Friday, October 30, 2015

Hats on Cats

Hey, it's Halloween.  What the heck.

Gus is not amused:

Taffy and Henri provide the Peanut Gallery.  "Hey, AUguste, where'd ya get the beeYOOOOteeful hat?  *snicker*":

But turnabout is fair play, and all of a sudden it's Henri's turn:

Georgia says, "just take the hat off right quick, laydee, and nobody gets hurt":

And Taffy says, "Hey!  I kinda like dis hat!  I tink I look good in it!"

Of course, it would hardly be fair to dress up the kittens if *I* didn't wear a costume, as well ...

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Table! Rock! Ridge!

While I was out walking last weekend, I decided to see if I could find Table Rock Ridge again.  None of the trails in the area are marked, and it had been almost two years since I'd been last.

Could I find it?  After much bushwhacking and frustration ...


Good ol' Table Rock Ridge.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Recently Read

Yeah, yeah, skip it if you wanna.

1.  We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.  I got this one from the library after several people on line praised it.  Novel about the remains of a family, beset by tragedy, living in isolation from the local villagers.  Strange and eerie and poetic. I read it in an afternoon and really liked it. 

2. Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson - Yep, the same author as #1 above, there.  This was a memoir of when her children were young; think Erma Bombeck.  Badly dated, and I find it hard to believe that a woman who could write like she could was such a ditz in real life.

3.  Ruffles on My Longjohns by Isabel Edwards - Memoir of homesteading in Alaska in the 1930s.  This woman was as tough as nails.  Very interesting.

4.  Pioneer Girl:  The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder/edited by Pamela Smith Hill.  Remember the Little House on the Prairie books?  Yeah, this is the original, with massive liner notes.  If you're still obsessed with Little House, you will LOVE this book.  Basically, every sentence of the Little House books is fact-checked via Ms. Wilder's actual life.  Holy cow.

5.  All Dogs Go To Kevin by Jessica Vogelsang - Veterinarian's memoir.  Yeah, I read a LOT of those.  This one, while light-hearted, didn't really go into detail about ... well, anything, really.  Meh.

6.  Life is Short (no pun intended) by Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein - Account by the stars of TLC's show The Little Couple of their childhoods, growing up and how they met.   Interesting.

7.  Movie review!  Marjoe is a documentary from the seventies about the child evangelist Marjoe Gortner and his career as he aged.  Kind of an expose of the evangelism biz, it's very interesting.  Confession time!  I had a crush on Marjoe when I was a kid.  True story.  Yes, I AM odd.

8.  Crow Lake by Mary Lawson - Novel about siblings in rural Canada who are orphaned when their parents die in a car crash.  Very well-written, but dry.  I never really cared for any of the characters and quit about two-thirds of the way through.

9.  Storming Heaven by Denise Giardina - Novel about unionizing the West Virginia coalfields in the early 1900s.   Like Crow Lake (above), the prose is excellent but the characters were not engaging.  I finished it, but I can't say as I recommend it.

10.  Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb - This novel, about an Autistic man, got great reviews, but I just found it so-so.  It is a quick read.

11.  Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal - Novel about ... oh hell, I don't know.  The writing was really stilted so I gave up a few pages in.

MAN, I am having a hard time finding good books lately.  Got anything to recommend?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Carful of flowers

A couple of weeks ago, Agway was selling mums for two bucks a pot. 

Gotta get in those last blasts of color before winter comes around the bend.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Oh, the pearl-clutching!

From Annie's Mailbox, an online advice column:

Dear Annie: I wish my neighbors would try to put themselves in my place. I live in a nice suburban neighborhood near a beachside community. The last thing I would want to do is bother my neighbors with noise or activities that would require them to put on headphones.
Yet, here is what I have had to contend with in the past few years: skateboarding in front of my house and into my driveway; playing basketball past 10 p.m.; security lights shining into my window; dogs barking for hours; and loud parties for young children that go on past dinnertime.
I would be mortified if I did anything that would make my neighbors think I was so inconsiderate. I chose a nonbarking breed of dog, and my two children never imposed on others' space while still managing to have fun.
Noises are expected from gardeners, roofers and construction workers, but these are temporary. If anyone reads this and sees themselves, please remember that unless you live on a deserted island, being a good neighbor means respecting others, too. -- Peaceful Neighbor

Dear Peaceful: You sound especially considerate, and unfortunately, a great many people are not. Too many folks think only of themselves without paying the slightest attention to behavior that may be extremely annoying to the neighbors. We hope everyone who reads this will take a moment and consider whether they could be a little more thoughtful and kind to those around them.

Me:  I ... I don't even know what to say about this lady, except ... are you f*cking kidding me?

Let's see:  You're not supposed to skateboard in front of her house.  I assume that walking dogs, bike-riding, and driving a car past her house is also forbidden.  Because it might bother her ... somehow.  Just shut down the damn street already, the crazy lady needs her peace and quiet.

No playing basketball in the neighborhood after 10 p.m.  I assume that would also involve all outdoor activities, because they might bother her ... somehow.  EVERYBODY SHUT UP AND GET TO BED BY 10 P.M.!

You can't have any security lights.  SCREW security; and do not even ASK her to close her curtains; everybody needs to live in the dark because the lights might bother her ... somehow.  I would assume this also includes streetlights; who CARES if this means more car accidents?  THIS LADY WANTS TO SIT IN THE DARK, YOU GUYZZZ.

Dogs barking for hours?  Okay, I'm on her side on this one.  Except I've got a funny feeling that for this lady, ONE BARK = barking for hours.


That last one just slays me.  She's not talking about a neighbor cranking Kanye at 2 a.m.; she wants Bobo the Clown to STFU already, because it's 6:05.

You know what?  I'm enough of a dickwit that if this broad moved in next to me, I'd be doing sh*t just to piss her off.  BECAUSE YOUR COMPLAINTS ARE NOT REASONABLE, CRAZY LADY.

I can't believe that Annie didn't tell her to get off at the next stop, but I WILL.



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Recent game cam pics

Nope, no bear this time.  THANK GOD.

There's always a lot of pics like this (hi, Tinks):

This dude is lucky I'm not a hunter:

Don't you guys ever SLEEP?:


Brer Fox:

It took me a minute to figure out what this was:

But I'm wondering if it's this same dude:

 I don't know why I find the game cam so fascinating; something about seeing what's out there when I'm not around is just really cool.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

we be scammin'

Call that was on my voicemail the other day, verbatim: "Hello. This call is officially a final notice from IRS - Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you. To get more information about this case file, please call immediately on our department number, 202-657-4256. I repeat, 202-657-4256. Thank you."


Monday, October 19, 2015

Foster Camp update!

It's been a little bit since I last posted about the fosters, so I thought I'd do a kitten update.

The Colorscape Kitties, i.e. The Artists, continue to do well.

Henri is growing like a weed:

Gus is considering going as Wolverine for Halloween:

And Georgia likes to show off her thumbs:

It appears that Georgia may have some issues; she's quite unsteady in her gait and is lagging behind the other two developmentally.  But she is just as sweet as can be, and we'll find a loving home for her.

My house was the usual chaos the other night:  I got home from work and walked in the door to a ringing phone.  On my way to pick up the phone, I stepped on a decapitated mouse (TINKS), and answered the phone to discover that someone had showed up at the rescue with an abandoned kitten they had found; the rescue wanted to know if I would consider adding the kitten to my foster crew.

It was right about then that Tinks charged in with yet ANOTHER mouse (TINKS!), which he proceeded to dispatch at my feet, while I explained on the phone that while I had to take Tinks to the vet that night (he had gotten into yet ANOTHER fight with one of the neighborhood cats and had an infected ear that needed tending to)(TIIIIINKS!), I could possibly pick up the kitten after the vet visit.

Arrangements made, I scooped up Tinks, muscled him into a carrier, got him to the vet and got his ear cleaned up, got home, and had time to eat a couple of crackers before it was back out the door to pick up the newbie.

"Heyyyyy, who's da new kid?"

Georgia, in particular, was NOT IMPRESSED by the interloper, and much hissing ensued, but I am sure that things will calm down in due time.

 The new kitten is a girl (I think), about five weeks old, and as round as she is long.  I asked the woman who found the kitten if she had named it and she said she had been calling it La La, which, yeah, cute but NO, so a name is needed.  I was originally going to stick with the Artist theme, but that might get confusing, as this kitten is much younger than the other three, and I don't want her to get lumped in with them, vaccine-date-wise, but then again, I'm not even sure that GUS is related to the other TWO, so yeah, things get confusing at Foster Camp. 

Right now I'm leaning on calling her Taffy, and I'm sure that soon they'll all be getting along famously, so

now there's four at Foster Camp!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Oh, f*ck off, Kim Komando

Every morning I listen to the radio while I'm getting ready for work.  And every morning, a brief blurb from the Kim Komando show comes on.  This morning, she was doing an ad for Simplisafe, a home security system.

It went something like this:

"Guys!", it starts.  "Do you worry about your wife or girlfriend when she's home alone?  You know how every little noise gets amplified when nobody else is home -do you want your wife or girlfriend to feel safe when you're not there?  Now, with Simplisafe, your wife or girlfriend can feel completely safe, even when you're not at home!"

WHERE do I even START. 

Okay, FIRST OFF, being startled by an unfamiliar noise is not a GIRL THING.  It is a UNIVERSAL HUMAN EXPERIENCE, built into our DNA to keep us ALIVE.

SECONDLY, I do not need a MAN to order a home f*cking security system for me.  If I WANT a home security system, I am PERFECTLY CAPABLE of purchasing one my ownself.  With my OWN MONEY.

THIRD, this ad is making assumptions about gender.  What if the guy has a GUY waiting at home?  What if the relationship consists of two women?  OH SH*T looks like those two gals are outta luck because there isn't a GUY in the picture to order their home security system!

FOURTHLY,  the only times I EVER felt UNsafe in a living situation was when there was a GUY in the ROOM at the time, threatening me.  I have never, ever felt unsafe because an unfamiliar CRICKET was chirping, but I have felt PLENTY unsafe (in the past) by a dude screaming in my FACE, and that is something no home security system could have protected me from.

FIFTH, if I want to plunk down some of MY money for a home security system which *I* am perfectly capable of purchasing, I'm thinking my choices would be (a) big dog (b) big gun (c) big can of mace (d) big old baseball bat, some of which I ALREADY frickin' HAVE.


Dear Kim Komando:  I am not a helpless little airhead, cowering at home alone because my man (gag) is gone and the smoke alarm beeped at random.  I am a KICK-ASS f*cking WOMAN who does NOT need someone of the opposite gender to *protect* me, and I would thank you very much to remember that.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The hibiscus's last hurrah

A couple of weeks ago, I brought the hibiscus tree in for the winter.  And ever since, it's been blooming like crazy.

It's also dropping leaves like crazy; it's going to be mostly twigs by the time it's done, but for right now it sure is pretty.

A last little bit of summer color.

Monday, October 12, 2015

I am convinced that for a brief period every fall, there is no prettier place on Earth than the Northeast.

I took this pic on Sunday while driving to a hiking spot:

And here is the creek, not a hundred yards from my house:

Pictures don't really do it justice; the colors are almost psychedelic.

I don't know what these little puff-balls are; anyone have any ideas?:

My favorite walks are those near water.  I almost took the kayak out yesterday, but I figure that once the idea of ending up in the drink (always a possibility when I'm doing the paddling) becomes unattractive, it's time to put up the paddle for the year.

Look!  These trees are hugging each other!  Awwwwwww.

Milkweed in the breeze:

Oh, Autumn, I would love you forever, if only I didn't know what came after.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Saturday Night

I was sitting here watching Dr. Pol tonight, wishing I had cupcakes, when I idly thought, well,  I could *make* some cupcakes, but that would take longer than I am willing to wait.

Then I thought, you know what, there should be cupcake delivery service, just like you can order pizza.  Wouldn't that be awesome?

THEN I realized, holy cow, I actually HAVE some little mini-cupcakes in the fridge, left over from a rescue event last week.

And then the angels sang.  I have cupcakes.

And that's my Saturday night.  Yours?

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Oh great ...

... NOW I've got mysterious glowing ORBS in the backyard ...

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Even BIGGER changes at Foster Camp!

Upon further examination, it has been determined that The Artist Formerly Known As Frida is actually ... a boy!  Sorry, lil dude.

"JeeEEEeeez, laydee, what kind of rinky-dink outfit you RUNNIN' around here, anyway?!  I iz not a stoopidhead GIRL, I iz an awesome BOYCAT!  SHEESH!"

Monday, October 05, 2015

Big Changes at Foster Camp

On Saturday, I took Chloe and Watson back to the rescue, so they could continue their journey to their permanent homes.   They were almost twelve weeks old, and the rescue had room for them, so it was time.

 I also took Mikey along for the ride.  The plan was that I would bring Mikey back home with me for a couple more weeks, as she is smaller than the other two.  But!  While we were there, guess what?!  Mikey got adopted!

A family who had adopted from the rescue before was there looking for a new addition to their household.  One of their cats had recently passed away at age 18, and the remaining cat, a playful five-year-old, was lonely.  They spent two hours looking at all the cats and kittens, weighing the pros and cons of each one, and picked Mikey!  (Well, OF COURSE they did.  I mean, she WAS the most beautiful cat there ...) This family takes very good care of their pets, so I'm sure Mikey will do fine there.  I just wasn't ... quite ... ready ... for her to go, is all. *sniff*. Ha.

But!  Because Kitten Season is STILL upon us, I didn't go home empty-handed.  Meet the Colorscape kittens:

A couple of weeks ago, there was a public art event in the town where the rescue is located.  A little boy was there with a box full of kittens, trying to give them away and telling people that the kittens would be killed if he didn't find them new homes.  When an event organizer approached him, he dropped the box and bolted.  Efforts to find the little boy, or to find where the kittens came from, were unsuccessful, so the rescue stepped in. And because they were found at an art show, they were dubbed The Artists, and named Georgia, Frida and Henri.  Now estimated to be around six weeks old, they need some more growing time until they're big enough to be adopted.

Welcome to Foster Camp, Artists!  We could USE a little class around here.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Oops! I did it again

... went to Payless, that is.

IN MY DEFENSE, and I do have one, I was sorting through my email yesterday morning and saw that Payless was having a sale.  I mean, *yawn*, they're ALWAYS having a sale, but this one?

Was that all clearance shoes were now five bucks.  FIVE BUCKS.

COME ON!  I'm only human.

I was determined to avoid the last Payless, which isn't difficult because there are two others in my town.

On my lunch break, I went to Payless #2.  No obnoxious sales clerk, no pressure, just a confirmation that all red-tag shoes were five bucks.  She even pulled all clearance shoes in my size(s) off the racks for me to look at!  (Well, except for the stilettos.  Oh my goodness Payless has some AWESOME stilettos, but I cannot wear stripper shoes without crippling myself, so sadly, those were out.)  She DID ask me for my phone number at check-out, and you know what?  I gave it to her.  Because she was NICE.  (And because I knew I'd get a $3.00 coupon if I gave it to her and then filled out a survey online.  I will gladly sell myself out for money, I admit it.)

After work, I went to Payless #3.  Again, no pressure, no guilting, and when that clerk asked for my phone number, she reassured me that it wasn't necessary to get the sale price.  Nice.

So!  I bought ... ummmm ... seven pairs of shoes.




 Now the big question:  How much did it cost?

List price on the seven pairs of shoes was *gulp* $194.93.

But c'mon, we all know that everything at Payless is on sale all the time, right?  So let's say they were having a BOGO sale, which they do a LOT, except at Payless it's always fake BOGO, buy-one-get-one-half-off, instead of real BOGO, which is buy-one-get-one-free.

So let's say it was a fake BOGO sale.  The shoes would have been $146.20.

Or hell, let's say it was real BOGO, buy-one-get-one-free.  The shoes would have been $97.47. 

 So how much did I pay?

By the time I got done with the clearance discount, plus a ten-dollar coupon I had previously gotten in-store, PLUS a coupon I had for filling out the on-line survey for the PREVIOUS visit (heh), I paid 

drum roll please.



I win, Payless.  I WIN.