Friday, August 20, 2010

Roof Racer

Roof Racer

Gallump, gallump, gallump, gallump!
No little cat's paws tiptoe on my roof
As the midnight roof racer chases his invisible shadow
From porch roof to house peak and over the ridge.

Gallump, gallump, gallump, gallump!
Black on black with golden eyes he watches me
As I, foolish human that I am, try to tempt him
Back to ground level as he sits aloof on the steep incline.

Gallump, gallump, gallump, gallump!
"Watch me, watch me, Lady! I am up soooo high!"
He swats a twig down the slope and gallops
From peak to flat porch roof to meow pitifully.

Gallump, gallump, gallump, gallump!
Back to the peak and chase the cardinal,
Back to the porch roof to tease the Lady.
Braveheart has no fear except not being watched.

Gallump, gallump, gallump, gallump!
Daylight and the pathway down is revealed.
Over the arbor and through the evergreen
Down to the ground and look up asking plaintively "Feed me now?"

M.C. MacFadyen

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Another up all night

Hi, y'all. Things have improved medication wise but I still have bouts of insomnia. Tonight is one of those nights. I slept about an hour and a half then was wide awake again. Tried a few things with no luck so I left the bed and sleeping husband and cats and came in to the computer.

Some good news! The two female kittens were adopted last weekend. I learned a new description for tortoiseshell cats. The little boy who claimed her says she is a camouflage cat. I think that is so cute!

So we are left with the two now 12 week old black male kittens. One is still being called Braveheart. The other has earned the name Pantclimber - no explanation required but you better be wearing long pants around him. He loves to be cuddled and turned on his back to have his little belly and chest scratched. Lady Jane is still with them and us. She takes them out on overnight hunting trips and brings them back in time for meals. The great-nieces and nephews love coming over to play with the kittens. I have tied jingle balls on the ends of dowel rods and they play "fishing for kittens" under the big evergreen bush by the back porch.

Marco, one of our indoor males, got out today when DH was putting the dog out. He just scooted underneath her and around her legs and out the door. DH told me when I called him during my lunch break. I told him not to worry, Marco will be back. Sure enough, about a half hour later DH called back and said he went to the back door and opened it and in dashed Marco. Fool cat has it good in the house and gets scared everytime he goes out but he still does it. I think the kittens scared him today. He sees them thru the screen on the door and has even been nose-to-nose with them at various times - but up close and personal those little things can be pretty frightening!

VBS starts June 14th. With the medication problems I am running behind on craft preparation but I will have things done in time. All supplies except the last few bottles of glue have been purchased and the few extras I need like moist wipes and paper towels, etc. I hope I have the necessary energy to get thru the week.

My energy has improved on the Cymbalta and my aches and pains are less than they were. But the insomnia can still leave me dragging or else the sleep medication leaves me groggy and unsteady for hours in the morning. But the lovely side effect of loss of appetite continues. I rarely experience any hunger pangs and have no interest in snacking. In fact, DH has to remind me to eat. Unfortunately, I also don't ever feel full or satisfied after eating. Go figure.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wide Awake at 2:30 a.m.

I have been going thru some medication changes in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, both the med I have just weaned off of and the new one I am just starting have a side effect in common - insomnia. I seem to be experiencing the side effect on the new one, too. If this keeps up I'll just stay awake all the time except for little naps which do not rejuvenate me. The side effect I would like to happen - decreased appetite - may be showing itself also. That one I could live with. I often wonder if the medications are worth the side effects. I should have left well enough alone but now I have to go thru with something. More doctor visits coming up.

The kittens will be 7 weeks old on Sunday. They are active and loving little things and I will hate to give them up but I cannot have any more cats. We have several too many now. I have taken to calling the two "black" ones Bravehearts as they were the first to do most things and were the first to venture along the sidewalk in the back yard. One of the two just loves to be cuddled and will climb pant legs to get picked up. The tortie has become quite adventursome also. She was the last born and was a little runty at first but has caught up with the others and holds her own quite well in competition for food and playing. We discovered them on top of the concrete block wall between our house and our neighbors on the north this morning. I watched until I figured out how they were doing it and then removed the climbing aids. If one of them should fall off the wall on the wrong side it would never make it back on its own and Lady Jane is not always around to fetch a wanderer back home.

Last night Lady Jane deposited a gift at the back door for the kittens. Thankfully the chipmunk was deceased when I found it and disposed of it. I am glad she is training them but could do without the gifts.

Well, the cup of hot chocolate may have worked. Back to bed to try sleeping again.

Monday, April 12, 2010

We Are Cat

One month old and already very much Cat!

Three of the 4 have started eating either dry or canned food. The little tortie has not quite decided such things are edible. They just came out from under the porch this weekend and both Lady Jane and I are not quite certain we like this new development. They were safe and contained and now they are loose!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

VBS Egypt beginnings

I got my last outstanding order for craft supplies for VBS Egypt today. (The full title is Egypt - Joseph's journey from prison to palace.) I have been having a good time planning the crafts and ordering supplies. There are still a few things I need but I will probably purchase most of them locally.

I made a senet game box from a baseball card storage box. The sample looks nice and I think both kids and adults will have fun making them. I have heiroglyphic stamps we can use to decorate the playing board as well as the sides. I am also considering using a heiroglyphic font and printing out stickers the kids can use on the playing board. We will use flat back glass stones for the gaming pieces. I still need to decide what we will use for the throwing sticks.

I have also crocheted two beaded headdresses and may make more. I may also try just a headband with beads crocheted into it. The kids will make simpler headbands from fun foam and will have "jewels" to glue on as well as beads to dangle down in strings.

And I have made several beaded collar style necklaces that the leaders can wear. I am enjoying making these from my stash of beads and memory wire. Some of the beads are from disassembled garage sale necklaces and some are from costume jewelry I have inherited from various relatives. I am also still using the large supply of plastic beads I inherited from my grandmother.

The kids will make their broad collars from material which I have yet to locate and purchase and the quilling paper I have purchased. The collars should be really colorful. We may use some of the "jewels" left over from the headbands on these as well.

The older children will make their own cuff bracelets using pony beads and memory wire. The younger children will use pony bead bracelet forms I found on-line. The order I received today was 8000 pony beads in gold, copper, turquoise, and pearl colors. I have other pony beads as well that can be used but I really wanted the gold and turquoise beads for these and the headdresses.

I never realized until I was researching online that red was not a favored color in Egypt. The Egyptians actually liked black more than red because black represented the good soil deposited each year when the Nile flooded. Red, on the other hand, was the color of the desert sand.

I still need to purchase the oven-bake clay for the cartouche necklaces but I know what I want to use for these. Sister Beth told me the kids (and adults) really enjoyed making the clay necklaces last year. They always enjoy something they can wear or make for a relative. I want to find the same stone colored clays I did last year to make their cartouche necklaces.

I hope to have a few quick and easy crafts for the kids who show up early as I usually try to do. We usually do four nights of crafts and have the pizza party on the last night so there is only time to finish up crafts on Friday. So the planned crafts will most likely be the senet game box; the broad collars; beaded/jeweled headbands (and maybe armbands); and the cartouche necklace. The extra crafts will probably include the pony bead bracelets and fun foam picture frames (we plan on taking pictures of the kids and printing them out right at VBS) that can also be decorated with heiroglyphics and quilling paper. We also hope to be able to use face paints to give the kids Egyptian eyes on one or two (or all five) nights if possible.

Now, if I can just make it through without any major health issues for either DH or me. That is going to be the challenge. Prayers, please.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

1, 2, 3, ...4!

There are 4 kittens and, as cats will, Lady Jane moved them the other day. At first we were not sure where she went but knew that she was close as she still showed up for meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks!

We have now discovered she and kits are behind the garbage can under our bedroom window. The can is one we do not use and there is a stack of concrete blocks there as well as other materials forming a nice little den as long as it does not rain. Rain is predicted for late tomorrow, of course. So I made her another shelter out of a covered litter pan and placed it close to the garbage can hoping she will see fit to move into it when the rains come.

And in the continuing saga of DH and my "conditions", I tripped going UP the basement stairs yesterday and injured the large toe on my left foot, and I already have what is probably a heel spur on my right foot. So I limp on both feet right now. LOL.

VBS crafts are progressing nicely, too. We are doing Joseph in Egypt so I have been looking for alternative ways of making the crafts offered by the company as I usually do. I am making a senet game box from a baseball card storage box and quilling paper. I have a set of hieroglphyic stamps and we will order a few more sets and use those to decorate the boxes along with some metallic quilling paper as well. I am really pleased with this so far. It will make a nice sturdy treasure box for the children to keep after VBS.

I am also crocheting Egyptian headdresses, the kind with long bead fringes. I have used gold metallic crochet cotton and pony beads in various colors to make multicolored headdresses as I have not been anywhere to purchase just gold beads yet. This will not be a kids craft as it is. We will make a simpler version with the children. Probably a headband of some sort with strings of beads, either pre-strung beads or pony beads they tie on themselves.

We are also going to make the broad collars out of light weight material and metallic quilling paper cut into squares, diamonds, jewel shapes. This should be a nice craft for the kids as they will get to use scissors and glue. I plan on having plenty of hand-wipes available for both this and the senet game box.

The other nice craft I am planning is a cartouche necklace out of oven-bake clay and using the hieroglyphic stamps to stamp a version of the child's name into the clay.

I am hoping to get the rest of the VBS shopping done soon so all will be ready before the beginning of June and we can concentrate on the decorating which has so many possibilities!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Life

Spring is almost here! The daffodils along Mom & Dad's driveway have broken thru the ground and are climbing higher. Until the recent wind many of them were wearing leaf caps. I found a small bunch of blooming volunteers in my yard in one of Sassy's favorite spots. They look like a flower that grows from bulbs so I wonder where they came from. Temperatures have moderated and the snow is mostly gone and the gutters have unfrozen. We have had some rain and now worries about the creeks and river are being voiced.

And Lady Jane, the cat who adopted us this past winter, has delivered three kittens in the winter shelter we made for her on the back porch.

She was supposed to go to the local animal shelter before this happened but I have been battling a cold or sinus or allergy problems and then last week we lost Sassy so I have not been functioning as I should.

Three more kittens! Lord, have mercy.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thank you

I want to thank everyone for their sympathy comments about Sassy.

She was my dog for 16 years and I will miss her for a long time. I have no children of my own but do have wonderful nieces and nephews and their families that I love very much. But Sassy was my baby. She was conceived on my birthday during a birthday party that we still talk about. She and her littermates were born in my sister's bedroom closet with family watching. Four of the litter stayed in the family: my Dad's dog, Sam; Beth's dog Sugar; Nancy's dog Peaches; and my Sassafras. Only Peaches remains now.

Sassy had been losing ground for a few months and had had an episode that may have been a seizure or stroke a few days earlier in the week. Saturday morning she seemed okay, she ate, and took care of business as usual but did not want to leave my side. Then she started yelping and could not walk. We got her to the vet within an hour but she died before the vet could do anything. The vet said it was probably more strokes. Both Joe and I were with her petting her and holding her until we realized she was already gone. I miss her. I still look for her when I get up in the night or when I hear someone else's collar jingle. My baby.

"Just a Dog" is an expression of grief and a rebuttal to all those people who say "well, it was just an animal, not a person." She and all the other loved pets are more than "just" anything.

Thank you all again.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Just a Dog

Just a Dog

She was just a dog, my Sassafras,
The only one of the litter who looked like her mother, long and lean and fast.

She was just a dog, my hollow-dog,
Pat her on the side of the ribs and she sounded like a loaf of bread fresh from the oven.

She was just a dog who followed from the front,
And stood in the way and didn’t come when she was called unless food was involved.

She was just a dog, all skin and bones,
Who shivered during thunder storms and shook the bed and barked at the wind.

She was just a dog who liked to sleep between
So we called her sandwich-dog because she was the filling at night in bed.

She was just a dog, my Sassyfrassy,
Who would wait at the front door for me to come home even when Pa was home.

She was just a dog, a worry-wort like me,
Who told me when the microwave dinged or the cat was where it shouldn’t be.

She was just a dog we called jack-rabbit
Because she could jump as high as the fence, but never jumped over it.

She was just a dog who loved to ride in the car
And feel the wind in her nose and barked at everything she saw.

She was just a dog who thought she owned the world
As far as she could see or smell and had to protect her people from everyone, everywhere.

She was just a dog who got old
After sixteen years of being my faithful, loving companion no matter what.

She was just a dog who loved me.

She was just a dog.

For Sassafras, March 6, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ice Scuptures

The snow has ended temporarily at least and the sun has come out to warm our hearts and streets and sidewalks - and aid in the further creation of ice dams in the gutters that are unfortunately causing some so far minor indoor problems. But the wonderful outdoor creations are what I concentrated on on Friday. Ice sculptures by nature.

Somewhere in the above photo is a single tall weed that has been coated in ice from water dripping off the frozen gutter overhead.

The above photo and the two following are ice that has fallen from the frozen gutters and from around the window frames.

When we drive thru town on our way somewhere I am fascinated by all the icicles I see hanging from the eaves of buildings and homes and from some overhead wires. So many houses have ice dams along the roof edges. With our own troubles with ice dams right now I pray for all the people in those houses, too. Water - so essential and so troublesome.

We have a leaks/leaks in the smaller bedroom we use for an office. Everytime we leave the room we cover all electrical (computer, etc) with plastic sheeting in hopes of preventing any tragedy. So far the leaks have confined themselves to the front window (where the ice dam is) and a few small drips elsewhere. Yesterday DH and I went to the attic (he went all the way, I stayed on the folding stairs and handed him stuff). Not altogether bad. Found the leak. Found a huge wasp nest (not currently active).

Today we will have to try to do something to break thru the ice dam and let the water drain off the roof. The gutters are completely frozen. Have read some things on line and think we will try snow melter filled socks or pantyhose tossed on the edge of the roof and allowed to hang over. Supposed to melt a channel thru the ice to allow water to flow off the roof instead of damming up behind the ice. Worth a try. If we do it, I'll have to take pictures of socks and pantyhose hanging off the roof.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010


Got a couple of cute pics of Sassy in her "spiffy" sweater after shoveling the sidewalk yesterday. Lady Jane put her appearance in too. She followed me across the sidewalk as I was shoveling slowly toward Mom and Dad's. Every time I stopped she sat down and meowed at me until I started shoveling again. I guess she wanted the path cleared so she did not have to "walk" in the snow (more like wade through it). Nancy and Richard came down and cleaned off Dad's vehicle so I only had the sidewalk to Mom and Dad's, our front steps and walk, a small path to the street, and our vehicle to clear off. I took my time and enjoyed the scenery.

The last big storm we had there were any number of younger, stronger souls out in the neighborhood asking if they could clear walks for cash. This time I did not see anyone walking with a shovel. Thankfully, several neighbors have yard tractors or ATV's with plows, etc., and took care of the street (and Dad's driveway, thank you). I did not even see or hear kids out sledding this time. I remember sled riding down the lane when we lived "on the hilltop" and getting soaked to the skin and loving it. Today the kids stay indoors and play videogames. Times change.

Today both DH and I went to the doctor. He has been in misery this weekend with another bad headache and pain all down his left side from hip to foot. Diagnosis - sciatica. So he got a cortisone shot and Rx for pain meds and was told not to go to work at least tomorrow. I got another "gentle" probing of my bursa in the left hip and Zipsor samples and Rx to fill later. The doctor also talked me into trying a fibromyalgia medication called Savella. He gave me a two-week starter sample of the Savella as well as an Rx for it. Read up on both online and does not sound too bad for side effects so going to give it a try. Both the doctor and I think the bursitis could be partially fibro pain or could be triggering some fibro pressure points. I know I really hurt right now - worse than I have in a few years.

Weather prediction for the next few days says another 4-8 inches of snow is on its way. They already cancelled school in a number of local counties.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

After the Storm

The snow finally stopped falling yesterday afternoon although it was flurrying when I got up this morning. Today we will have to dig out - sidewalks and steps but not Dad's driveway as some kind soul has done that for us. A newscaster yesterday estimated that a 10 foot by 40 foot driveway with the snowfall we have had (8-14 inches) comes out to about 5400 pounds of snow to be removed.

Took some pictures thru the bedroom window yesterday and this morning.

It was beautiful coming down and piling up as long as no problems developed. DH and I and Mom, Dad and Beth all stayed home. But Jen had to work Friday and Saturday. The last I heard she stayed near work overnight Friday and would stay again last night if need be. Hope to hear more of her story soon. I have to wonder if the store even had any customers on Saturday - a level 3 alert in that county means no one on the road unless it is an emergency.

DH has another bad headache today. We had hopes that the neurologist was right and the medicine he prescribed would take care of the headaches but today he is in real pain again. And I have bursitis in my left hip. The hip and leg had been getting progressively sorer for a few weeks and at my regular check-up last Monday I told the doctor. He gave me a cortisone shot and said let him know if not better in a week. Well, it was a little better for a day or so but still really giving me a hard time so I guess I have to call tomorrow - especially after we do the shoveling and car clean-off today.

Took some photos of the snow but am missing the one of my dog Sassy in her "spiffy" (DH's description) new sweater. Sassy is and always has been so skinny. I call her my hollow dog as she sounds like a drum when you pat her on the ribs. She also has had some health problems this year and I recently bought her two winter sweaters. She adapted to wearing them very easily and even wears them in the house when it is really cold out. I got a picture of her in one of the sweaters but still need to get the "spiffy" picture.

The outdoor cat who adopted us has hung around through all the bad weather. I made her a better winter shelter (not what you see in the picture) and have filled it with pine and cedar chip bedding that she can snuggle down into. She smells like cedar now and I wonder if that will have any impact on her hunting. She spends time over at Mom and Dad's too on either of their porches. I broke down and began feeding her when it snowed the last time and have continued to give her dry food and a bit of canned on the colder days. She is now known as Lady Jane Grey. Very friendly and loving once she is certain you mean her no harm.

Beginning to plan for Vacation Bible School this coming June. The theme this year is Joseph in Eqypt. Looks like fun but I am not shaving my head to get in character. I may wear the eye make-up though. LOL.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I'm Still Around

I have been remiss in posting. Got out of the habit during the time I could not be on-line on my own computer and so much has been going on since we got the new computer that I have not gotten back into the habit.

Happy New Year to all! And thanks to Linda for reminding me I have friends out there who care about what happens to me and mine.

Lets see ... since my fall experience - which I am still recovering from, not as young as I used to be and those pesky bruises have left some deep seated pains behind - DH has had cataract surgery which went very well, he continues to get good reports on his PSA and blood sugar has improved too.

We have been adopted by another cat who is NOT NOT NOT coming in the house. She is a sweet grey and white bundle with a nice thick coat and must be getting food somewhere as she has been with us several weeks now and is still nicely padded along her ribs. We have provided a warm shelter for her as it has been very cold recently. In spite of no food from us she comes running up to us and purrs and even rubs against the dogs who have accepted her presence too (resignedly, I think).

Sassy, my going on 15 year old dog appears to have had a stroke just this past week. We came home from shopping Tuesday night and she was having balance problems and weakness in her rear legs. She had been fine that morning. Wednesday I took time off from work and got her to the vet who diagnosed stroke and gave her a steroid shot and other injections as well and gave me pills for her nausea. There has been improvement and she should continue to get better over the next several weeks from what the vet said and what I have read on-line. She finally started eating a little again last night and this morning is not looking so miserable. She was drinking fluids all the time so I was not too worried (sure, I wasn't) but am relieved she is showing interest in food and keeping it down again.

There are so many more things that have gone on but I don't want this to turn into a litany of woes (too late).

So on the brighter side - I have taken another step into the electronic age and have a digital photo frame which I figured out how to use by myself and an mp3 player the size of a credit card that also displays photos, videos, etc. I even discovered that my little mp3 player will plug into my bedside clock/radio/cd player and play through the speakers. I feel so empowered (lol).

I have a cell phone and have, with some trepidation, learned how to text and add minutes to it. Now I have to figure out how to clean up old messages I no longer want (just have not taken the time to do it).

I am still taking photos but not on a steady basis. The recent snows have provided some good shots.

I have let my hair grow for the first time in my adult life and now have hair that reaches below my shoulders (almost below my shoulder blades I think but hard to tell looking in the mirror myself). I want to get it trimmed/cut into layers that sweep back from my face and bangs to camo what I think of as a high forehead. All I need is the courage to let someone do it to me.

There were a lot of good and wonderful things that happened in the last year. There were also some not so good and wonderful things that we have survived. I'm sure the new year will be the same. Looking forward to new joys and challenges.