On the Downslope of July

Last Wednesday, I talked to one of the ladies that wrangles wigs and hats for people undergoing chemotherapy at one of our local cancer centers. We have two here in town.  This one is an adjunct of the hospital where I got my first medical transcription job, so I’m kind of partial to that center versus the one that’s attached to the university teaching hospital.

Anyway, I asked for the criteria they want in a chemo hat, and they said they want soft, colorful, with washing instructions attached, and in October.  They liked that I had mine in sandwich baggies.

When I got home, I thought about it and decided, what the heck.  I’ll do up some little labels with washing instructions to put in the baggie with them.  I wonder how many people will get the pun?  Anyway, I’ve identified various hat patterns by “style.”  We’ll see how it flies. I love the little interlocking heart motif.

I’ve got to take the fat(cat)boy to the vet and get his yearly immunizations.  As hot as it’s been lately, it’ll have to be right after they open in the morning.   Not today, though.  Maybe tomorrow.  Last night I went to knitting group and then shopped groceries for the month including a significant amount of canned goods and frozen food, schlepped everything from the trunk/boot of the car into the house and put them away. I think I need to rest up before I have to haul a cat carrier full of fat cat out to, into and out of a car and through the airlock doors of the vet’s office  — and back.

I had to get some toiletry items and at Walmart, those are on the other side of the store from where the groceries are.  As I was en route from the grocery section, I saw they had yarn on sale, as in 40% and 50% off.  Instead of buying ice cream and sweets, I bought yarn.  And still came out under budget.  Sometimes you win one.

Anyway, I’m going to try out my ideas for a ruffled hat and a hat with cables and seed stitch, but I have a deal with myself that I’ve got to finish the two toboggans and the pussyhat I’m working on now before I can start the new hats.  The ruffle hat is going to take two 16-inch needles of the same size, US4 (3.5 mm), I think, because I think that’s the size I’ll need for the yarn I want to use, which is DK weight.

Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who, which means the Doctor will regenerate again. (“Regeneration” is the brilliant plot device whereby the actor who has played the role up to a certain point morphs into another actor who will subsequently play the role.)   The Doctor is supposed to be able to regenerate 12 times, but in the Christmas special of 2013, the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, revealed he had already used up all his regenerations. Fortunately, at the end of that episode, he was granted another regenerative cycle by the Time Lords, and morphed into the 12 Doctor, Peter Capaldi.  Now Capaldi is leaving so he will “regenerate” into the 13th Doctor, and she will be played by Jodi Whittaker.  Yes, you got that right.  She.  There is a certain segment of Whovian geekdom who are now apoplectic and frothing at the mouth because Whittaker will get girl cooties all over Doctor Who.  They are the ones who somehow managed to avoid being strangled by the epidemic of knickers knottage which resulted from Michelle Gomez getting girl cooties all over the Master.   Of course, a certain other segment of Whovian geekdom is saying, “About damn time!”  Imagine that.  Girls will now be able to cosplay the Doctor without having to cross-dress to do it.  (Of course, some will anyway.)

Glittering for Carrie on Star Wars Day

My computer side table and printer got to a point where they were all over balls of yarn inside plastic baggies ready for hat knitting and every time I wheeled the table aside to get into my filing cabinet, I had to be picking the yarn fall-out up off the floor.  I finally went out and got one of my plastic moving bins and put the lion’s share of the yarn in it and slid it under the table.  The fat(cat)boy reacted to this in typical feline fashion.

May 4th is, of course, Star Wars day (For the slow of uptake:  May the 4th be with you.)  I read this just now on Tor.com, which blog I read to aim my reading habit.  So now I have to find one of the skeins of Caron Simply Soft Party yarns I have in the color Fuchsia Sparkle, and make a breast cancer chemo PussyHat for Carrie.  I’ll have to regauge the PussyHat pattern for smaller yarn on a size 6, which is no problem, but my 32-inch US6 (4.0 mm) needle is in use.  I’ve got to transfer what I’m making on them to my 16-inch US6 needle, because I’m not ready just this now to get into learning how to graft, which is what has to happen next on that project (!), and to finish that project once grafting is complete, I’ll need the US6 16-incher anyway.  Of course, firstest, I’ve got to roll the skein of Fuchsia Sparkle into a ball because pull skeins are a Work of the Devil. (See above.)  The polite term for that mess is “yarn barf.”

Never mind that I have the Ukrainian hat I need to learn grafting for so I can finish it, and two other hats that I need to finish (one of which needs to be mailed to its recipient sometime this century), this PussyHat for Carrie needs to be done on Star Wars day.  Today.

Houston, we have lift off.

And when the completed hat is donated to the local cancer center, it will have the following message tucked inside.

“The pattern for this hat was written in memory of Carrie Fisher.  It glitters for Carrie, it’s pink for the fight against breast cancer, and it’s a pussy hat for the fight for women’s rights.  It was made on Star Wars day (May 4, 2017).  You always knew you were special.  Now you have proof. This is your Empowered Princess crown, knitted just for you.  Wear it with pride, and may the Force be with you.”

A Troubling Dream

A short dream.  A dark dream.  About three of my angel kitties, my little grey girl, the grey striped boy, and poor old Pu, the white one.  I was in some sort of dark store room and my sweet grey striped boy was there, stropping himself against my legs.  There was a big old claw-foot bath tub in the storeroom, and lots of flattened cardboard boxes in it and around it.  My grey girl was in the tub and I lifted her out, and then I saw poor Pu, ragged and matted and bloody, and awful looking as he never was in life, but as alive in that dream as the other two although clearly hurting, and the sight of him was so heart piercing, so awful that I started awake and had to turn on the light.

Pu was my wing man, my shadow, my fierce white boy.   My little grey girl was dying when I let her go.  Her kidneys were failing and setting her free was a kindness, but Pu was only old, and not as old as that, really, and I could have kept him maybe years longer.  Seeing him as he had been in my dream was disturbing enough, but all the more disturbing for the guilt of that knowledge.  Of the three of them, my little grey girl with her failing kidneys, my poor grey stripey boy ravaged by diabetes, and him, he’s the one who’s death still haunts me.

It’s been two days now, and that dream image will not go away, and that’s the frightening bit. It had a terrible power, that dream, and I have a history of dreams that disturb and linger and resonate like that one has, that are my body’s way of telling me things about itself that I need to know.  I’ve sought out doctors because of such dreams, watched them shake their heads in that dismissive way men do when a woman says, I had this dream I can’t get out of my head, and I think it is a warning.  I cajole them into humoring me and taking the x-ray or doing the test, only to see that strange look on their faces when the test tells them it was a good thing I paid attention to that dream, that because of that dream, bad things were caught early and nipped in the bud.

And I know things I haven’t spoken of here that make this latest dream truly frightening.  I know exactly what it’s telling me.  The doctor’s appointment was made weeks ago, but it’s for Thursday, and it’s with a real doctor, not one at the VA.  If I hadn’t already made the appointment, I’d be making it now.

Oddments and Candy

Long time readers of this blog will know I have some out-of-common behaviors regarding candy and the eating thereof.  Reese’s Pieces or M&M’s or other such small candies that come in colors tend to get sorted into and eaten by color starting with the color I have the most pieces of.  (It’s a control thing . . .)

Well, another odd behavior has manifested itself, this time associated with Rolo candies.  They must be eaten by threes.  I get them in a big bag that half fills my pumpkin candy dish.  (One bag lasts me a whole month.) Each little candy is foil wrapped.  I can have 3, 6 or 9 at a time.  I can’t have fewer than 3 or more than 9 at any one time.  This is neither an obsession nor a compulsion.  Dire things will not befall me or my loved ones if I don’t eat the candies this way.  There’s nothing superstitious about it.  It’s just a little mind game I play with myself.  I started doing this with the last bag and it came out even.  I’m interested to see if it will come out even this time, too.

I turned on the AC last night, and a good thing, too.  It’s 91 F (32.7 C) at the moment with 7% humidity. My attack of yard work that was scheduled for today was aborted. I believe I’ll stay in out of it.

I finally figured out why the fat(cat)boy spends so much time in the bedroom these days.  There’s one place he likes to lie on my bed — turns out it’s right where air from the vent comes out and hits the bed.  It’s where the hot air comes out when it’s cold, and where the cool air comes out when it’s hot.

In the knitting news, I finished two “kitten” hats (“kitten” hats are PussyHats that are knitted out of some other color of yarn besides pink.)  I did them on US 8 (5.0 mm) needles.  I think next time I’ll do them on US 6 (4.0 mm) needles.  Not sure if I have a 32-inch long US 6 circular needle, though.

Of Noble Regency Detectives and Dragons

The newest (#12)  Sebastian St. Cyr novel by C. S. Harris comes out on 4 April.  I have it pre-ordered and am currently in the process of rereading up to it.  If you love Jane Austen and Agatha Christie, you’ll love these books.  They can be read piecemeal (each can stand alone) but I’d read them in order, as the characters evolve, grow, and change through the series.  Rich settings, well-rounded characters, engaging, nail-biting plots.  The setting is period accurate and each book has a satisfying emotional payoff, but enough hooks that you want to read the next book in the series to see what happens next.  Harris anchors her plots seamlessly into the historical context of Regency England — the way it really was, warts and all — while providing page-turning action, adventure, a dash of history and a lovely touch of tasteful spice.

Also on 4 April, the newest book in the Foreigner series, Convergence, comes out.  Got that sucker pre-ordered, too.

In other book-related news, author-illustrator Jackie Morris, who writes and illustrates the most  beautiful books, has a new edition out of Tell Me A Dragon.  She is giving away copies, choosing from the descriptions of dragons in the comments on her blog post. So here’s mine.

“My dragon has iridescent white opal scales with gleams of turquoise, violet, and teal as the light strikes it.  Its eyes are luminous turquoise and as deep and vast as the space between the stars.  Its opalescent wing membranes taper on the trailing edges to near transparency like the skin of soap bubbles.  It can change size from small enough to sit in the shell of my ear to brontosaurus huge.  It has a slender, gracile body, a long, sinuous neck and an even longer, snake-like tail that coils expressively when it speaks. Its claws are made of ivory and it has long, raptor-like claws like an eagle for perching. It is nocturnal and loves to bask in the light from the full moon and to fly by starlight.   It has a bitonal voice that is spidersilk soft, resonant and melodious.  When it speaks, it speaks slowly, thoughtfully and in a slightly sibilant manner.  It is particularly fond of singing long, quiet, wordless songs with slowly undulating and involved melodies during which its bitonal voice harmonizes with itself.  Its snout is rather long, and it can gape its jaws very wide. It lives on sadness, grief and pain, which it sieves from the air like a whale shark as it flies through the night with its mouth agape, and exhudes calm peacefulness and comfort in its wake.   Its food supply has become rather overabundant of late, and it is, alas, becoming a bit tubby from overeating.”

Seriously, if you have children in your life, you need to get them her books — The Ice Bear is magical.  The Seal Children is lyrical.  The Snow Leopard is wonderful.  If you have a tween girl in your orbit, she needs to read East of the Sun and West of the MoonThe Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow is for anyone who enjoys a beautiful, peaceful story with elements of fantasy.  But the bestest, most magical, snuggle in and reading a story together book ever is Tell Me A Dragon.  Give this book to people with babies so they can start them early.

Well, Michael’s had another coupon and another yarn sale, and I can say, I am in no danger of running out of yarn any time in the next five years.  Also in the knitting news, the green cotton hat is done and the blue cotton hat is 2/3 done.  I’ll finish it tonight. I got more cotton yarn at Michael’s last night, some variegated colors for summer chemo hats.

Also, I got a ChiaoGoo size US 2 (2.75 mm) 60-inch circular needle and yesterday at knitting group, I knitted the teal 9-Bladed Pinwheel shawl (at right) off the bamboo needles and onto the ChiaoGoos. It’s the first time I’ve worked on that shawl since my Dad died.  That was the knitting I always took over when I went to sit with him so mom could go out.  It’s such basic TV knitting — knits and yarn overs — it’s practically brainless.  Easy to pick up and put down and requiring little to no attention.   I had gotten it out to show a couple of weeks ago.  That poor shawl has been a UFO* for about 6 years now.  I started it two houses ago when I lived in the duplex off Quaker, before I moved to the apartments I was living in when I moved here.  As you can see, it has the fat(cat)boy seal of approval.

I also got more skeins of that Paton’s metallic like I used for this hat.  I got a beautiful deep purple and a deep red, two skeins of each.  I already had some, and this will be enough that I can make two hats out of each of the colors.  They’re small skeins and there’s not enough in one skein to make a hat, but three skeins will make two hats.

I also got two more skeins of  the fuchsia Caron’s Simply Soft with the metallic thread like I made this hat from, and another larger skein of a nice teal blue color.  The metallic thread doesn’t show up well in the picture, but it gives it a nice sparkle — not enough to be glitzy, but just enough to give it a little pizzaz.  I’ll be making some more chemo hats from those, too.


*UFO — UnFinished Object.

Fun and Games in the Flatlands

screenshot_9 Hot enough, in fact, that I ended up turning the AC on.  Well, out here in the flatlands they do say, if you don’t like the weather, wait a while.  It’ll change.   For the metric crowd, those highs are 32 C, 33 C and 34 C. . .

screenshot_10Again, for the metric crowd, 32 F is 0 C. Needless to say, the heater is back on.

screenshot_11Like the man said the other day, “Ain’t nothin’ but a bob war* fence ‘tween us and the North Pole, and it’s down.”  Below is what tomorrow’s and Wednesday’s forecast looks like.


Got to looking and we’re at 33°34’N latitude, Casablanca, Morocco is 33°32′ N (which puts it about 5 miles further south than we are) and Baghdad (Iraq) is at 33°20′ N, (about 20 miles further south than we are).  This puts most of Texas further south than either one.

screenshot_12 A while ago, I got an el cheapo 10-inch Android tablet and a really great tablet holder for the purpose of ereading, and me and the fat(cat)boy were hanging out in bed most of today tucked in all nice and snuggly under the covers.  I was reading the eARC** of the new Liaden Universe novel, The Gathering Edge, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, which continues the story arc of Theo Waitley and the AI ship Bechimo.  Space Opera at its finest.  I was reading along at a good clip, with the fat(cat)boy snoring and twitching at my side, when this tremendous clap of thunder hit.  After we peeled ourselves off the ceiling, a check out the window disclosed that we were having a rain event.

I decided I couldn’t wait for a set of my US 10 (6.0 mm) 60-inch circular needles to get freed up, and ordered a ChiaoGoo Red Lace 60-inch US 9 (5.5 mm) circular needle. (I love the ChiaoGoo Red Lace needles!)   I have a feeling that just about the time I get my reader’s shrug all knitted up, I’ll have to turn the AC back on. . . .

*”bob war” – Texican for “barbed wire”
**eARC — electronic Advance Reader’s Copy — what amounts to the page proofs in e-book form.


Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch . . .

Things are happening, and I’m not sure whether or not I’m going to blog about it yet, or ever.  However, I will say, for those who were concerned about the fine needle biopsy result, it was negative for breast cancer.

This post is just a collection of goodies gleaned from current events and whatnot that I wanted to put where I could find them again.

First this excerpt from an interview of Lois McMaster Bujold that was up on the Tor website which gives you a big clue why I like her writing.  She is speaking here of her Vorkosigan saga books:

ECM: When and how did you decide (or realize) that Jole and Aral were lovers?

LMB: “Decide” is probably too strong a word, but the possible development existed in my mind pretty much from the moment Jole walked onstage for the first time in The Vor Game, back when I was writing it in 1989. It rode along as a potential in what I called “Schrödinger’s Cat Carrier” for many years thereafter.

It’s that “Schrödinger’s Cat Carrier.”  Of course, “Schrödinger’s Cat” refers to a famous “thought experiment.”  Her random subatomic event was when she came back to the Vorkosigan-verse after a decade’s hiatus and wrote Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.

I marched Saturday, but only in spirit.  I thought I’d share some favorite signs of the times from those who did. (Most of these came from Mark Hamill‘s Twitter feed): (No apologies for the language).

Poster designed by Mississippi artist Hayley Williams
For those who don’t “get” the sign on the left, it refers to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that states laws which made it illegal for a woman to have an abortion up to three months of pregnancy were unconstitutional.
This one is my favorite, for both the sign and the boy.

screenshot_12 screenshot_14 screenshot_15best-funny-creative-signs-from-womens-march-2017-2 best-funny-creative-signs-from-womens-march-2017-19 best-funny-creative-signs-from-womens-march-2017-34 best-funny-creative-signs-from-womens-march-2017-49

I was heartened and glad to see the percentage of men marching in solidarity with the women.   The thing I find most astonishing about the Women’s March — Millions of people marched in hundreds of cities all across the United States.   Millions.  There was no violence, no destruction of property, and only 4 people were arrested during the march.  In the whole United States.  Four.

Again, sans segue, when I was checking the weather forecast, I found that the Weather Channel had compiled a chart of the windiest cities in America: Cities #1 (Tx), #3 (Tx), and #5 (KS) are all out on the Great Plains of the central US, where there is a very noticeable lack of anything to deflect or divert the wind.   No surprise that two of the top three cities are in the Texas Panhandle.  In fact, City #1 is about 130 miles north of City #3, and it’s been right windy in both of those two cities of late, as in wind speeds of 25-40 mph (40-64 kph).

screenshot_10To change subjects again without the slightest attempt at a segue,  I had an interesting conversation in a waiting room today.  There were only three of us waiting, a Black man and a white woman, and me.  There was a TV in the waiting room tuned to CNN, and Carrie Fisher was mentioned (see above).  It was a short jump from Star Wars to Star Trek.   The white woman mentioned how the communicator devices on the original Star Trek series inspired the invention of cell phones.  I contributed that the idea of the automatic “self-opening” door also came from the original Star Trek series.  The Black man mentioned that Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) was his first love.  I told him that at one point Nichelle Nichols had decided to leave Star Trek to sing on Broadway, but Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. urged her to remain on the show as she was such a positive role model at a very crucial time in American history and in the Civil Rights movement. Dr. King convinced her to stay. The Black man had never heard that particular story, and I was honored to be able to share it with him and watch him embrace it.  It was a gleaming moment in an otherwise long and rather bootless day.

2017_01_24-03In the knitting news, I ended up getting a second ChiaoGoo Red Lace size US10 (6.0 mm) 60 inch circular knitting needle as I am currently, and concurrently, knitting two “Malguri Morning” shawls.  The longer needles will accommodate the large number2017_01_24-01 of stitches I will end up binding off to finish the shawls.  Each shawl uses 8 skeins of yarn and increases two stitches every two rows, so you wind up with a lot of stitches.  I could only get 6 skeins of the Northern Lights color, which is the “self-striping” (variegated) color at right, but the Electric Blue solid color matches the blue in it so I’m adding in two solid stripes of it.  The second stripe will be narrower.  That’s the thing with the variegated yarn; as the “triangle” becomes wider at the top, the stripes become narrower.

Oh, and here’s a pix of my favorite knitting accessory — the fat(cat)boy. 2017_01_24-022016_11_24-02The lap robe covering my foots is one I made out of a twin-size microfleece blanket.  We’re very leopard printy in the living room.  My furniture is all brown leather and the print adds interesting visual texture.  The red/oxblood/orange/gold of the flowers and drapes add that little pop of color among the earth tones.

Putting that pane of glass over the fireplace opening has made the room noticeably warmer.



New Beginnings

A new year.  New proj2017_01_05-01ects.  New challenges.  I began the second Malguri Morning shawl on the agenda in the same Loops & Threads Charisma but in the color “Northern Lights.”  I’ve got enough yarn in that color to make a third shawl (for myself) in the same pattern.  I like the blues/purple/black color combination.  Not my favorite green, though.  Those are my new US10(6.00 mm) 32-inch ChiaoGoo Red Lace needles I’m using to knit it, which I really like.  I’ve got a US10 (6.00 mm) 40-inch pair of them which are supposed to be here by tomorrow evening.  I think I will be gradually acquiring more of these needles in different sizes to replace 2017_01_04-01my bamboo needles. I like the way the ChiaoGoo’s feel and the way they handle.  The cord between the needles does not kink or !sproing! like the nylon cord does, even when it’s cold.

I made a very obvious mistake on the first Malguri Morning shawl owing to not paying attention to what was supposed to happen at the end of a row, didn’t catch it for about three inches and had to fix it.  Ripping out and reknitting about 8 rows of what eventually ends up being fifteen or so stitches on one edge beats ripping out eight rows of the whole thing, but it’s tricky because of the increases that happen every other row with this pattern. But I got it fixed. I need to put some stitch markers on it at each end to mark the right side, as a visual cue to remind me what happens when.  I put some on the one I just started and that has helped a great deal.  This one is “resting” now while I work on the other one a while.   The yarn on both these shawls is what is called “self striping” and I like the color combinations.  The Loops & Threads Charisma yarn has such a soft, snuggly “hand.”

2017_01_05-02I had yarn left over from knitting DK’s Christmas cowl, one of which is a medium:4 weight Caron Simply 2017_01_05-03Soft black yarn which I “double stranded” together with the Lion Brand Homespun “Shaker” which is a bulky:5 weight.  I like the color combination — ecru, tan brown, and light grey, with the strand of solid black —  and I like that the Caron yarn “fills in the chinks” in the Homespun yarn. I’m making a plain, simple “man cowl” (nothing but k1, p1 ribbing) for myself out of it.    I’m going to try to get it finished tonight, because I’m going to need it in the morning as the forecast is for 1-2 inches of snow tomorrow afternoon.  Naturally, I have to get out in it.

It seems that not only did I flunk my mammogram, I’ve flunked my ultrasound as well and they want to do a biopsy of the lymph nodes in my armpit.  (Not borrowing trouble by worrying what this may reveal.  The time to worry is when you have something to worry about.) I am assuming it will only be on the left side, but it’s at 10 o’clock tomorrow and I’m driving myself.  I called to see what was going to be involved and I don’t have to be fasting or anything as it’s going to be under local anesthesia.  Now that I have Beetil, who has an automatic transmission, driving one handed will not be a problem.  I drive a block and a half up my street to a traffic lighted intersection, turn onto a “main drag,” which takes me all the way across town.  I turn off that street at another traffic lighted intersection to the street which goes in front of the hospital.  From there, it’s just a question of maneuvering through the parking lots and a short hike to the hospital itself.  Pretty much a straight shot there and back.

I am going to have to make a stop on my way home to get a couple of boxes of Tazo Chai, as I have 80% of an open bottle of the crème brûlée flavor coffee creamer but only two bags of Tazo Chai left and no Earl Grey. I’ve got enough Irish Breakfast and English Breakfast tea to last til I buy groceries again, but I need to use up the coffee creamer as it has been opened.  The grocery store is on the main drag and won’t be a problem getting in and out of.  Once I get done at the hospital, get my tea and get back home, I’m not stirring outside until next week. Me and the fat(cat)boy are going to hunker down, wrap up and stay warm.

We’re in for a really cold spell during the next couple of days.  As I mentioned, we’re expecting snow tomorrow, as much as 1-2 inches possible.  Tonight’s low 13 F (-10.5 C) and tomorrow’s high is only going to be 23 F (-5 C), but they’re talking wind chill of 6 F (-14 C) so I need to check the pockets of my heavy coat for gloves.  If there’s not a pair already there, I know where I have another pair.  By Tuesday, though, it’ll be back up in the 70’s F (21+ C) for daytime highs and not get below freezing at night all the rest of the week.  Only thing on the calendar for next week is knitting group Tuesday night.  I’ll see how I feel.

I’ve gotten the wash out of the dryer and have hung up what needs to be hung before it wrinkles.  Now I’ve got to take my shower and wash my hair.  Then I’ll strip my bed and start a load of sheets, towels and the clothes I’m wearing.  Then when the second load of laundry is done, I’ll make my bed with clean sheets, and I’ll have my laundry all done.  It’ll take my hair hours to dry, and I can sit and knit while that’s happening.

I slept most of the day (I try to fight my body’s natural tendency toward keeping a “night owl” schedule, but it’s an uphill fight.), so the night is still young.  I’ve noticed I don’t wake up so often during sleep now that I have that new “side-sleeper” pillow — I’ve gone from waking up every couple of hours to sleeping five and six hours at a stretch before I surface to snorkel, drowse, decide if I need to get up or not, see how close it is to 9 a.m. and decide if there’s enough time to resubmerge into sleep or whether I’ll just lie there and read for a while till the alarm goes off.

Anticipating I won’t get much done tomorrow once I get home.  I may read, or watch some TV, or I may just crash out and try to sleep.  Don’t know that I’ll get much knitting done.  We’ll see.


To Absent Friends

On silent feet, the furry folk arrive,
Leave paw prints all across my days,
Scatter catnaps in my sunshine places.
Oh, how their presence graces me.
Quicker than a winking eye, as agile as a smile,
they stalk the pathways of my heart
And what great emptiness they leave behind
When it is time for them to go.



This poem was written in 2011 in memoriam for she whom Bear always referred to as The Complaint Department, (Maeve 1994-2011) but I’m reposting it here as the first post of the new year as a toast to all those absent friends, mine and yours, who are waiting for us to join them on the far side of the Rainbow Bridge.

For Maeve, © 2011 The Owl Underground, all rights reserved.

Did I Mention He Chews Cords?

2016_12_30-01I went behind the drapes to get some yarn out of my yarn stash and realized that the fat(cat)boy’s Littermaid had no lights on.  I checked to see if it was plugged firmly into the socket, tried to turn it off and on, and then saw this >>>.  The reason the Littermaid wasn’t working was because the little schmoe had chewed the Littermaid’s power cord practically in two.

Fortunately, I am a packrat.  I’ve had multiple Littermaids over the years and in the process I accumulated an extra power cord, which I had squirreled away, so I didn’t have to track one down and order it and wait for it to get here (scooping the while).  After I got the Littermaid plugged back in and operational again, I taped the cord firmly to the wall and baseboard with clear packing tape. Hopefully, he won’t try to chew on the part of the cord that comes out from the transformer, which does protrude invitingly. Now that I think about it, I may need to tape down the cord to his pet fountain, while I’m deterring the behavior. . . .

I swear, one of these days the little dweeb is going to chew through a cord and fry his little gizzard.  I’m surprised he hasn’t done it already.