Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hello, Kitteh!

As promised, here is the remaining J.D. in the household:  Hello Kitty, himself.  What, you say?  He is supposed to be white and probably female, to boot?  Well, here's the lowdown...when we moved into our home he was roaming the neighborhood.  He isn't very big, but he stood his ground when our big boy Kirby challenged him in the driveway one day.  I had to admire his determination.

For at least a year, he frequented our home and our neighbors in search of a scrap of something to eat.  We tried to convince the neighbor to adopt him.  Frankly, they had only one cat and we already had two.  And Hello Kitty was brazen enough to go into their home through the cat door and actually steal their cat's food! 

In the frigid winter months I tried to entice him to come inside, but he was really pretty wild and very skittish.  It was bitter out.  He was too skeert to come in. It was killing me.

Finally, I convinced my husband to let me tame him and get him to a vet for neutering so that he would be adoptable.  This done, (with the help of a lot of patience, eye level discussions, and catnip)  Hello Kitty actually tamed me, because I just didn't want to let him go. 

Unfortunately, he has developed a bad relationship with Webster, the Dysfunctional, and cannot be left alone with him.  It's just not good.  Oh, and for some reason, he gets extremely upset if he is on the bed and I try to make it--he has hacked me across the face several times for this infraction.   The final piece of information is that he appears to be a cat that was just left behind when his owner moved.  Nice.  Oh, and the name?  Every day when I came home he would be sitting on the deck and I would say, "Hello, Kitty!"  and that's how he ended up with the name.

He is a good example of how animals can seem to be more forgiving that people.  He has learned to trust us and settled in nicely (as you can see.)  After being ditched, starving and freezing outside for a couple of years, he is the perfect house cat.  Well, except for the one problem with Webster, the Dysfunctional, that is.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Meet the fam...that's Kirby on the left and Webster on the right.  They are about 10 years old now and from different Mothers, but raised together.  First we got Kirby at the pet shelter.  He and his brother were in one cage; the brother had double paws on the front AND the back feet.  Many, many more claws to wreck the furniture.  So we took Kirby home and skipped the brother.  He is at least the biggest cat in our neighborhood.  His feet are the size of a small dog, his tail where it joins his body is about 4" in circumference.  He weighs something like 19 pounds.  He's just a big 'ol schlub. 

On the right is Webster who came from, shall we say, a dysfunctional home.  He has been freaked out ever since we got him.  He started out as a thumb sucker, until my husband told him to "man up" and knock it off.  He probably should have had mental health counseling just for this alone.  (Webster, that is. Actually both of them, now that I think of it.)  He used to sit on our bed and not move a muscle, but just move his eyes back and forth like one of those old fashioned cat clocks, watching and thinking.  Watching and thinking....hmmm...these people are really weird, but they feed me so I guess I'll stay. (As you can see from this picture, he never takes his eyes off of us for a minute!)

The two of them are like Laurel and Hardy.  Adds a little personality to our home, which is always a treat! 

Next post, I will introduce you to our newest troublemaker, "Hello Kitty."  That's a whole 'nother story.  Have a meow day, everyone!

Webster: "If you think I'm weird, check out her husband."

Kirby: "I know, I know...but they just bought new cat treats, so let's stick around a little longer, bro."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I remember this little guy from when I was a kid.  His name is Reddy Kilowatt and he was the mascot/spokesperson for the electric industry.  Well, I know some folks who would like to see his friendly smile today:  my daughter and granddaughter! 

They live in Westchester county where most of the power was knocked out last night in a ferocious storm.  She called me this morning and told me that she didn't have power, the house was 60 degrees and the basement was flooded. 

We have had our fair share of precipitation this winter and it doesn't look like it's ending any time soon.  It certainly does remind me of the little things I take for granted...fresh, clean water, flipping a switch and having the furnace kick on, food in the refrigerator. 

So many people around the world, and in our own country have few of these things.  It makes me ashamed of my complaining when I think of how little some people have.  Especially little children. 

So today I will pray that the power comes back on for my daughter and her neighbors and I will also pray that I remember to appreciate all that I have and keep a humble attitude.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Collector

Some people like to collect knick knacks, salt and pepper shakers, transferware, dolls, that sort of thing.  I, however, have a problem (rather my husband has a problem) with collecting vintage sinks, bathtubs and stoves.
The problem my husband has is that everything seems to weigh about a 1/2 ton and he ends up wrecking his back to help me get things home. Which then becomes another problem because we have to find a place to put the stuff. The sink is still in the garage where he nearly lost a finger trying to move it last summer. It fell on his hand and gooshed his little finger, requiring a trip to the emergency room and some stitches. Oops!

This little stove here, we found at a yard sale a couple of summers ago and he helped me move it in his truck.  It was about 110 degrees that day.  Oooops! 

At least the bathtub was already in the house. Which, if it wasn't it would have been a deal breaker because I use it 365 days a year. Love the clawfoot tub!

Just before we moved from Shelburne, VT to North Carolina (a long story) I made him slam on the brakes and stop to pick up a small bathroom sink that was by the side of the road with a "free" sign on it.  It just sat in my garden shed until we gave it to a Architectural Salvage guy, who was more than happy to get it. 
Like my buddy Miss Singer, the vintage sewing machine, I love the looks and the essential utilitarianism of the old plumbing and kitchen items. 
The whole concept of double stainless steel sinks, for example, is lost on me.  First of all, they are anything BUT stainless and the two sinks are usually too small for big pots and pans.  And then you have to have a separate dish drainer that leaks all over the counter. 

Take this Hoosier cabinet, f'rinstance, which I bought for $200.  It was sitting in a barn with mice living in it and I took it home and stripped it down to the wood.  It's designed to handle whatever you need for baking, including a built-in flour bin with sifter and a pie cooler. Even the "counter" space is retractible to give more workspace or put it back to a smaller space saving area when you aren't using it.   Plus isn't it a gorgeous piece of furniture? 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Girls Day in the City

Yesterday my daughter and granddaughter, Ava, and I went into the city and visited American Girl Place.  It's three floors of complete doll mania.  Since Ava's doll (she's not really an AG, but the much more lovely Robert Tonner doll I got at their factory sale...shhhh!) had hair like a red-headed floor mop, we took her promptly to the salon for a styling.  Ava picked a lovely braided "do."  Ava watched closely so that she could manage Nataly's hair at home herself (no easy task.)

She was very happy with the result!  I'm not sure who is more stylish, Ava or her doll, but they are a cute pair, that's a definite.
Here's a photo of Ava and Mommy.  (And dolly)  We really had a terrific time.  And Ava took home an outfit, a hair kit (including brush and rollers), a pet dog for her doll and some new eyeglasses, so that dolly can see how beautiful she looks!  I spent the past two weekends sewing outfits for Nataly and she had a lot of trying on and admiring to do when she got home.

And for the grand finale, we went home and Ava treated us to a musical performance, complete with guitar, dancing and goofy faces.  She is a bundle of energy, but so much fun.  We had a great day and then I got in my car and drove home, which is over an hour away. 

The older I get, the more I really appreciate time with family and I am reminded of how quickly it flies when I see Ava's little head bouncing along in front of me on the sidewalk and remember that it seemed like just a week or so ago that I was holding her little self and rocking her to sleep (ha!) when I baby sat.  She is ready for kindergarten and is learning her letters and additions now.  Huh?  In about 3 days whe will outstrip my abysmal math ability.