Thursday, November 29, 2007
It started out innocently enough - - cloudy skies, breezy, then the wind took a turn from the North and the rain started. Then the temps started dropping - - like a rock. By the time I got off work, all the cars on the parking lot were covered with ice. We were all out there, in the blowing, freezing rain, chipping out our cars so we could get inside and get HOME.
Damn, it was cold.
I finally got the Jeep going and made it home. Dear Hubby had supper started, so I picthed in to help. We had the TV on in the Dining Room, and the local weatherman was giving out weather details in an ominous voice; that this was just the beginning of what could be a major storm.
Then the power went out, with a decisive "clunk" . . . I looked in the general direction of Dear Hubby in the dark and said, "This can't be good."
Truer words were never spoken.
You can read all about it here, here, here, and here.(that way, I don't have to retype the whole darned thing!)(and yeah, I had a lot to say about it, apparently!)
Enjoy the memories!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
It was the Friday after Thanksgiving. We chose that day because we knew family would all be together, so what better way to share the feelings of 'togetherness' than to have a MOVING PARTY, right? Right?
Dear Hubby and I got up VERY early that day - - oh, not to prepare for the impending move;instead, we went to Circut City for the Friday After Thanksgiving Sale Event.
Yes, we did.
The reason? We had been looking at an electronic phone system for quite a while, and they had it as one of their Early Bird sales.
SO - - 5:00 AM found us waiting in line in Circuit City - - which wrapped ALL AROUND the inside of the store . . .
We were in line for almost an hour, but we walked out with our new phone system.
We then headed to Panera's to grab a quick bagel and drink for breakfast, then to the U-Hawl dealer to pick up the truck, then home to start getting ready for all our movers to show up.
It was a hectic day - - people brought food for lunch and snacks, trucks and cars and the big U-Haul were loaded up and made many trips back and forth between the two houses. We got it all moved in, then sat around the sunroom, eating a bite, and watching the sunset. We were all exhausted, but relieved at having everything moved to the new place.
It's hard to believe that we have been here for a whole year already. It's also very difficult to understand why our other house is still on the market! It is such a nice house; it's very roomy, and we did so many things to update it; the location is good, and there is a nice big yard. The neighbors are great. But, the market has slowed, and lots of people are having difficulty selling their homes. We just have to keep hoping, and praying, and trying our best to get the job done.
So here we are - - one year later. Things are pretty much settled in, and Dear Hubby and I are are so very happy in our new home.
Here's looking forward to many, many more happy years here together!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Thursday we will be having dinner with my Dad, and then going to my aunt and uncle's house to visit with them and all my cousins and their families. (Ah, nothing like a big Italian family get-together!)
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Dear Hubby has to work . . . darn it . . . but, it's holiday pay, so it's money that will come in very handy until we get the other house sold (hurry up and SELL, dammit!).
Friday I will be going to the antique shop and setting up some holiday craft items in my booth, so that will be a fun, relaxing thing for me. Saturday and Sunday will be spent getting things done around the house . . . funny how I don't seem to get these things done when Dear Hubby is home - - guess it's just too much fun having him around, and I don't feel like working! :-) (Yeah, I'm kinda 'stuck' on him .. . . . )
Happy Turkey Day!!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Check him out - - looking at us upside-down with one eye open:
Now back to sleep:
Meanwhile, Destiny is asleep on the love seat in the Sunroom:
Ah, to be a cat!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
We learned a lot from this year's "trial run", and know what we want to do different next year - - so the "Second Annual" should be even better!
We also learned - - again - - how inconsiderate some people can be . . . someone apparently backed into my gazing ball on a concrete pedestal, knocked it over, shattered the gazing ball - - and left without saying a word. I don't know who did it, or exactly when it happened . . . I just know it happened this morning during the sale.
I just don't understand people sometimes . . .
If the person who did it had at least come in and told me, and apologized, I would have still been upset, but would have appreciated being told, because I understand that accidents happen. But to do something like this and just leave?
It's not like they wouldn't have known they did it - - heck, the pedestal is made of concrete, and is so heavy I can't lift it or carry it anywhere. I would be surprised if it didn't scrape the heck out of their bumper!
Anyway . . .
At least the rest of the day went well - - and the rest of the people were nice! :)
SO - - we are already looking forward to next year's Bazaar - - and you can be sure the new Gazing Ball will be in a different location by then!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I have a lot of holiday items that we never use, and it has been sitting in boxes, just taking up vaulable storage space. A couple of months ago, Dear Hubby and I got the boxes out and sorted through all of it; one pile to "Keep", and the other to "Sell". I talked to my two 'partners in crime' and we decided a Bazaar would be a fun thing to do!
That's what I love about the house we live in now - - we live on a main county road, with LOTS of traffic. The two rummage sales we had this summer were incredibly successful - - we put up some signs, and people just poured in!
SO - - Betty and her hubby have been busy making alll kinds of wood crafts and items; Cindy has lots of holiday items she has not used in years, and is also baking her "World Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies" (which I may have to buy - - they are SO good!); I have my holiday items, plus have been baking up a storm and have lots of breads and brownies and coffee cakes ready to go. Plus, I have started getting into some crafting - - I have even learned how to use a glue gun! So I have some craft items to add to the mix.
We are even going to have holiday music playing, and have hot apple cider and cookies to munch on while people browse all the goodies we have to offer.
Dear Hubby helped out a lot by clearing out the garage and getting the tables set up, and helping get the signs ready. Tomorrow Betty and Cindy and I will be busy pulling it all together, then hanging up the signs late tomorrow afternoon. The forecast for Saturday is a good one, so we should have a beautiful day for the event.
It will be a fun day!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
So being the dutiful daughter (loves my Daddy!), I got up, got dressed, and drove the 40 miles to get him and take him to the Emergency Room.
We got there around 2:46 AM. They ran all kinds of tests, took all kinds of blood, took X-Rays, and a CAT scan. When we got the results of everything, it was apparently his acid reflux kicking up and causing severe heartburn. They got that under control, gave him a prescription for Prevacid, and sent us on our way.
By that time, it was 6:30 AM, and my day, unfortunately, was just beginning!
When I got back to Decatur, I went by the other house and kicked on the heat for the Open House this afternoon. Then it was a trip to the grocery store, then Walmart . . . and then, FINALLY, home.
It is now 12:30 PM, and I have still not been able to slow down long enough to get some sleep. I think I'm still running on pure adrenalin.
But when I DO finally crash, it's gonna be for a LONG, LONG time!
I'm relieved that Dad is doing okay. He felt bad about my coming all the way down there for 'heartburn', but he will be 83 this next Friday. I don't like to take chances when he's under the weather.
I want to keep my dear Daddy around for a lot longer!
Writing these posts brought back lots of memories for me - - some happy, some very, very sad, but ALL of the memories included the love between us and our beloved pets.
When we lost our dear Callie, we were full of mixed emotions. We missed her, but we knew that Carmichael needed the companionship of another cat. Reactions to this by others have been mixed - - one asked if I were really sure I wanted to get another cat, because I always got so heartbroken when we lost one; another thought we may want to consider 'downsizing', and that Carmichael would adjust to being alone.
Well, I'm going to address both of these . . .
First, YES, I am ABSOLUTELY SURE that I want another cat! Regardless of the heartbreak that is sure to come at some point, there is no way I would ever want to miss out on the joy and love we and our dear pets share. Yes, I cried when Dusty passed away; and when Boo Boo Kitty got so sick and we lost her; and Callie - - well, that is still too raw and painful to think about for too long. But when I think of all the good memories we have, well - - if given the chance to go back in time, I would do it all over again, and not change a thing.
Second, NO, we do NOT think it is time to consider 'downsizing' to one cat; and NO, Carmichael would NOT adjust to being by himself, or if he did, he would never be the same as he was before - - some of his sparkling personality would be forever lost. So downsizing? NOT an option.
Dear Hubby Steve and I will probably always have cats in our lives, and we are sure to get our hearts broken again and again . . . but that is the chance you take if you ever want to find real, true love.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I went to Curt and Judy's house on my lunch hour the next day. Judy picked up this little bundle of dark gray fluff and placed him in my lap. He immediately purred, curled up in my lap, gave out a huge "groan", and went to sleep. And yes - - I melted. Judy said, "You're going to take him home, aren't you?" All I could do was whisper "Yes." (Didn't want to wake the little guy!)
The next day after work, I went and got him and brought him home. Callie was NOT happy with this intrusion on HER private property, and having this, this - - KITTEN - - getting attention from HER people! There were some tense moments over the next few weeks, but she finally gave in and got used to him. We think it was only his "kitten status" that saved his little hide!
We took the new kitty to the Vet to have him checked out. Although we thought he was only about 6-7 weeks old, because of his small size, it turned out he was almost 3 months old! He was so small because he was hungry! WELLLLL - - this is an Italian household - - NOBODY, not even a cat, is going to go hungry in MY house! We started packing the groceries in him, and he filled out in no time. (He's a big chunky boy now!)
We noticed right away that he had a bad habit of clawing things, so when we took him back to the Vet to get altered, we also had him front declawed. Hey, I love cats, but I also love my furniture, my drapes, and my carpet!
We were still trying to decide on a name for the little guy. I was thinking very strongly about George, for "Curious George", because he was so darned curious about everything, and getting into all of it! (I also considered "pain in the ass", becasus he was that, also!) But George just didn't fit right, and 'P.I.T.A.' was too darned long. What to name the little guy . . .
At work, I was clerical support for a team of caseworkers for Children and Family Services. One of my caseworkers, whose last name was Carmichael, real character; he was always walking up behind me, and was so soft-footed, he always wound up startling me. He didn't do it purposely (I don't think, anyway).One day, shortly after the arrival of the new kitten, Don again walked up behind me asking for something, and scared me half out of my wits! I told him that I had this new kitten who was always underfoot, always startling me, and was a general pain in the ass, just like he was, so I was going to name the little guy Carmichael! He just laughed and walked away. But I am a woman of my word. The next day, when I took the kitten to the Vet for altering, I gave his name as Carmichael!
Carmichael (or Carmie, for short), has been a trial at times, but has provided Dear Hubby and me with many hours of entertainment, and an abundance of love. He loves to run and play, and loves it when we take one of his toy mousies and throws it so he can chase it across the fllor.
Carmie adored his big sister Callie. She would always sleep during the day at the foot of our bed, on my robe, which I left there specifically for that purpose. I would come home at lunchtime, and would always find one of his toy mousies on the bed, next to the robe. He was always bringing one of them to her.
When we lost dear Callie, Carmichael became very depressed. He wouldn't run, or play. We would throw one of his favorite mousies, and he would just sit there and watch it go past him. If he did run after it, he would then just sit there and look at it. He wasn't eating like he normally did. He kept watching the doorways, looking for Callie to come into the room. The day after we lost her, I came home at lunchtime, and found one of his favorite mousies on the bed, next to my robe. I just broke down in tears. He and I were both totally heartbroken.
Steve and I had a long talk, and decided that even though we felt it was too soon for us, it was NOT too soon for Carmichael. He needed a companion, and he needed one NOW.
That is when Destiny came into our home. Carmichael hissed quite a bit the first couple of days. (Who is this? This is NOT my big sister!) We started calling him "Air Leak Kitty", and told him we needed to fix that leak before he went flat! But he got over that, and is now back to his normal, fun-loving, playful self. She is apparently just what the doctor order!
So there you have it - - the Jackson Household cats!
I was told by the wife that they didn't really want to move her the 1,000 miles they were moving, and had not had time to try to find her a new home, so they were more than likely going to take her to the pound.
You see, back then, if an animal was taken to the pound, and not claimed or adopted within 7 days (or sometimes less), they were put to sleep. And they were just going to do that? To that sweet little girl? I don't think so!
I told them to leave Callie with us, and that we would take care of her. Was I sure, the wife asked me? I already had a cat, did I really want a second one?
Yes, I was sure.
Well then, I was really going to have to watch Callie, the wife warned me. "She is an outside cat, but every time you open the door, she tries to slip inside. You really have to watch out for that!"
Then the wife told me, "She has wanted to be inside ever since last winter, when she got sick. We had her inside, in a cage covered with blankets and a vaporizer, and the vet gave us medicine for her. She was inside for 10 days, then she was better and we put her back outside."
It was freakin' WINTER - - it was COLD, and BLEAK, and WINDY, and she had been inside the house for TEN DAYS . . . and they just threw her back outside.
I told them I was sure, and not to worry about it.
They moved away, we moved in, opened the door, said "Come on in!" to Callie . . . and she was an outside cat no more.
Oh, and? This little "outside cat" NEVER, EVER tried to get back out! She was inside, she was warm, she was loved. And that was all she wanted.
She was our constant companion - - it didn't matter what room of the house you were in, she wanted to be in the same room. Even if she was just laying there sleeping, it had to be in the same room her 'people' were in.
When she was about 10 years old, we brought home a 'rescue kitty', Carmichael. He was a little bitty thing, and even though Callie was NOT happy with the intruder, Steve and I believe what saved him was his 'kitten' status . . . but Carmichael's story will be told in the next post.
When we moved to this house a year ago, we were a little concerned about how Callie would handle the move; she was almost 17 years old, and had lived her whole live in the other place. Would she adapt? Would she totally freak out? We were worried for nothing - - she adapted to the new house beautifully. I guess as long as her 'people' were there, everything was fine! In fact, she was a lot better about it than the adventurous Carmichael . . . but that story will be told a little later.
I am not going to end this post telling how we lost our dear little girl - - that story was told a few posts back, and is still too painful and raw to go into again. Let's just say that our dear little girl will always be in our hearts, and we will always love her.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
A couple of months went by. Then, a lady I worked with said that her friend, who was moving out of state, had a cat who was supposed to go to another person we worked with, but the other person would not be able to take her for a month; she was leaving on a business trip and did not want to leave a new cat in new surroundings with the other 2 cats she already had. I was asked if we would be willing to be 'foster parents' for that month.
My first response was a flat "No." I was adamant. I was determined not to give any other cat a chance to grab my heart and hurt me again.
They both asked me again, and again, the answer was "No."
Then the one told me that if I didn't take the cat, the current owner was going to place her in the pound, where she would more than likely be put to sleep within a week's time.
Damn. Lay on the guilt, why doncha??
I agreed to take the cat. For ONE MONTH, and ONE MONTH ONLY.
Boo Boo Kitty was 2 years old, part Siamese, crossed blue eyes and all, declawed, and as sweet and lovable as any cat I have ever met. She immediately latched on to me (figures!) and decided I was 'hers' and that I had no say in the matter. I resisted as best I could, because she was going to be a part of our household for ONE MONTH, ONE MONTH ONLY! I was not about to get my heart broken again!
Well, here's what happened . . .
At the end of that ONE MONTH, ONE MONTH ONLY, the new owner came up to me and said that one of her cats was so sick, she did not feel that she could add the stress of introducing a new kitty to the household. She had changed her mind about taking her.
Oh, GREAT. NOW what??
I could not - - WOULD NOT - - take that little girl to the pound. There was no way I could live with myself if I did. The only other options I had were 1) keep her; or 2) find her a new home.
My son and daughter-in-law decided they wanted her, so Boo Boo Kitty had a new home to go to.
Now here is where it gets really weird - - when I heard that they were taking her, and she would no longer be with us . . . it hurt like hell. But I was determined not to cave - - and so Boo Boo Kitty left to go to her new home.
A few months later, they had to move, and could not take Boo Boo with them (poor kitty, seems to be a pattern going here!). So, Boo Boo came back to us.
I could not believe how HAPPY I was to have that little girl back! The minute she came back home, she latched on to me as if to tell me that she was NOT going to lose sight of me ever again!
Well, of course, I melted - - just absolutely, totally melted. That was it. I was hooked. Boo Boo was my girl.
Unfortunately, it was not to be . . . I noticed that my little girl was not eating well, and did not act as if she felt good. Then she started getting sick. We took her to the Vet, and it was not good news - - not at all.
Boo Boo Kitty had cancer. The tumors were all entwined in her intestines. There was nothing they could do to cure her.
So for the second time in one year, I lost a dear kitty-baby.
I was, if possible, even more devastated than when I lost Dusty. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I was totally inconsolable.
And through it all - - dear Callie was there, silently sitting by, waiting for me to be ready to accept her . . . but that is another post.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
So I think the next few posts will be about the cats Dear Hubby Steve and I have had over the years, and how they came to be a part of our household.
The first one will be Dusty - - she came into our home in 1986, I believe, and was a very bossy, opinionated, stubborn little girl!
I had been wanting a cat for awhile, but Steve was just not sure about it. So the topic of "Let's Get A Cat" kind of simmered on the back burner for awhile. Then Steve left for a weekend to ride along with the Chicago Fire Dept (he was a volunteer firefighter). I just happened to be scanning the "Pets" Classifieds (hey, just looking, okay?) and saw a cat listed as "Free To Good Home" - - so I called and talked to the people. Then went over there to meet her. Then brought her home.
By the time Steve got home, she was a part of our family. (I also told him to try going away for the weekend again, and see what happened!)
It was not easy at first with Dusty. She was, as I said previously, very stubborn and opinionated. She did not know who I was, or where she was, and all she wanted was to GET OUT OF THERE. In fact, she did get out one afternoon, and we could not find her. She was gone all night and into the next day. I was beside myself! Then, that afternoon, I heard the little bell she wore around her neck. I went to the front door, and there was Dusty! She ran in, laid down in the middle of the living room, exhausted. But from that day on, she was ours, and she started loving us.
We had dear Dusty for 8-1/2 years, and she was already 2 years old when we got her. We moved to our other house, which came with our next cat (Callie, who will be discussed in a future post). A couple of months after we moved, Dusty started acting like she did not feel good - - she was not eating, she would just crawl up into my Lincoln Rocker with all the stuffed animals in it and sleep all day and night. She stopped running, which she did ALL THE TIME, and loved to do. I knew there was something wrong. Steve took her to the Vet, and it turned out she had developed Fatty Liver Disease. There were things they could do for her, but it would cost thousands of dollars (which we did not have to spare), and the Vet said she would still have many health problems. We made the very hard decision to have her put to sleep.
I cried like a baby, and it took me a long time to get over losing my little girl.
By that time, we had Callie . . . but that is another post.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
One of the saddest times for me was one day when I came home for lunch, and he had placed one his toy mousies on my robe at the foot of the bed - - Callie always slept on that during the day, and he would always bring her one of his toys. I stood there that day and cried like a little baby.
We would try to pay extra attention to him, and would try to play with him, but his poor little heart just wasn't in it. We would throw one of his favorite toys, and sometimes he would just sit there and watch it go by, or he would chase it, but then just sit there and look at it. He just seemed so sad, as were Steve and me.
SO - - we had a long talk, and decided that even though our hearts were not in it - - NOT AT ALL - - it would be best for our little fur-boy if we got another cat.
We went to our Vet's office, where they had a rescue kitty who was totally sweet and lovable, but I just could not 'connect' with him. He would have made a wonderful pet, but all I could do on the way home was cry . . . missing my little girl. So that dear kitty still needs a good home, and I hope they find one for him soon.
I started looking online at Petfinder.com, and researching cats in our area. None of them really caught my eye, until I got to the cats at the Springfield Animal Protective League. There were a couple there that appealed to me - - one was a black and gold named "Muffin", and the other was a Dilute Tortie named Destiny. I told Steve we needed to go to Springfield and look at kitties.
Last Sunday afternoon we headed over to Springfield. The APL has SIX ROOMS of cats! All ages, breeds, and colors. I asked about Muffin, and was told that she had been adopted out; I'm glad she has a good home. So we went into the first room - - and Destiny greeted us at the door. Actually, Destiny greeted STEVE at the door, doing figure-8's around his ankles, then loving on him when he picked her up.
I started looking at the other cats, and realized right away that the only ones I was really noticing were the dark Torties. I knew I could not get another dark Tortie, because I would constantly compare the cat to Callie, and that would not be fair.
Steve walked up and handed Destiny to me. She immediately started squirming around. I thought she wanted to get down, but no - - she wanted to turn around to face me. She then put a paw on each side of my neck, leaned in close, and HUGGED me. Her head was under my chin, she was holding on tight, and purring loudly. The tears started, and I handed her back to Steve and went out in the hall to 'mop up' . . .
We decided to head upstairs to the "Cat Loft" to check out the other felines-in-residence. There were some very nice animals, but it just seemed like Destiny would be the best fit for us. But it was still so soon, and I was still very unsure.
We went downstairs to the office and decided to fill out an adoption application - - yes, they make you apply to be parents to a pet! They ask for your Driver's License number to check that you have not been charged with animal abuse, they check with your vet to make sure you bring your pets in for regular checkups, and they ask all kinds of questions to make sure their animals will be going to a good home.
We filled out and signed the form, and headed for home. Steve and I talked a lot about it that evening and the next day. Tuesday I called Steve at work and told him that I wanted to go get Destiny and bring her home. I called the APL to check on our application status, and was told we were approved, so I told them we wanted to bring Destiny into our home.
And on Wednesday, that is what we did:
Introducing, Miss Destiny Jackson:
Who absolutely ADORES Steve:
And who is actually starting to have fun chasing around and playing with Big Brother Carmichael:
So - - we now we are back to a full family again. It's not the same - - it will NEVER be the same without our Dear Callie-girl - - but Carmichael is starting to perk up again. He runs after her, chasing her down the hall, and then she chases him right back. He has started playing with his toys again, and she is enjoying them also.
My heart is still heavy, and so is Steve's, but this little girl will helps us heal, in time. And I'm glad that we are able to give her a good home.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
It's hard to believe it's been almost 2 weeks ago that this happened. She had not been acting like herself for a couple of months, but nothing I could really put my finger on. Two weekends ago, she got really sick, not able to eat, and so weak she could hardly walk. Dear Hubby went by the Vet's office that Monday morning and talked to them, and then went home to get her and bring her in. They ran some tests, and found that she was in kidney failure. There was not much they could do for her but make her comfortable. She was put to sleep the next day.
I miss her . . . she had a good life though, and would have been 18 years old in December.
That doesn't make it any easier.
We all miss her very much, and she will be in our hearts always.
I love you, sweet girl.