...

...  beach umbrellas.  Five bucks a pop, and they block the view of my backyard from the neighbors.

Is it as good as a privacy fence?  Nope.  But for fifteen bucks, I'm a happy camper.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Thinking so hard my damn brain hurts

Which, admittedly, isn't much of a stretch, but still.

While things have settled into an uneasy detente with my crazy-ass neighbors, now that the weather is getting warmer,  I don't like hanging out in my backyard with the next-door loony-tunes in full view.  Especially since one of their sons (the slow one) (well, they're all kind of slow - the slow-est one, I guess) has taking to bringing his f*cking unleashed Rottweiler over.  Fun!  If that dogs runs onto my property barking at me one more time, I'm gonna get out the baseball bat. 

Fencing would be the obvious solution.  A nice high fence between my property and theirs.  Except I know what fencing costs, and I can't afford it.

So then I thought maybe I could just install a couple of panels of privacy fence, maybe just like 20 feet worth.  Checking into it, nope, still out of budget.  Oh, I could afford the fence all right, but not the install.

Hmmm ... how about some kind of lightweight fencing?  Home Depot sells rolls of bamboo privacy screening for 25 bucks a pop.  Getting closer ... but it's designed to attach to an existing fence.

Maybe I could attach it to garden stakes?   Like, put 8' stakes 4' apart, and attach the bamboo?

Yeah, I can think of myriad ways I could f*ck that up.  I'm just picturing myself out in the backyard, all tangled up in bamboo and zip ties.  Not to mention, if we're not going full-on fence here, I want something I could easily take down for mowing.

Well, let's see ... I've got a couple of garden arches I picked up for five bucks at Family Dollar and never used ... Maybe I could set them up, and install some type of fabric ... maybe bedsheets ... to create a view blocker.

I dunno ... let's go back to the garden stakes.  Attach bedsheets to stakes, making the whole thing roll-up-able.  But wait.  If I'm gonna need 8' stakes, will they even fit in the car?  And how, exactly, to attach the sheets ...

Oh man, the wheels are just churnin' today.  Hopefully I'll get this solved before I burn out too many brain cells.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Another Saturday at Tractor Supply

Okay, first off, the kittens who found new homes yesterday were the two black sweeties in the fourth and fifth pics from yesterday's post.  Congrats, guys!  Don't forget to write!

We had lots of visitors:

Mr. Attitude turned on the charm:

Miss Tabby, reviewing the merch table:

Is there anything cuter than a kitten in a crib?:

Finding new ways to doze:

Saturday was a little slower than usual, possibly owing to the fact that every high school in the region had its graduation this past weekend.  We had a total of four adoptions.  We'll be doing three events in July - gotta move these kittens!

And in other news, I woke up this morning, fed my cats, brushed my teeth, and headed into the kitten room.  Scooped the six litterboxes, then realized that one of the long-haired kittens had a poop explosion on her butt.  Took her into the bathroom, washed the poopalooza off of her (have you ever tried to give a terrified, squirming, needled-clawed kitten a bath at six a.m.?  No?  Good.), dried her off, and headed back into the kitten room, where I found that she had pooped her way across the carpeting.  Grabbed a bucket and the Fabuloso, scrubscrubscrubbed,  including the poop on the WALLS, then vacuumed the room.  Fed/watered all,  went to turn on the portable AC, and discovered that the drain plug had gone mysteriously missing and will need to be replaced.  Went out to the garage, grabbed some modeling clay out of the craft crap box, took it back into the kitten room and jammed it in the AC drain hole as a temp fix, and played with the kittens in the approximately two minutes I had left before I had to hop in the shower to get ready for work.  Took the poopy kitten-bath towels in with me to rinse them off.   Just in case you thought it was all fun and games.  It's all fun and games until someone has a poopsplosion, I guess ...