Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Outta the way . . .

Mew is nine-and-three-quarters years old. She seems a bit less active than she used to be but not by much. She still plays tag. By her rules you are almost always *it*. If you hide and peek, she will chase you although she will run for a short distance if you *fluff* yourself at her.

Yesterday, she demonstrated how
easily she can recover the steps we thought she may have lost. It wasn't raining. Yet. Seemingly out of nowhere a crack of thunder hit. This was immediately followed by an orange and white blur which may or may not have been using its feet to move. We couldn't tell, it went by so fast.

Our orange and white middle-aged cat was heading for sanctuary. Lose a step? Not when its thundering . . .

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another duh moment . . .

Yesterday, I turned my cell phone to vibrate when I was going into church. Then I dropped it into my purse instead of putting it back in the side pocket. Of course, it migrated to the very bottom.

You would think I'd know better, by now . . .

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Squash fold, water bomb, flapping bird, frog . . .

Origami classes have started at the library, again. Origami does require practice to get the folds precise. There is a geometry involved which ensures that any uneven small fold will provide a major skew to the final result. There is no standard deviation in Origami.

Sometimes the paper is not cut exactly square. Or we insist that it is not. Worse still, the diagrams are almost impossible to follow on a step by step basis. Many of them illustrate the fold lines and leave it up to you to decide how to achieve that result. We are taking baby steps and our teacher is an excellent guide.

When we try to go ahead of her, or try to figure things out too soon, she threatens us with the dreaded penguin. I saved the one I folded in the previous class.

Who knows when I might have to prove I know how to do it?

Or rather, that I used to know . . .

Friday, September 25, 2009

Open wide . . .

Yesterday, the truck came to pick up the results of the story of BigEd and the Alligator Lopper. As BigEd said, I should have taken a before and after picture of the yard. The only things not cut to 3 foot lengths were the fronds from the large palm.

They weren't very heavy and the truck only had trouble when the bucket picked up the tip of one frond along with its giant mouthful. The truck managed to swallow all of the stuff. Thank you truck.

And thank you, BigEd . . .

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Read any good . . .

Word of mouth recommendations for books are a prize. 01 Doc has recommended so many that we both have enjoyed. Today, I found a new source for recommendations.

Our doctor recommended an Icelandic author,
Arnaldur Indridason, and said he was, at present in the middle of one of Indridason's books which I understood to be: Jaw City. I came home, looked up all forms of Jaw City. Google gave many references to Peter Benchley's Jaws. Nothing for Jaw City.

So I looked up Icelandic authors and recognized
Arnaldur Indridason, who, it turns out, wrote Jar City. My recommender is originally from New York, hence the misunderstanding between his faintly northern pronunciation and my decidedly southern ears.

At any rate, I put it on reserve and will let 01 Doc know what I think. Strangely enough, she likes well written police procedurals, too . . .

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One of my best buds . . .

Our library system escaped county budget cuts again. Programs for senior citizens and children also escaped. It is a little sad to list the library's escape first, but that is the line item in the budget that would impact my life most immediately.

I depend on the library system. Reading is not an interest nor an avocation, in my case. It is a vice, carried to extremes. I could not buy all of the books I read in a year. Nor would I want to. Some of them are not keepers. Others are and those I may buy for they become old friends to be revisited time after time.

I have gift certificates to book stores which I spend as carefully as if they were gold nuggets being traded in for gold ingots. Since the advent of the 'net, the library and I are closer than ever.

I expect to find it on Facebook, any day now . . .

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wielding an alligator . . .

The Alligator Lopper: Chain saw for the non-chain saw user. It grips. It bites. It demolishes. It spits sawdust. It is altogether satisfactory.

BigEd, wielding the lopper, has been a deadly force to our hibiscus hedges, small palm trees, and overgrowth.
The only thing that refuses to bow to its superior power is a tree with full girth, such as our sickly palm which reached full adulthood before developing the blight. Still, the fronds are destined for lopping.

And then, we'll see . . .

Friday, September 18, 2009

Please, I just want to know . . .

I was standing in the parking lot, in the shade of a tree, and focusing a camera on this. A gentle voice interrupted my professional-type concentration through the viewfinder.

"May I ask you why you're taking a picture of a CVS pharmacy?" it asked. "I hope you don't mind my asking?" she invited a reply with her upward inflection.

Talk about feeling sheepish. "The brick tower." I explained, "It doesn't look like a pharmacy and . . " I trailed off.

She laughed and made pleasant conversation, telling me where she and her husband had come from. Turned out she retired from the other university in my home town. You know, the famous one where S-the-guru was on the drum line. That one.

For a second it had crossed my mind that she thought I was taking photos for a terrorist group. But, it was only a pharmacy, not a bridge or a tunnel.

Guess not. She was just nice and curious . . .

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Defunction and stuff . . .

It has become evident that our appliances missed us while we were away. One air conditioner committed seppuku upon our return. A replacement was ordered yesterday and it is being installed, even now. No sentiment there.

Bless Scott Appliances and Air Conditioning. Bless air conditioners with remotes. Bless the coolness both are providing, or will soon.

Our car, which went along with us, was wounded in the windshield by a rock thrown up by a passing truck. I will call the insurance company this afternoon to see which auto hospital takes the walking wounded. Rolling wounded?

I hate to see the windshield go. I had bought Rain-X windshield washer fluid and discovered that it is marvelous stuff. The current windshield absolutely sheds water and bugs. One hardly needs the wipers.

I guess the new one will learn that trick, too . .

Monday, September 14, 2009

Who's bigger?

Isn't Buttercup a mouthful of a name for tiny white poodle? It does rather roll off the tongue, though. Especially when shouted.

Buttercup's owner is J's (87 year old) mother. We spent some time with her and Buttercup on the way back from North Carolina.

When we arrived, we took our luggage in through the opened garage, up the steps, and into the back hall to our usual bedroom. Buttercup ran barking to greet us while cries of: "Buttercup! Come back here!" rang after her. Buttercup had to be shooed back into the living room before she thought about answering the frenetic calls.

We found J's mother ensconced in her throne-like recliner which has extra cushions on the seat, the better to rise from it. Sharing the chair with her was the newest member of the family: a small Cocker Spaniel named Molly. Unsure of Molly's temperament, I held out my hand to let her smell the back of it. She sniffed and then licked it with a dry (thank you) tongue. Molly, it turns out, is a sweetheart.

She is also not trained completely. Housebroken, yes. But she considers herself top dog, after Buttercup. J's mom comes in as a distant third in the canine hierarchy.

It was interesting when we took Molly to the vet for a checkup. I walked her, not allowing her to pull me, nor to lead me through doors.

When we departed after three days, Molly would (most times) sit at the back door and wait for permission to cross the threshold instead of bolting.

We'll see . . .

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What do you think this is?

I took a picture of this brick structure with the tower entrance because it was being put to an unexpected use. It is deceptive because, taken from the side as it is, one can't see the sign with the name and function of the building. Any guesses?

I confess, before this picture was taken the camera was set to video by accident. I have some very moving video of my shadow and my hand.

And no, I won't post it . . .

Saturday, September 12, 2009

There and Back Again

J and I have been gone for over two weeks. BigEd was away for part of the time and Mew boarded at the vet's office while he was away at the same time we were.

A week of the time was spent at 3,600 feet, in Roaring Creek Cabin between Maggie Valley and Waynesville, NC. The cabin was halfway up the mountain via a gravel road with winding (and one hairpin) turns. But it was beautiful being up on the side of the overlook with trees originating well below us and stretching the canopy up to surround us with flowing, light-spattered green. We rocked on the screened porch and felt the stress melting down between the floorboards under our feet.

Being sea level dwellers, at first we felt the effects of the altitude. The local populace calls it mountain sickness. After we acclimated, we did not want to leave. There was no cell phone signal in the cabin but there was a land line, satellite television and wireless internet.

My kind of roughing it . . .