Mom


My mom has always been, and always will be, the voice in my head that keeps me on the straight and narrow, especially through times when I couldn’t see two feet in front of me, much less what’s around the bend. She has been the strongest influence on my life, though most times I’d chafe at admitting it.

Throughout her 87 years, she relied on herself to overcome life’s hurdles. Her strength of character and determination saw her through many difficult trials—from the devastating loss of a child to the gauntlet of Alzheimer’s. Yet, she remained strong. It wasn’t in her nature to give up, no matter how difficult the challenge or risky the outcome. She loved an adventure.

Not to say she is the only person who ever told me I’m wrong, but she is the only person who would always tell me when I’m wrong or making a mistake. She was honest, hardworking, and had more character and personal integrity than anyone I’ve ever known. Her love, though quiet and somewhat reserved, was always there for me. It never faltered.

Over the years, Mom and I sometimes didn’t “get along.” Maybe because we were so much alike—I can be as stubborn and determined as she could—that it caused friction. We didn’t talk a lot, finding it difficult to chit-chat. Small talk wasn’t part of our pattern. Scrabble was our thing. We could get into deep conversations over a Scrabble board. We both enjoyed prowling through junk shops and the trips to them always got us talking as well. I learned more about Mom while playing Scrabble and driving to places where we could poke around dust covered bits and pieces than I would’ve dreamed possible. I cherish every game we played and every junk hunt we made.

Mom left us slowly, day by day. She lived with my sister for many years and for that I am truly grateful. I don’t know how she managed, day in and day out, watching Mom fade away, but I know I couldn’t have coped. It was hard enough to see just when I visited. Thank you my dear sister, for all that you did to take care of Mom, for keeping her safe, for making her life better.

Bossy britches


I have a bossy cat.

There, I said it.

The first step is admitting the problem.

The second step is a choice. It can be digging one’s heels in and refusing to be bossed around by a four-legged fur ball. It can be an adventure in feline behavior modification (see Cat Whisperer). Or it can be good old-fashioned whining.

IMG_0828Katie isn’t a bad cat. She’s even quite affectionate from time to time. But mostly, she’s just bossy and very vocal. I mean she meows—a lot.

Some of the time she emits a soft little mew. Other times she lets out an ear-splitting MEOW. In her defense, she usually only caterwauls when I’ve neglected her for more time than she’s willing to be ignored.

You see, one of the things I like most about cats is that they’re very self sufficient. As long as their box is cleaned regularly and their food is where it’s supposed to be when it’s supposed to be, they’re pretty happy critters.

Not Katie.

First of all, she has to be in whatever room I’m in. She follows me everywhere and it’s really annoying. She has learned to not get underfoot (after having her tail stepped on a few times) but wherever I am, there she is. When I go outside, she sits in the window and watches. When I go into the kitchen, she sits in there and watches. When I go to the bathroom, she sits in there and watches. If I shut her out, she sits outside the bathroom door meowing louder and louder until I let her in.

Yes, she’s in here with me right now, watching as I type. It’s kind of creepy.

Back to the caterwauling …

There are three primary reasons why Katie screeches at me …

  1. When her food dish is empty
  2. When her box needs attention
  3. When she wants to play and I’m not taking the hint.

Her ‘food hint’ is to walk back and forth from the kitchen, meowing louder and louder until I go replenish her dish. Now, let’s be clear. It’s not that she’s hungry even. She just doesn’t like for her dish to be empty.

Her ‘potty hint’ is to pace back and forth right in front of me. You guessed it, meowing louder and louder until I get up and tend to her box.

Her ‘playing hint’ is to drag around whatever she wants me to dangle at her as she follows me all over the house. If I’m planted in my favorite reading chair, she sits on the end of the couch, a mere three feet away, with said dangler hanging out of her mouth—staring at me.

I find it very hard to enjoy reading, even a really good book, with a cat staring at me.

She doesn’t blink.

Been awhile ..


It’s been about three years since I last posted on this blog. It’s been a little over two years since my mom died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Just did’t feel like talking.

A new family member …

IMG_0738

Katie is a little over one year old, has yellow and white fur, and is smarter than I am (not much of a stretch really). She was a pound kitty and practically feral when I got her and I spent the first few months trying to entice her off a dining room chair. Now, she’s so lovey-dovey she’ll even sit in my lap and let me pet her—for about a minute.

She’s worse than a dog about following me around the house, however, and is very vocal when she thinks it’s time to refill her kibble bowl or clean her box. She really hates a messy litter box and since I hate cleaning it, she’s becoming something of a nag. Cute, but a nag nonetheless. She likes a lot of attention so I’m thinking about getting a puppy to keep her occupied so I can read, or nap, uninterrupted.

We’ll see how it goes.

A new house …

I moved to a new house a little over a year ago. I’d been at the condo/townhouse for about 15 years and wanted to have a yard again. Not sure why that was so important to me since I don’t like mowing and am not particularly fond of weeding either, but I do like looking out the window and seeing grass and trees instead of a parking lot or a swimming pool full of screaming kids.

And, I really was getting awfully fed up with the HOA police patrol always finding fault with my patio or fence or carport. I mean did those folks have nothing better to do than walk around the complex to see who’d sat a pot of flowers on their carport?

A new gig …

I recently retired and now have time to think about stuff and can get back to blogging. Well, it’s either that or cleaning house. I hate cleaning house. It’s right up there with going to the dentist or waiting for car repairs.

See, I’m getting back into the swing of this already.