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Archive for the ‘It’s About the Heart’ Category

We had some excitement here yesterday! I went on my merry way to teach a few lessons and go to church, and I came home to some loud, LOUD squeaking in the kitchen:

Ashes’ Babies Mama on Monday

I was so happy they finally arrived, and in the box I had prepared for mama! She didn’t seem to have much trouble with the births, but it wore her out. She slept well last night, I think. There are 2 tabbies, a solid white, a white and black, a black and white, and a solid black. OMG. I didn’t want them, cuz really, I think I have done my part in the rescue world, but they are so danged cute I am completely won over and glad they are here. Luckily, the mom seems to be able to feed them all, so I won’t have to bottle-feed anybody.

Let me note here that this is my neighbor’s cat. It was his responsibility to get her spayed, promised he would, but he didn’t. Now I get the joy of dealing with the consequences. I plan to take matters into my own hands and make sure this doesn’t happen again, but I won’t be around for these babies, to get them fixed. Dunno what we’ll do about that yet.

I came home livid and sad last night. The whole “raison d’get-the-heck-outta-town” grew three notches yesterday, so I was ready to beat the crap out of something. I took out my frustration on some chicken breasts the night before, pounded ’em flat, but last night’s dinner was ground beef. Not much damage I could do there. The babies? TOTALLY fixed it. I have to figure out how to get them all out of the box and change the bedding, though. CRIMINY. The size of that EW…

The second-cutest part of the newbies has been the reactions of the others. Pics of my others are on Flickr, linked on the right side of the page, just in case you’re interested. Moo is Ashes’ only survivor from her first litter, and she got up in the window ledge to peek into the box and see the event. Moo stuck her head out of the curtain while Ivy had the mama distracted and looking the other way. I didn’t have the camera handy, and oh, what a kewl pic I missed! The lolcaption would have read, “Ceiling cat intern chex in on new assignmint.” As it almost always is with the Ceiling Cat, we never know when we’re being watched, when He’s checking up on us in our distress.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone.

firstborn

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Early this morning all heck broke out in my yard. Cats were scrambling for the cat door and dogs were barking like crazy. I checked on things and hoped the eventual silence meant everybody was ok, but I was wrong. My little Vicki, my biker chick kitty, was dead. I found her this afternoon, but she was already gone by the time I heard her stop screaming last night. Whatever got her gutted her with one or two bites. I walked out there and watched, but never saw anything out where she was, so I assumed the worst was the scrambling. I should have gone deeper in the yard.

She was feral, but she lived here with me. She would barely tolerate me walking through a room she was in, much less let me approach her. My kids loved her, though, and woke me up playing with her nearly every morning. I had been worried about her getting pregnant, and about not taking her when I move. Guess that’s settled.

****

Hey! The neighbor’s turkey hen is on the nest, not dead. THAT was good news. I still don’t know why he lets them wander in the road, though. Seems irresponsible, and not a little mean. Sez they’re not “road worthy.” Brainless wonder, that one. Sheesh.

****

I still don’t have the DW installed. I may just wait till my friend can come do it Monday afternoon. HE knows what he’s doing, but I hafta say, I really want to say I did it myself. Too bad there aren’t any single guys around who’d like to rescue a helpless little thing like the babe. Heh.

Later!

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So. Today we buried another of my friends, on this, the anniversary of my own mother’s death.  The service was everything he wanted it to be: full of joy, celebrating his life, praising his Savior.  Back in December he asked me to play a medley of upbeat songs when the time came, and I did. People understood why, I guess, if they knew him at all. I just didn’t know it would be so soon. I don’t usually get emotional at funerals, but this one was something special. I wept a lot today, and not just for the loss of my friend.

I am really excited about the prospect of starting over in a new town, a place I loved before I even visited. But the other side of that is giving up a great church with a pastor who never fails to serve a massive plate of spiritual protein on Sundays. I am also walking away from a place of service, where I can play piano and sing and help people worship with my music. I am not wonderfully skilled, but people seem to like what I do. The new town has a couple of good churches, but I am not at all sure there will be a place for me on the music team. I don’t do well in the audience. I worship best when I am in the middle of the works.

My greatest loss, the thing I am already mourning, will be the working relationship I have with the worship team leader. We’ve been friends for 20 years, one of those friendships where words aren’t necessary. As musicians, we share a brain and the presidency of our mutual admiration society. He is my repair guru, my spiritual mentor, and a brother. I tell him to reboot when his computer goes flooey. He tells the cheesiest jokes, and lots of times I’m the only one in the room laughing. I love him. It’ll be kinda lonely without him.

Today I am Indiana Jones, stepping off the cliff in search of the Holy Grail of a fresh start. I know there’s a reason for all of this struggle, I just want to know what it is NOW.  I am looking forward to meeting new people and actually going to a grocery store that doesn’t sell tires, but I am really struggling with the enormity of what I am about to do. This house… dang, it’s full of stuff.  Don’t say yard sale, because the kind of stuff I need to get rid of is more valuable than a 5-cent pair of pants. I am not inclined to advertise things for sale because I live alone, and I ain’t stupid.

Anyway, kinks to work out, boxes to pack. It’ll all work out in the end, I know, and I may find someone over there I can love even more than the people I’ll leave behind. Y’all just be patient with the whining, k?

Thanks.

-Me

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I just spent the last two days in what will become my new hometown, and I just hafta say, I’d be an idiot if I don’t go.

The friend I visited organized and helped cook a dinner Tuesday night with some of his friends and my new acquaintances. They declared me cool. Whew! We spent the better part of yesterday afternoon and all of today house-hunting, which left me a bit frustrated. You must understand. I am a flower child trapped in a practical middle-class body, a woman who just wants to do her thing and be happy rather than be controlled by “the man.” I was born to older parents whose work ethic didn’t make it past the placental barrier, unfortunately, but was instead replaced my a tremendously overpowering guilt mechanism that would make a Jewish mother blush with pity. I have it in my head that there is a “normal” lifestyle for a hetero female that includes motherhood, homemade bread and a minivan, and anything less is an abomination. I don’t really BELIEVE that, mind you, but there IS part of me that looks down on the flower child for not living up to the standard. I was reminded several times in the last 2 days that I am an idiot. Oh, wait… I meant, that I am perfectly normal for thinking that way, and also perfectly wonderful just as I am, pyrex mastery or not.

Yeah, that.

The question of moving to the new town is not “if,” but “how.” See, I have been blessed to be mortgage-free for ten years now, and car payment-free for three. Add to that a zero balance on all my credit cards, and you may begin to understand my dilemma. I am facing a mortgage without a full-time, paid-by-someone-else job, and frankly, I am scared out of my wits. I think I might have mentioned once or five times that I am pretty much alone here, and if I fail, I have no safety net. Naturally, I don’t want to fail. The flower child in me has been trained to be practical and responsible and all adult and stuff, so I want to make SURE, absoLUTEly sure, that I don’t get in over my head. Housing in the new place is inflated. I found several perfect homes for sale within my price range, but they were all in the neighboring town. I have had my fill of commuting nearly 20 miles every day for the past ten years. I don’t wanna. I DO want to live in WonderfulNewHometown (WNH), but I iz skeered uv da repo man.

I have been assured that I will have NO trouble filling a piano studio, and that I can even raise my rates, since the mindset there is that the more expensive a teacher is, the better she must be. I totally earn that distinction (heh), so I won’t feel guilty setting the bar pretty high. There are some other options for me, too: WNH has a transit system – small air-conditioned buses – and li’l ol’ me got the bright idea of being a driver. How stinkin’ fun is THAT? My dad prized his commercial driver’s license, so it’s in my blood. “How do you know you can do that?” you may ask. Shhh. Don’t tell anybody, but I have driven a school bus and a 45-passenger charter bus before. I KNOWWWWW, huh?? You wouldn’t have guessed that. Admit it. Anyway, my buddy of 20 years made it a point to put me behind the wheel and show me controls and such every time we took a trip on a charter (sans passengers aboard, natch), so I do have a clue already. I can tell you the benefit of having a tag axle and I can jump start a bus with a pickup truck. Been there, got the grease stains. I can explain how a bus kneels and I know how to replace a fuel filter. Did that, too.

So, guess what I did. Go on, guess! If you said, “stopped a bus and quizzed a driver,” you would be correct! I found out that not only do they always need drivers, but they will TRAIN me for the CDL! How much better could that get? The pay isn’t stellar, but it beats slinging burgers. Remind me sometime to tell you how burger-slinging worked out for me in my previous lifetime. You’ll come drive me to my CDL classes.

As I was getting ready to leave this afternoon, my pal reminded me of a few points. One, I need this. I need to let go of the ghosts and the baggage and the unreasonably high expectations I have of myself. Two, I am wonderful. He said that without being provoked, and he meant it. He wasn’t just being polite. I’ve known him for more years than I care to admit, and I believe he is sincere in his praise. Aww, shucks. 🙂 Three, even though I don’t technically have that safety net, I am not alone. If I were to fail, I have people back in the town I am so anxious to leave who would catch me and do anything they could to help. He also said that I already have people in WNH who feel the same way. He reminded me of his roommate’s offer the night before to come stay anytime I need a bed, no need to call, and to stay as LONG as I need. “He meant that.”

I know he meant it, and that’s what would make me an idiot to stay here and rot.

As I drove the 175 miles back to this house, I had a hard time saying “home.” My babies were waiting at the door, hungry and happy to see me, but all I wanted to do was pick them up and click my heels.

“There’s no place like WNH.” “There’s no place like Alabama.” “There’s no place like…”

Home.

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I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about stuff that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I wonder what my friends are doing right this instant, what do zoo animals think when they look at us, will Oprah go to Heaven. Stuff like that.

One of the things I wonder about is my cats’ histories. Now, I know that really does sound stupid, but all of my kids were rescues of one form or another. The ones I got as kittens, well, I know most of their stories, cuz I helped write ’em. But then there’s Murphy.

I came home one night and found a scruffy, sick, beaten-up young adult cat on my front porch. He had made himself at home, and instantly responded when I reached to touch him. He was a lover with a sensual motor that made his whole distressed body vibrate when he was happy. I fed him and left him, hoping he would find his way home, because really. He was number 11, and the LAST thing I needed that didn’t involve a natural disaster. He was gone the next day, but when I came home that evening he was back in his spot on the porch. I discovered he had lost his tail, whether ripped off or bitten off or whatever, and the wound was fresh enough the bone was showing. He had a weeping eye which he would not open, and was sneezing badly. He was a certified mess.

He had a heart of gold, tho, so I couldn’t deny him care. The vet removed the stub of his tail, neutered him (I still giggle when I think of how many times that little girl vet said “testicles” with a straight face), and set me up with drugs for his many ailments. He also required eye surgery, and was found to have posted a false negative on his first FLV test. He was rallying, tho, and we made the decision to deal with things when they happen. He is now quite healthy and happy, still a loverboy, unassuming, and totally self-confident.

But how?

How did his sweet nature survive all that trauma? How did he get separated from his family? Who tamed him so well, and how could they just dump him out? I find it hard to believe he got lost, unless he was given away and tried to find his way to his old home. He is happy here, though, so if that were the case, why did he decide to stop looking? How did he lose that tail? What injury caused him to have one permanently-enlarged pupil? Where is that danged sign that tells the sick and wounded where to find me?

Someone a couple hundred miles away wants to adopt him, and I find that I am a little sad at that, in spite of the issues his presence has caused in the house. He’s not aggressive, but he is confident enough to stand his ground. Maybe he’s just dumb as a brick. Who knows? One thing I DO know about him is that he’s a great mouser. I had one in the living room a few nights ago that I think one of the others brought in as a toy. It was cute, for a mouse, and I just wanted him caught, not killed. I would have just tossed him out the door. Five seconds after his ill-fated meeting with Murphy, though, and his freedom was not to be. Murph literally snapped the thing in two.

Good thing he likes me, I guess.

Godspeed, Murphy, my boy.

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OK, so yesterday wasn’t what you could call “stellar,” unless, of course, you count my blood pressure and proximity to a fatal stroke. Every bad day has to have SOME good somewhere, or there would be no reason to assume that getting out of bed tomorrow will be worth the effort. So, for all the crap that was my Wednesday, the little bit of good appeared quite softly, and had it not been for Cyndi, easily underestimated.

When I got home last night I found all my children waiting for dinner. Almost all, that is, cuz little Ivy was missing. I knew she was inside somewhere, but she usually makes her way into the room, at least. After I fed everybody, I called her and went to the back bath, where I found her big sister/would-be murderer staring at a closed closet door. When Lily saw me, she walked up to the door and tried to open it from the bottom, and sure enough, when I turned the knob, there was Ivy, snoozing on a pile of boxes. How she got shut in there is another day’s story, but ’twas a happy ending, so no matter.

As Cyndi said, “How stinkin’ cute is that?”

I agree.

Happy Valentine’s Day, all.

Humorous Pictures
moar humorous pics

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Some posts need to be written immediately, and others need to simmer in their own juices to be fully flavored. The problem with simmering is that I have completely forgotten every single thing I was gonna write. You know, cuz I’m retarded like that. Today’s post is gonna be a bunch of brain farts, since I’m too lazy and busy wallowing in the joy that IS my life to write them separately. If ya get tired reading, come back later and finish. I won’t know. Heck, bring a friend if you want, and read it together. OK. Off we go.

***

They’re small, you think. They are sooo good, and they’re small. Just one. More. Besides, they’re SMALL.  Fifteen minutes later, you have eaten an entire 3 oz bag of sugar free candy. DO NOT LAUGH AT THE 3 OZ. This is one of those lessons I just never seem to learn. That 3 oz seems so insignificant, but dear LORD, let me WARN you NOW. Just…DON’T. I woke up at 3am doubled over in pain, and when I rolled over, the only thing I could do was…well… “let it out.” I’m sure the USGS registered it. I can sometimes blame it on the cats, but for them? This would have been an entire colon’s worth of air. Over. And Over. And? OVER. For 6 HOURS. I was still walking around rattling windows when I got up the next morning. And yet, this afternoon? TWO bags of SF gummy bears.  I am SOOOO gonna pay, and it was SOOOOO worth it.

Times like this make me glad I’m single. So much easier than being polite.

***

I have had some bih-ZARRE dreams the last few days. This afternoon I took a nap (mistake) and dreamed I moved into a new apartment. When I finally went upstairs 3 days later, I found a cat’s paradise: toys, furniture, piles of soft towels and beds and stuff. I also had a 6-week-old kitten jump on my shoulder. There were 6 total, just left there. Added to the 12 I already have, that’s…um…that’s…a LOT of CAT. About that time, my (dead) mother came to visit. She walked around and we discovered the house had another half to it, a demolished half that had broken windows and no floors and seemed to open directly onto a street full of drifters and every seedy human-type person you can imagine. She went OFF. I reminded her that I am not exactly rolling in cash, and that SHE hadn’t offered to let me stay with HER. “DON’T YOU THINK I AM BEATING MYSELF UP FOR THAT?!?” she sweetly screamed at the top o’ her lungs. Hah. Good times, those afternoon naps!

The ones I had last night made me want to get up and call someone. Srsly.

I was falling asleep and felt very threatened. There was something in the room with me, and it was hard to wake up. Fast forward to the next few minutes, when I was almost asleep again. I heard my bedroom door click, and I thought, “NO. Please, NO.”  The room got thick, and I tried to scream, but the room just absorbed the sound, as it absorbed the tiny bit of light coming thru the window. My voice was gone. Then something vaguely human, bald, climbed on top of me – I was paralyzed, unable to get free. It was transparent the way heat is as it floats on a highway in summer, but it was heavy… physical, and menacing. I whispered, “Get thee behind me, in the name of Jesus. Get OFF me, in the name of Jesus,” and forced my way out of the thickness of the air, the paralysis, into consciousness.

Whether or not it truly was an attack, I dunno. I know the brain does the paralysis thing in the early stages of sleep, so don’t bother telling me that. The fact that my mind recognized it as demonic makes me wonder. I admit, I did think “so this is what people think is an alien abduction,” the first couple of times last night. I even mentally chastised myself later for not letting them take me, cuz I want ’em to take me some night while I’m driving somewhere and bring me back thin. SRSLY. Wouldn’t that be cool?? To go to bed fat and wake up a NORMAL?? Wow. I haven’t been a normal since I was three. I keep wishing, but the second and third people living in my skin are still here, and there are no odd triangular marks on my neck. Dangit. 

The third one was different. THAT one scared me. I truly thought I was done for when I couldn’t scream.

Gyah. Not funny, I know! Sorry ’bout that, but sheesh. I’ve had the oppressive dream thing before, so I knew what it was, but I have never seen what was coming for me. THAT was new, and when I kept DREAMING it, it freaked me out a bit. I really started to just get up and reset my brain. Reboot. Scroll. But luckily, I fell asleep and dreamed something harmless after the third episode.

Whew. Srsly.

***

I boarded Ivy for the chorus trip I had to take last weekend. I left the other 11 to fend for themselves, but after finding Lily lying on Ivy’s head one morning so she couldn’t breathe, I decided she needed a little more consideration. She meows now. Go figure. Two days in a cage, and she decides to talk. Kittens are so easy. They’d never make it as international spies.

When I got her home, you’d have thought she’d been at Leavenworth for a year. She stopped to sniff the front door, then the sofa, the floor in the dining room, the chair legs, the door frames, the water bowl, everything. She was so happy to be home she couldn’t stand herself, little tail straight up and wiggling the whole time. Next time I have to be gone overnight she’ll be big enough to stay home, but if she weren’t, I’d find a human to take care of her instead. My vets are marvelous, and they loved having her cuz she’s the poster child for terminal cuteness, but she was changed by the experience. I guess that’s what life does, but I DO NOT WANT. Maybe what I DO want is to open a boarding facility of my own. Hmm. Now to win the lottery so that can happen…

***

Dang. Never, EVER buy multiple bags of sugar free jelly beans. They’re so SMALL, see, and so HARD to reSIST.

Run, kitties. Run for your lives.

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