Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Like Herding Cats

I think I need a Grinch costume for the Thor. He is clearly not in the mood for Christmas pictures.


I don't think a person should be sore just from cleaning house.

I'm not surprised that my cheap-o office chair has given up trying to convince some people that it is not a rocking chair. Seriously. It was a $50 chair six or seven years ago.

Poor Loki. There are two packages scheduled to be delivered today. Hopefully at the same time.

I want someone to do laundry and change my bedsheets every day. It's amazing how much better I sleep on fresh, clean, crisp sheets.

Taking my mother to get a facial tomorrow while I get my hair cut and my eyebrows shaped into things that look like they belong on a female human.

I've got one Christmas present purchased. Don't have a clue how to top Jason's last year present. Perhaps I shouldn't even try and just do socks and underwear?

Can anyone tell I have not yet done my required 15 minutes on the manuscript in progress this morning?

Thor sez: Was that a can opener?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Loki Sunday

There is an ac/heat vent just below the front room window. Some of the heat from it gets funneled up behind the love seat and to the window glass which in certain weather conditions leads to moisture on the inside window. One morning, Loki leaned against the glass.

I will admit to trying to (gently!) push his head and ear against the glass for a more full bodied imprint which was why he was stomping out of frame. He was not in the mood to suffer for art that morning.

Loki sez: It took me ten minutes to get my fur dry and relicked!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Loki Sez "Nom!"

Thor sez: Meh. I'll wait on the real thing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving every one!

Loki sez: I want my own turkey dinner for this.

Thor sez: Go ahead, make my day.
I need to know how people do it? Glue? Cat sedatives? I couldn't even get the hat on Thor while he was asleep.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Thor's Day

A bit of useful advice when living with Thor. If you hear a funny noise (that isn't the plug being knocked over in the bathtub), it's usually a good thing to check it out. It begins with the painter's tape I put up so I can freshen up the paint on the door frames and floor boards in the hallway.

So, I hear a funny noise. Look in the hall to see this:

"Whatcha doing Thorbish?"
"What's with this here?"

"I dunno, ask Loki, I was just sitting here, taking a bath You always blame me."

A few seconds later:

"Taking a bath, huh?"

"It's all your fault anyway, human, you know I can't resist tape, so why'dya leave it there, tempting me?"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fired Up!

Yesterday I took my mother for a little spot of fun in an otherwise dreary, rainy day. We ventured to the hallowed hills of Mt. Pleasant where the Center for Women was holding its 3rd Annual Lowcountry Women Writers Holiday Book Signing. There were over 50 local women writers there signing their books and meeting their fans.

I also got to see a few people I know. Kelly Love Johnson was there with her book, Skirt! Rules for the Workplace, which would make an excellent gift for any young lady about to graduate from college or anyone who works.

There was also Beth Webb Hart who I had met once before at a seminar at the Center for Women. I bought her new book, The Wedding Machine as a present for myself.

I got to see Mary Alice Monroe again. She loves Jason (well every one who knows him loves him) because he provided her with some research on her latest book, Last Light Over Carolina. If you pick up a copy, read the acknowledgments and you might see a familiar name. And I have to give her some serious respect because when I walked up to the table she said, "I've met you before." Which was exactly once for about two seconds last summer. As I am horrible with recognizing people out of place (if I know you from the hospital, I'll recognize you there, but not in WalMart) and even worse with names, I was in awe that she just knew that she'd seen me before.

I spoke briefly with Mary Edna Frasier about the cause she is involved with - saving from development a spit of barrier island near Kiawah - and thanked her again for the party she held at her studio for the cause where we sang protest songs.

And perhaps most exciting, I saw two women that attended the same writer's workshop as I did. Cleo Scott Brown has written the fantastic story -Witness to the Truth- of her father and family in Louisiana and his involvement in the Civil Rights Act and trying to get registered to vote. Amazing story. The other lady, Cree Foreman, who at 84 has just put out her second book. Her first, Phil and the French Country Inn, is a memorial to her husband who was a self taught French chef who traveled France to learn the art and opened a French restaurant in a small North Carolina town.

(File under the learn something new everyday: New rules for bloggers. Angie, I actually saw you and your adorable little man. My mom and I were standing behind you while you talked to Beth Webb Hart. I will echo your sentiment that I am merely a fan, an aspiring writer, and the books I purchased, I did so with my own money and have received no compensation for any of my comments above. I have, however, received much encouragement which does my soul better than any amount of money ever did my wallet.)

Now I'm fired up, ready to write, using all three of my names. After coffee.

Thor sez: But look how cute I am, don't you want to play with me instead?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Old Fogey Alert!

Last night at work, one of the women was describing a game she was going to get her children: "It's called Operation and it buzzes and lights up when you touch the side."

I told her, "That was HIGH TECH stuff when I was a kid. We were all amazed that the nose would light up the same time the buzz went off."

Then another woman chimed in that the game hadn't even been invented when she was a kid. She jokingly said what was high tech in her day were paper dolls.

Which reminded me of (was it?) McCall's Magazine that had the new paper doll outfits in each issue and how much fun it was to cut them out and try them on the doll. I think the doll's name was Betsy?

Which led to an interesting discussion of low-tech toys and toys that spark the imagination as opposed to toys that children passively interact with that do not require much imagining on the child's part.

Which reminded me of an interesting article that I saw about the demise of helicopter parenting..

I often (not so jokingly) wondered where this nation would get its writers and artists from once an entire generation had lost the need and ability to use imagination as a part of play.

Yeah, baby let's get back to cutting out paper dolls, playing with dress up clothes, running around in the backyard pretending it's a distant planet or the wild west and letting our kids get dirty and sweaty and chipped up a little bit.

Loki sez: I'm imagining I just ate a Smurf.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thor's Day!

Living with Thor, you just never know what you are going to walk in and find going on in a room. This is why the camera is left near at hand.

Never mind that he knows full well he is not allowed on the counters. (Also never mind my filthy window that yes, I will clean as soon as I am not coughing up a lung. There's a HomeEc101 question - why does the outside glass on my kitchen window get dirtier a hundred times faster than other windows?)

No, Thor, getting in the sink is not allowed either.

Thor sez: Fine! I saw a huge monster and I'm just trying to protect you, but fine, I'll get off your precious counter and no, I did not step on your coffee spoon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Best of America

I was on call last night and caught this awesome documentary on PBS called "The Way We Get By".

It is about a group of people in Bangor, Maine who have, since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, been sending off troops and greeting home coming troops at all hours of the the day and night at the Bangor Airport.

So far, these mostly elderly, mostly veteran citizens have thanked something like 900,000 soldiers.

It says so much about the generation they belong too. None of them simply slapped a yellow ribbon on their car and went about life as usual. They are sacrificing large chunks of their lives to simply be there, in person, with a smile, a handshake and a face to face thank you to our soldiers.

I cried my eyes out.

Watch it if you can.

Loki sez: I cried when the doggie had to go to the Rainbow Bridge.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's Tuesday?

Ugh. Got to suck it up for real and go back to work. I'm starting to think that in spite of my negative flu test, that I really did have some variant of flu. I've not been this sick for this long in forever.

This morning there were bluebirds checking out the bluebird house. I feel sort of bad, because apparently, my backyard is a bad neighborhood. One year a bluebird baby fell out of the house and got eaten by a snake. The next year, a raccoon ripped the house down and ate all the babies. Not a good track record. I've meant to take it down until I can get a post set where it would be safer, but just haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe they are just looking for a place to spend the winter.

Attempting to get the mountain o' laundry cleared away.

I'm really getting annoyed with the let's-make-some-thing-out-of-nothing news media and our increasingly idiotic culture of leaping to any conclusion that supports our bias without even attempting to apply common sense.

Oh, and I've lived in Asia, thank you. The president's bow to the emperor was, while awkward and not done entirely correctly, was simply an attempt to respect another culture's customs. Whether he should or should not have is moot as it essentially means no more than Bush holding hands with Saudi royalty.

What irked me was one of the "news" channels was using footage of Obama talking to an older woman as their proof of his "repeated bowing".

I am tall -5' 8" - and have a hard time hearing in crowded situations. So when I am talking to a shorter person in a crowd, I will be seen to repeatedly lean in/down to catch what they are saying.

I am not bowing. For Pete's sake.

The boyz say: You mean you aren't bowing down to worship us whenever you lean down to pet us?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Manic Monday

I am so tired of being sick. Yesterday we went to Magnolia Plantation for a short stroll just because the weather has been so perfect, but I've been in the house coughing my lungs up all week. So I apologize to all the tourists who could hear me coughing and hacking through the gardens, but they could just imagine it was a 19th century TB outbreak.

This is one of my favorite parts of the garden walk, the bamboo forest:

And the Ashley River:

Of course, we went to the petting zoo.

This turkey was freaking me out because he kept following me around and fluffing out his feathers and holding his wings out. I was attacked by a swan once and am now a little nervous with big birds being close to me. I was whining like a four year old the whole time.

My favorite of the animals, the deer:

The foxes were all out, sitting in the sun on top of their shelter, but the camera was acting up again so we didn't get many pictures.

Thor sez: I see once again I was not invited to the petting zoo.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Loki Sunday

Loki is a sassy cat this morning. I think it's the cooler weather. I didn't have the heat on last night so it was right brisk in here. He is running from one end of the house to the other. Sounds like a herd of elephants in the hall.

Random sassy Loki:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Fretting

Got to go back to the doc. This not-the-flu has settled in my chest and I'm coughing my head off and can't hardly breath unless I'm just sitting perfectly still.

Right now I'm waiting on my heating and A/C fellow to come do the fall maintenance check. Once, I called him because there was a funny smell (I have gas heat) and he asked if I had a CO2 monitor and I said, "No, but I have two cats and they seem okay." He thought that was funny and I like to make people laugh.

Why are some people freaking about the report of one person having possibly gotten Guillain-Barre syndrome after a flu vaccine and say because of that, they won't have one, when there have been something close to 4,000 deaths from this flu. It is an interesting psychological peek into the minds of our culture - we fear sickness more than death?

My newest favorite Thor picture:

Loki sez: And what am I? Chopped liver?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thor's Day!

My kittens are mad at me. I lost my voice at work last night so when I got home this morning and they met me at the door, I sounded different. So they backed off. Instead of being a good kitten mommy and reassuring them, I called to them using the phrasing my mother does, "Here puss, puss, puss." I'm not 100% sure that Thor isn't mad because I turned out to be me instead of my mom cos he loves his granny.
Random Thor:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Famous Fellas

Thor and Loki are today's Cat(s) of the Day at EverCats.

Thor sez: There must be a mistake, I am a cat every day!

That's all folks. I am going to try to go back to work tonight. Trying to find that magical medical balance that will make me stop coughing my lungs up but not render me mentally unfit for duty.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Going Crazy

I've been submitting short stories. I've also been reading short stories that have been published, cos you know, it's good for me.

I know that I am a lazy writer. I take too long to get started, I leave things for forever while I figure things out, I am way too shy to "bother" people who I need to interview for certain details, and I'd rather scrub the toilets of Grand Central with a toothbrush than edit. Okay, well maybe not that, but I'd certainly rather clean the litter box than edit.

But reading some published short stories makes me want to puke. For real. Okay, I know I didn't get some fancy writing degree from some fancy writer college. No, I am not a graduate of the Iowa City Writer's Group. I did not get my M-freakingFA from Vermont.

I've got inferiority complex to spare. But some of these stories! I can't tell why they were published. I suppose it is a matter of style. Some of them are beautifully written, gorgeous phrasing, the words flowing like silk. But you can't follow the damn plot, you get the characters all confused because there is so much pretty stuff floating around, the people get lost. Where's the beef?

It could be that my writing style is very straightforward, very close to the bone and I don't dress up the ugly in a pretty dress. I understand the mechanics of cleaning up the writing, balancing out the prose and maintaining a properly arching plot line. But I can't write pretty just to be writing pretty.

But I did find some stories that helped. They had the same style as mine - true, bare bones, people dealing with stuff, usually badly, but trying their best. You know, like real people.

Thor sez: I think you should write stories about...uh, these brothers...who are cats...and one is brave and goes outside and hangs out with the raccoon gang and the other is a scaredy cat and they could have adventures!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Goghing Crazy

Vincent Van Gogh is my favorite painter.

So much so that for Christmas one year, Jason got me a Vincent doll.

And his ear comes off!!

Oh how well that man understands my twisted mind.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thor's Day!

Thor was so crazy yesterday, insisting that there was something behind the hutch in the kitchen, when there wasn't. I even put him on top of the hutch and scolded him when he started swatting at the wall calendar hanging there. Up until the lizard ran out, jumped across the kitchen and ran down the hall to disappear into Jason's photography room.


Thor cornered it a little later, but being the sorry hunter...I mean great humanitarian (catatarian?) that he is, he just patted it until Jason was able to capture it and set it free.

Thor sez: Told you!

But you never believe me!

So there!

Okay folks, Jason shared his raging sore throat with me so off to start dialing the doctor's office. Because unlike some people, I go to the doctor when I'm sick.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

99% Done!

My aching back! My knees! My poor spazzing hand and zinging nerve! I'm finished painting, moving, cleaning, rearranging.

Holy Martha Stewart, Batman. If I ever propose this again, some one have me committed.

I didn't really do any before pictures, but this was my driving myself crazy choosing a color wheel, or lines, I should say:

(Bottom row, far right is the one I used.)
This was the bookshelf wall as it was:

This is that wall after (I didn't buy anything new, just moved stuff around):

(Would it make you super jealous to know that in the chair, under the throw is a heated back and neck massage thingie and that block in front of the chair is an Isqueeze foot and calf massager? I thought so.)
Thor was my supervisor through the entire process (the number one reason why if you look closely enough, you may find tail swish trails in the paint) and he was glad to plop down and enjoy the new look:

Thor sez: Yes, I'm perfectly comfy like this.
Now, I'm off for a soak in the tub then a couple of rounds in my massage center.