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Posts Tagged ‘cats’

It was Monday.

Yesterday started out fairly well.  Before the clock struck 7, I saw Mr. Official off to work, hit the gym for 4.73 miles (precisely) in 45 minutes, hauled the recycling bin to the curb and let the dog out for her “morning constitutional.”

This all happened BC.

You know.

Before Coffee.

Which also explains how I managed to double up on my posts yesterday.  (Actually, they were finished and scheduled Sunday evening. Because I can do a lot of things, but I can’t work out AND blog simultaneously…at least not that early in the day.)

But apparently I managed to schedule two posts for the same day and in my pre-caffeinated fog, I didn’t catch them until they both hit “the street.”  Then I tried to recall one back to draft status, but that was a no-go.

So for today, I’ll just say “Hey!  How ya doin’?”

And tell you that I’m excited.  Because if it doesn’t rain (hard) today, I’m setting out my vegetable seedlings and seeds.  If I do get rained out, then it’ll happen tomorrow.  It can’t happen soon enough – the cat is decapitating pepper seedlings at night while we slumber.  Every morning, I discover a few more casualties.  She’s persnickety – she turns her nose up at the tomato seedlings.  And she seems to be avoiding the hotter peppers, preferring only the bell varieties.  So please send good thoughts for sunshine and gardening my direction today.

How’s your week going so far?

Happy Tuesday,

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The front door of our new home sported this brick red, which I-M-(not-so-)-Humble-O was vaguely reminiscent of Texas Aggie orange.  That *might* have been okay, but it also suffered from the fate which plagues most metal-and-glass doors:  the caulk and adhesive under the oval molding had slipped and oozed a bit, leaving a cracked and dingy gray ring around the oval leaded glass.  And the paint was scratched and nicked in a few places.

Here it is, with a fall wreath, which managed to work its way off-center as though it were wishing it could quietly slip away and disassociate itself from the situation.

The door was beginning to show its age.

This painting project has been on my hit list of to-do’s for a while; in fact, my paintbrush-holding hand has been itchy to pull the trigger since I first approached the door back in late November of last year.   It just cried out for a fresh coat of paint.

But first I had to wait until the house was ours.  (For whatever reason, society and our legal system frown upon attempts to improve property that doesn’t belong to you.)

Then I had to find a day when it wasn’t blistering hot, because painting the front door involves leaving the door open for a while and the thermostat is in the foyer.  That would have meant sweating out everyone to turn off the air conditioning for a couple hours, or be a wanton spendthrift and leave the door open and a/c units running non-stop. Neither of those sounded like attractive options.

Plus, I wanted to make sure Luci-the-cat wasn’t in “escape mode.”  (She goes through spells, which probably correlate to the moon phases, where she will persist in attempting to flit through any open door.  Once she’s out, she either freezes like a deer in headlights, or goes a little spazzy – either way, we can usually catch her and bring her back inside. But that won’t necessarily stop her from making another break the next day, and the next…until her mood changes back to being content with the life of a fat and lazy housecat.)

Finally I had a few weekend hours to spare after fall break, when the weather was mellow and so was Luci. (Random thought:  can a door project have a “WINDOW of opportunity?” Hmmmm.)  Anyway, I had a guy in the paint area of Home Depot brew up a quart of French Roast.  Really – that’s what the color is called.    With a little prepping and cleaning, the door went from that to this in about two hours on a mild Sunday afternoon:

Do you see a door hanger?  Nope, me either.

I also managed to ditch the door hanger, trading it in for a super-simple combination of a small angle bracket and some fishing line. 

Basically this plus this:

Looks like this on the inside:

and this to the rest of the world:

I’m using 20-pound test line, but I will probably ramp it up a bit when I hang the next wreath, especially if the next wreath is heavier than this one.

Happy painting!

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A game of cat and mouse

(For my friends who hate to see rodent tails or hear tales of rodents, stop reading now. You know who you are. I know who you are, and how you react to the mere mention of mice. I’ll skip to the last page just for you: the mouse is no longer among us. The end.  All is well.  Sleep tight.)

Last week, I was hanging curtain rods in our bedroom. (This was during a day packed with work, working out, volunteering at our church, work, pruning oakleaf hydrangeas, work, driving the swim taxi, more work-while-waiting; a late dinner and finally more work before I collapsed. It was one of THOSE days.) So I’m up-and-down the ladder with the level, a pencil, tape measure, drill, drywall anchors, brackets and screwdriver. Trying to make short work of hanging four curtain rods and still have them straight and even and all that before I move on to the next task of the day.

On one of my countless trips up the ladder, I happened to glance over toward the door going to our bathroom and I saw the cat (Luci – which is short for Luci-fur), lolling on the floor, playing with something.

This cat is quite capable of amusing herself with a twist-tie for hours on end, so I didn’t give it much thought. Then I looked closer at the object of her….well, we’ll call it “affection.” My first thought was “mouse.”  My second thought was, “No, that’s not a mouse. You and your monovision contacts are totally misconstruing a harmless piece of cardboard.” Then it moved. Without her help. And she jumped back. And I stood still.

I called Swimmer Girl to come do reconnaissance from ground level. Her initial reaction was to discount my fears.  “That’s not a mouse,” said she, reassuringly.  But then it moved again. Unaided by the cat, again.

And she – to her credit – calmly confirmed that it WAS a mouse.   No shrieking or screeching. No vertical leaps onto tall furniture.  The mouse started moving, but slowly – it was injured. Apparently our cat likes to PLAY with her food. She was certainly not keen on killing it; in fact she jumped back every time it moved.

The 12-pound cat is afraid of a 3-ounce mouse. Sigh.

Long story short, we easily captured the walking wounded, and….uhhh, we disposed of it. As soon as it was taken captive, the cat decided she DID want her toy back after all, and was rather miffed at us for taking it away from her. Too little, too late, Luci. You had your chance.

We’ve found no evidence of mice in the house (except this lone ranger), so I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that it slipped in when we left the door to the garage open for a few minutes earlier that day. Because it’s pretty obvious our cat did not inspire the phrase “cat and mouse game.”

Happy Monday,

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Applied Mathematics

Quick!  If a deck has 12 sections and each section contains approximately 12 balusters, and each baluster has 4 sides, what does that equal?

Put away the calculator – if you mentally tallied somewhere around 600, you’re close enough. But what it really equals is 6 man (err, woman) hours, 1 now-spent brush, 1 gallon of stain/sealer, 1 big blister where the brush rested in my hand, 3 sweat-bee stings, and countless redwood colored sealer splotches on my feet, which I will wear to show my solidarity for our “oh-no-it’s-mono” daughter who is out of commission for a few weeks.  (Word to the wise for health care professionals: even if a teen tests positive for strep, please do a mono test before you give them Amoxicillin.  Amoxicillin and mono don’t play nicely together, and the rash is heartbreakingly awful for the patient.)

But back to the deck.  Here are a few before-and-after photos of the deck after I power-washed it and gave it a good scrubbing last weekend.  And of course, nature decided to immediately give us plenty of rain for several days, so that meant waiting out the storms to do anything further. I’m glad we hadn’t planned to have anyone over for dinner this week!
As awful as it looks, I’m embarrassed to admit it still looked better than before the power washing.  Oh well…it’s what happens when you let three years sneak past you without an annual deck scrubbing and re-touching.  (Snicker..yeah, we’ll see if THAT actually happens or not!  Good intentions make great paving stones, and all that.)

Here it is after it’s had two coats of deck sealer applied and the balusters and rails all re-coated.  It should be good to go at least until fall or next spring, when it will be time to give it a good cleaning (having a shady deck on the north side of your house in the humid south has a big downside, namely mildew.)  I was so excited to have the project done that I went ahead and re-laid the rug and hauled up the table and chairs – let’s hope the thunder rumbling tonight is all bark and no bite.

The grill and the big deck planters will have to wait for some help – from somebody with more upper-body strength and who doesn’t have a hernia threatening to pop back out like a Butterball turkey timer.

Now to get the hot tub heating element replaced, the cover scrubbed, the fireplace re-painted and moved back into place and the bench stained and sealed and the deck should carry us through fall and into winter in good shape.  (Looks like I know what we’ll be doing this weekend!)

In the interest of equal air time for our animal menagerie, here’s a picture of Brice’s cat.  Her name is Luci.  Short for Lucifer.  Apparently we’re in the hot cat days of summer.  She blends in nicely with the chair, one of her favorite hangouts.

P.S. a shout-out to my mother-in-law, who is celebrating her birthday today – I won’t say how old she is.  She’s the kind of mother-in-law I hope I can be some day, and every day I’m thankful for the awesome job she did raising my husband.  Hugs and love to Memaw Katie!!!

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Really random pictures

Last weekend was a busy one:  Saturday was another workday in preparation for our Summer Bible Vacation at Highland Heights  and our 2HERS group held a mother/daughter luncheon for us moms – don’t they look great?

Of course, Sunday was Mother’s Day, which we spent traveling back and forth to Lebanon (long story – let’s just say my husband and his mama had a failure to communicate regarding schedules.)  Then it was back for evening services and home again, when I agreed to watch Scadie (pronounced “Sadie” – the c is silent) while the guys grabbed a bite to eat.  Suddenly the sweet sleeping princess puppy turned into an ornery and over-stimulated hyperactive bundle of energy racing back and forth through the house.  Didn’t see that coming.  She tormented the cat and dog repeatedly by barking shrilly at them.  They’re both way too old for that nonsense, and the looks they gave her said as much.  So she then proceeded to try to rip into everything she could get her sharp little milk teeth into.  When I left to get our daughter from a youth event, the mini-me had the big dog’s one-and-only chew toy all slobbery. Which didn’t make anybody too happy as you can see.

Hey, sweet husband of mine, do you suppose we can get down the missing trim in the background?  I don’t notice it until I take a photo and it shows up, along with the smudge on the wall where the big dog likes to roll around and put her muddy paws on the wall.    I won’t complain too loudly – he’s commuting back and forth to Ashland City each day, helping supervise the mucking out of the offices.  A decidedly unpleasant job, made worse by the start time (6:30…tomorrow will be even earlier.)

And while I was downloading the other weekend pictures, I happened to come across this one I snapped of the cat the other day, when she was posing as mantel art.

She was quite good for a while up there, and then she got bored with the pose and down she came.  Of course, when I took the shot, she gave me a baleful glare to let me know she did not appreciate the attention.  Who knows what really goes on in the walnut-sized cranium of hers?  It turned cool on Monday, and we actually turned the heat back on for a couple days.  Today was warmer and tomorrow should be downright hot.  Back to A/C I guess.  Maybe the garden will soon be dry enough to actually plant…

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Big news: we’re grandparents!

Well, not really – but until our children decide to settle down with a spouse and have real children, this 9-week-old bundle of fur will have to do. Last night, our oldest son adopted a “baby” – a pure white husky that looks a lot like our Samoyeds when they were puppies. As of yet she has no name, so we just say “here, pooch” when we want her attention. If anyone has a suggestion for a name, we’re all ears (and so is she, as you can see in this picture.)

Our own dog wasn’t too keen on the interloper’s appearance this morning, but after a few minutes, they seemed to decide they could get along. They both agreed it was fun to play in the grass this morning, although having short legs meant “the pooch” got her belly tickled by the grass, which is nearly as tall as she is. She spent most of her time hopping instead of walking or running.

And like all good “grandparents” we immediately volunteered to watch “the baby” while Shea worked today. And like all new parents, he has called to check on her. So far, her routine is romp, stomp and nap (and a bathroom break thrown in for good measure.) Something tells me the rest of the day will be much of the same, plus food.

Let’s hope my wool rugs are safe from puppy messes…which do tend to come with puppies. The cat is simply wondering what she did to deserve two dogs drinking out of *her* waterbowl, and skulking around with a bigger-than-usual scowl on her face.

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