My Cats

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My cats have a blog of their own, The Cathouse Chronicles. If you’ve found this, my other bog, and are looking for the kitties, just hop on over and tell them hello.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama

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Mama was 54 years old when she and Daddy took me in. I was almost three. Their raising me is one of the many variations of grandparents raising grandchildren.

Mama was never a grandmother to me. She was and will always be my Mama. Her other three children were old enough to be my parents (one actually was an adopted parent – my story has many twists and turns) they were all in their 30’s when I arrived on the scene.

It was a slower time back then, in the fifties. We lived in the country on a small farm that Daddy tended in the evenings and weekends when he got off work. He worked in a textile mill, leaving for work early after tending to the animals long before sunrise.

Mama tended to gardens and kept our little home spotless while watching after me. I spent my days playing in the shade of a huge oak tree or following her along the garden rows as she pulled weeds or picked vegetables for cooking and canning.

My Mama taught me to garden and to cook. She taught me to respect God and nature. We took long walks in the woods and she showed me herbs that grew wild while telling me the usages for each and every one.

As a teenager I discovered boys(much to her horror) and then as if to make her worst nightmares come true, I married the one destined to give me hell and her much worry about me. She knew from the get-go this boy was not the one for me. She tried to tell me and I (who knew everything at that age) didn’t believe her. How could she know? She was “old”. What did she know about love?

I can answer that question now. Now as I am the age she was then. In my 60’s. Older and much, much wiser than I was as a teen.

What did she know about love?

She knew more that most people ever will. At a time when she could have rested and enjoyed her golden years she loved enough to take in a a baby and start the child rearing process again. To make it even more amazing this new child was not of her blood but a child adopted by her son as an infant and then partially orphaned by the loss of his wife.

I always knew what she and Daddy did was wonderful. I didn’t know what a hardship it must have been until many years later when with my own body aging and enduring aches and pains, I stopped one day and though what it would be like, at my age, to have a small child to chase and care for. Oh My! What a woman she was!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama. You were and are, one in a million.

2014 off to a Good Start: Well, Not Really

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Having ended 2013 with a trip to the doctor for a lingering cough that turned out to be broncitis,  I was ready to start the new year in the hopes of things going smoother. I’m taking care of the medical issues 2013 dumped on me. Going to get healthier and do better in the new year.

“Not so fast” said the little cloud that’s been following me around of late. “There’s more in store for you, old girl.”

I was feeling much better this afternoon and attacked some kitchen chores with gusto. I felt so good I got careless.

One itty-bitty wrong move while washing one of those super-duper will cut anything ceramic knives and suddenly there was blood flowing from my finger. “Oh (insert swear word here)”.

Hours later, the wound does not want to give up bleeding at the slightest opportunity. My husband is frustrated because I didn’t go somewhere and get stitches. And the finger is sore. Really sore.

I’ll be OK. Hubby will have another example of my “bull – headedness, and my kids will roll their eyes… again.

Needed: One Hard Hat

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We were deluged with rain the other week. I kept an eye out for basement leaks like we’ve had in the past and can happily report there were none.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the water gods weren’t out to get me. They just left the cottage alone this time.

After driving to work in pouring rain and paddling my way inside I thought I was home free. I was. For a few hours.

Then there was a crash and splat just beyond my work table.

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After re-purposing a recycling can into a leak catcher I proceeded to mop up the water, gather up the soaked ceiling tile and resume doing my job. Until round two of the attack of the rain gods.

 

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O……K…….

Back to the storage area for the mop and bucket. Mop. Pick-up ceiling tile. (Gee, I’m getting good at this.)

Take a break. Now back to work.

But wait!

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There’s more!

That last one actually hit the edge of my work table and woke me up. How rude!

Of course by then the ceiling wasn’t looking so good.

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Please note the bulging moisture barrier. It had to be “popped” the next day and reportedly contained many gallons of rain water.

I wouldn’t know. After the last mopping session I took advantage of quitting time and got the heck out of Dodge, so to speak. Oh and when I drove home; the rain had finally stopped.

Summer’s Over

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I didn’t write much this summer. Nowhere. Not even e-mails. I seldom tweeted.

I attempted to grow tomatoes and peppers on our deck. I bought new pots, potting soil and fertilizer. I kept them watered. They grew beautifully. Then blight hit the tomato plants and killed them before I could harvest a single luscious fruit. Drat!!!

The peppers fared better and we had a nice crop to add to many meals. Yummy!

Another thing I did this summer, and continue to do, is knit. I hadn’t knitted in years. I learned as a child from my 6th grade teacher. She taught those girls who wanted to learn each day during recess. 

Over the summer,I’ve made sweaters for my little dog and a shawl for myself: I was surprised at how easily my fingers remembered the task and how quickly my skill returned.

IMAG0507 My shawl

I’m working on a multicolored sweater now. It’s about half finished. I’ll post a picture once its finished.

Summer is over and my fingers have relearned an old skill. I wonder if my brain can relearn the skill of writing and posting blog posts? We’ll see.

Appliances – The Upgrade – Part 2

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Our new appliances were delivered. The young man who was the ‘lead person’ of the two-man team came in first to scope out the location for each item. The first bad news was that the installation I had already paid for on the dishwasher couldn’t be done unless said dishwasher was connected directly to the kitchen sink. Ours has a separate hook-up that comes through the floor. “Your money will be refunded” the young man told me.

The next disappointment was that the water line to the refrigerator had to be a certain type before they could install. Ours wasn’t that type. The refrigerator was installed, sans water to the ice-maker. I was becoming a bit angry, but kept my cool. I kept wondering what problems they would find with the washer and dryer that would enable them to leave me stranded there, too.

Luckily for them (I was in ‘hurt them’ mode) the washer and dryer connections met their approval and those items were installed and ready to use in short order.

Still, I was stuck with a dishwasher (still in the box) sitting in my living room and a refrigerator without a working ice maker.

Enter my hero, my grandson-in-law.

A call to my granddaughter resulted in his being roped into helping volunteering to help. They came up the next day and soon the refrigerator was making ice and the dishwasher was ready for its first load of dishes. He even did a few extra chores that needed a man’s touch while they were here.

The box from the dishwasher made an excellent toy for my two great-granddaughters. With a door cut for them by their mom and a box of sidewalk chalk to ‘paint’ their new “club house” they were busy for hours.

Now that I’ve been using the new appliances for a week I can report that all are working great. I am very pleased with their performance and ease of use. The side-by-side refrigerator is making life much easier for my husband. Being in a wheelchair the freezer in the old unit was hard for him to access for microwaveable snacks or ice. He is very happy to have such things within easy reach.

One week into the adventure of new appliances, we are happy and pleased with our choices.

Now I need to decide what color to paint the kitchen. It looks pretty ragged with new stuff in there.

Appliances 2.0 – the Upgrade

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My dishwasher gave up the ghost 6 years ago. My husband suggested we replace it on the day it died, but I assured him I didn’t mind hand washing dishes. I’ve done so ever since.

My dryer died last Sunday. It was full of half-dry laundry and another load was awaiting its turn in the washing machine. Said dryer is several months younger than the washer. Both are 22 years old.

The half-dry laundry was spread through the house on available surfaces to finish drying and the wet load (jeans and sweats) were hung over the deck railing to dry. With the immediate crisis under control, we sat down to discuss options.

“I’ll put up a clothes line”, I suggested.

“The washer won’t last much longer either.” My husband countered.

That was true and as we were talking we remembered the advanced age and deteriorating condition of our refrigerator.

I was stalling. I didn’t want to purchase major appliances. Not right now.

My husband did. His arguments made sense.

“You are 60 years old”, he said. “You need to be making things easier on yourself instead of harder. You need a dishwasher too. It kills your back to stand there washing dishes, doesn’t it? The refrigerator won’t last much longer, we both know it. Why not do it all at once?”

Eventually I gave in.

The order was placed.

Blog Anniversary in 3, 2, 1…..

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As of today this blog has been in existence for 3 years.

Three years!! Wow!!

My life has changed since I started blogging. Much of it wasn’t put in the blog, but some items are worth mentioning. I’m sure I’ll probably leave out something important.

In the last three years I have:

  • Gotten much fatter in a direct response to a) Michelle Obama’s attempts to make me slim and trim and b) my turning into a computer addicted couch potato. (Mainly B)
  • Rescued 2 elderly cats and cared for them until they passed away
  • Had a young cat, who was born here, die of heart disease
  • Reconnected with my sweet Granddaughter and developed a relationship with her, her husband and two daughters (Yes, Walks Alone is a great grandmother)
  • Looked after my dear husband, who remains willing to put up with me
  • Renewed my interest in sewing and knitting – things I learned to do while very young
  • Decided I will never be able to retire
  • Bought a Kindle Fire (I’m in love)
  • Kept on keeping on

I wonder what the next three years, or even this year will bring?

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