Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stuck in My Head!

Get hooked on Sparta!

And he has a brother named Loki!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Meniscus Monday

Why can't I have exciting injuries?

For real. It's embarrassing to be limping around with a knee cap twice it's normal size and have to say, when asked what happened:

"I was walking across the Publix parking lot and something popped."

Seriously, why can't I have an exciting story like I had to leap over a fence to save a kitten or puppy from some horrible danger and although, yes, I felt my knee blow out like a tire on Ralphie's father's car, I ignored the pain until the kitten and/or puppy were safe.

Or: I was climbing Grandfather Mountain (why not Everest - FPS you know that'd be lie) and slipped on a patch of ice.

Nope. Just walking.

So now instead of just going to an orthopedic doctor, I have to get an appointment with my primary doc (wasting her time, my time, depriving another patient of an appointment, and wasting my co-pay) just so she can shrug and say, "go see an orthopedic doc". Then I get to try to get an appointment with a new doc and pay an even bigger co-pay.

It's annoying.

Thor sez: No, what is annoying is your insistance that your knee brace isn't a good chew toy.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Loki Sunday

Sunny day Loki.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thor's Day!

Thor is very upset that we humans have now had two major holidays on "his" day. I tried to explain the cyclical nature of the calendar to him, but as he really only understands the words "supper" and "cat nip", I don't think I made much progress.

In the interest of household peace, we will continue with our regularly scheduled Thor's Day.

Some long time readers may remember The Bra Incident and subsequent misadventures in which Thor chewed through not only several bra straps, but an exercise band, fishing line (used to hang photographs) and Odin only knows what else.

Thor is, an elastiholic. We've had to become diligent in what we leave within Thor reach. But it is everywhere. Sometimes you just don't realize he's found something until you hear some strange little noise (and with cats, as with two year olds, both sudden silence and funny noises must be investigated immediately).

Thor sez: Uhhh... I was helping you open it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Day Before Christmas

And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring

Except for Thor's mouse

And Thor, who wondered if Santa really knew if he'd been good

Because Loki was so sure that he could

When suddenly there arose such a clatter
He's here! I hear him up over my head!

Oh, no! And us, being bad out of bed!

Quick! Lay down, pretend you're asleep!
Or all our presents he'll keep!

And to all our good friends and dear readers alike,
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Twofer Tuesday

1. Today, our local paper had the annual letter to the editor claiming that there was no more Christmas. That NOBODY said "Merry Christmas", that NO STORES had Christmas sales, that NO WHERE in the entire nation could one find one single reference to Christmas ANYWHERE.

2. It's been splashing around the news about the state of SC giving up the legal battle for the personalized vanity plates that say "I Believe" and show a cross and a stained glass window, two images most closely associated with the Christian faith. Now people are getting to indulge in their favorite emotion: righteous indignation. It's a choice, they say. You aren't forced to get one, they say. And they are correct. The problem is that the state is refusing to offer plates to followers of Judaism, Islam or any other major faith. One state law maker (and I can't find the article, it was in the City Paper not too long ago) when asked if a plate would be made available for Muslims said something along the lines of "of course not!" That, my dear Christian friends, is the problem with the plates. They will only be offered to followers of one specific faith. And, yes, followers of others can buy bumper stickers. So can you.

Loki sez: Say Merry Christmas!

Thor sez: But we are Norse pagans!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Stuff

The presents are wrapped. The wild creatures have their Solstice feast laid out. I've officially decided no Christmas tree this year. Jason has a better vacation kitten that I've ever had (but then, they had to clear the driveway of snow three times yesterday and walk to a neighbors to borrow a tractor to clear the drive this morning and that, my friends, just ain't right)

Mitzi, the Maine Coon Cat:

Isn't she gorgeous? I'm totally jealous.

I'm told this is what is known as snow, but as it did not melt by noon, I suspect it is some Yankee joke thing.

Ugh. That makes me want to eat something horrendously fatty and go back to bed until May.

Thor sez: That cat isn't cuter than me!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Loki Sunday

Random Loki funnies:

Loki sez: I will not sit on top of the Christmas tree!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Other Reason for the Season

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice. Many people celebrate this in many ways. The unifying theme is that it is the shortest day of the year, and from that day forward, the days begin to become longer and longer. The celebrations are that of life (sun, warmth) over death (dark, cold).

I make my solstice celebration into a nod to one of the stories of the Christmas tree: that northern European pagans would go into the forest and tie presents of food to the branches for the protective spirits of the animals that the pagans depended upon for food and clothing. The protective spirits would be pleased and there would be plenty of game to hunt in the summer to come.

In short, extra food for the critters.

Thor sez: What? You said we could have extra!

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Personal Super-Hero

Jason is visiting back home for Christmas. Last night was our last night together before Christmas Day, so we opened our "big" presents to each other.

Now, I have been sweating bullets over the gift I got him. Since last June when the idea first occurred to me, all through the summer, fretting over the entire idea. Even when I received the final product, which I loved, I worried. I was stressing out big time.

Because it was one of those things that he was either going to absolutely love or absolutely hate with no middle ground.

Luckily, he absolutely loved it.

If you know Jason, you know he is a comic book fan. Last spring, he wrote an article about the comic book industry. I contacted one of the interviewed artists, Jeremy Dale, and commissioned a portrait of Jason (and the kittens, of course) as comic book superheroes.

I sent him a few photographs, came up with a rough story line/idea and Jeremy did the rest. My art photography skills aren't up to Jeremy's art skills, but the work turned out fantastic! Click on them for greater detail.

Here's the whole piece:

This is the opening scenes, Charleston harbor, Jason hard at work, the kittens resting, then DANGER!

Transforming into superheroes.

Super Jason!

Super Loki!

Super Thor!

This was a huge hit with everyone who saw it. Jason was first excited when he saw Jeremy's signature at the top, then he was "oh, how nice"-ing at the picture, then there was the "Wait a minute! That's me! And the cats!"

He loved it and I loved that he loved it and I genuinely surprised and delighted him!

Thanks a billion, Jeremy Dale!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thor's Day!

Jason says Thor has child star syndrome.


Thor sez: No more photographs, I'm exhausted!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm Sure There Wasn't a Recall

Or Chapter 50 on why people my age are tougher than the wimpy babies of today will grow up to be.

We survived contraptions such as this:

Look at that top bar, just perfect for knocking out new teeth and splitting open lips.

Mischevious older brother probably sold separately.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cats Tossing Hats

Actually, it's a collar that Thor so convincingly acted like was strangling him half to death that I was afraid to put it on Loki. So I used it as a hat.

Then Loki decided it would make a fine toy.

A tossing toy.

Then Thor had to get in on the hat tossing action.

The "hat" is now in hiding, a human supervised toy only because I'm afraid Thor will chew off and swallow one of the bells.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Past, Present, Future

I spent a few hours yesterday at my mother's house, sorting through boxes and boxes and envelope after envelope of photographs. It helps that I'm somewhat pathologically addicted to looking at photographs. Got a ton of vacation pictures that no-one wants to look at? Invite me over, I'll look at them and ask for more.

I did discover one jewel - a photograph of my grandfather in his christening gown. It's in pretty good shape, but I'm going to have to take it in to see how much it would be to have it restored.

Most of the photographs were the generic family stuff - babies coming home, birthday parties, Halloween, Christmas, Easter, little league t-ball games, vacations. My mother keeps it all.

And it was odd, after looking at (and confusing) all my four nieces as babies and at one and two years old to come home and tell Jason that one of my nieces was having a party at her house for my great-niece.

Time, time, time. It does rush right on by now, doesn't it?

Then there was the progression of me. Young, thin, glasses, contacts, long hair, short hair, 80's hair. And even a bit more revealing, that I could read in my eyes through the years where my ex was at in his drunk/sober stages. I didn't know the depression was so evident, that in spite of the smiles I tried to put on, all that pain was right there in my eyes.

And then the new me. She was older with lines starting to show and a few pounds starting to pack on to the once so skinny frame. The one with the gray really starting to advance, the one with the different hair color at every different occasion because she couldn't decide on brunette or redhead.

But her eyes matched her smile.

And all that staring into the past and being grateful for my present naturally made my thoughts turn to the future.

Each decade of my adult life seems to have been better than the last. My twenties were a painful time of living with an active substance abuser. Thirty was an awesome decade of going back to school, reclaiming my self esteem, leaving my marriage and standing on my own. My forties were spent rediscovering my passion for writing, buying a house, creating a home and learning what love really means.

Soon, I'll turn 50 and I'm not sure what lies ahead for me in those years. But I've realized that with each decade, I was changing, I was doing something new, reinventing myself, challenging myself in some way. I've got a couple of years to figure out what that is going to be this time. But I'm looking forward to it.

Loki sez: You assume you will survive the retribution we plan for this humiliation.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Loki Sunday

Loki is such a snuggle cat.
Favorite snuggle place: between his humans.
Favorite snuggle time: during Jeopardy.
Favorite snuggle activity: being messed with by mommy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cats in Hats....Again

Loki sez: I'm ignoring you so hard!

Thor sez: I get extra presents for this, right? Right?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thor's Day!

If there is one thing that cats do that humans should emulate, it's stretching. And Thor, being Thor, has mastered the cat stretch.

So, come on you humans, on your feet, feel it from your fingers to your toes!

Thor sez: And don't forget those hamstrings.