Friday, August 31, 2012

Man wonders--- but God decides--- when to kill the Prince of Tides. (Pat Conroy, "The Prince of Tides")

You'll have to excuse me today as I'm somewhat blue.  It's raining---the northwest side of Hurricane Isaac---and although I dearly love the rain, it kind of reinforces my melancholy mood.  Those of you who know me know that I never know why I'm blue---it's just part of being bipolar.  (And you also know that when I get blue and melancholy I start quoting Pat Conroy right and left...sigh...)

Every few minutes I gaze out the glass doors to view my garden.....and the rain makes it look like it's melting.  Now I understand those puzzling lyrics in the song "MacArthur Park": "Someone left the cake out in the rain...."

(You can click on pics to enlarge them.)

But, anyway, let me tell you about the wondrous day when we went to get our new Ragdoll kitten, who I named "Peaches & Cream".

We left early in the morning and drove the two hours to Amish country.  And I've got to tell you, I grew up overseas and lived with and learned about many other cultures.  I loved and appreciated all of them.  But the Amish world, in my own country, is a complete mystery to me.

But I did get to see a little piece of it last weekend.

As we got closer to the teensy Amish town, we began seeing bits and pieces of the Amish culture.

(Sorry that picture is blurred.)  The women dress modestly, with bonnets on their hair, and the men all wear pants held up with suspenders instead of belts.  And the men have beards and wear hats that are kind of similar to the hat that Indiana Jones wears.  Here's a nice link to read more detailed information on the Amish: .

Although I know that it's tacky and touristy to take pictures of these private people, I will admit to you that I just couldn't help it.  I know, I know---I shouldn't have.  But I did.  (Forgive me, Lord.)

We were feeling a lot of anticipation because we knew that to get the kitten we would be able to see an Amish home from the inside.  And we were imagining all sorts of things.  We pictured a large home with a big barn, horses, cattle, and animals in the barn.

And guess what?

That's exactly how it was!!!

We drove up the dirt driveway and the Amish woman was waiting for us.  We could see her husband working in a horses' round pen.  He had horses to pull their mode of transportation, a black carriage.  In fact, when we drove through town we saw many black carriages.

We arrived at the parking area and got out of the car.  The Amish man nodded his head at us and said:  "Good day".  We replied in kind.  And that was the only conversation we had with him.  He kept working in his two barns and with his horses for the duration of our visit.  I deduced that he was a pragmatic man who was proper, but tended only to his work if there was no reason for him to be social.  And there really was no reason for him to be involved in his wife's work of breeding Ragdoll cats, Persian cats, and Labrador Retriever dogs.  She probably did it for "egg money", if you know what I mean.

(Seeing that farm, with all its cattle, horses, chickens and what-not, I'm sure she probably actually gets "real" egg money too...)

Anyhoo, she was very nice and talkative.  I gave her three washcloths which I had knitted for her and had tied up together with pretty yarn.

And there.....there was our kitten, frolicking on the fireplace hearth.

Now I didn't take a picture there so this is a pic of Peaches & Cream in our place.  And she wouldn't stay still so I kind of had to hold her in one of the pics for you to see her face:


(Please excuse the mess in the background but we're redecorating every single room.  We still have the old furniture in there with some of the new furniture.  And we're also painting the entire interior of the house in dark taupe with white ceilings.  The stupid place looks like a bomb went off in there....)

Anyway, Peaches & Cream is officially colored and patterned as a "Seal Point Bi-Color" Ragdoll kitten.  And the literature says that her full coloring may not develop until she's 2 or 3 years old.  That's fine with me---I wouldn't care if she was pink with purple polka dots.

After we left the Amish couple's home, with poor little Peaches & Cream in a cat carrier (meowing her little head off), I told Blaine that I HAD TO HAVE a souvenir.  So we went to one of the furniture shops.  They seemed to have several furniture shops with mostly gorgeous and well-made oak and cedar furniture, but none of the shops had much in the way of small souvenirs.  I did manage to find a small pine trinket box with an Amish carriage and horse painted on the top and also a large, more complicated pine box with handles to lift open its lid.  I was happy with these souvenirs.

Since I'm on a strict diet, we avoided the scrumptious looking shops which sold breads, candy, jams, jellies, and local honey.  (But don't think I didn't look longingly at their signs.....)

We ambled along, in no hurry to leave the area, sorry that our visit had been so short.

I would have loved to learn more about the Amish people, though.

I envy their orderly ways.  Everybody knows their place and what is expected of them.  They are taught what to do from a young age.  Courtship and marriage is somewhat a formal, proper affair. And sin is frowned upon.  If a family has needs or is in the midst of problems, the entire community helps them.  There is generally no drama, no crime, and no mean or cruel behaviors.

Shortly after we got home, the Amish lady sent us the pedigree and registration papers for Peaches & Cream, listing her sire and dam and other information.  She included a wonderfully pleasant letter, written in in a truly cheerful, polite Amish way:

"Dear Friends:
     Greetings of love!  Another beautiful morning!  I got the papers on Monday.  Didn't get them sent out yesterday as we went to a funeral out-of-state.  It was my sister's mother-in-law.  Age 94 so it was a blessing she could go.  She'd been on a wheelchair the last 5 years or so.  They took good care of her.
     1st shot Fel-o-vac (3 way) and wormed on 8-10-12.  Wormed again the week of the 25th with Protal.  
     Hope you all are doing fine.  Thanks for the dish rags too that you made.  Almost too pretty to use.
     Thanks again,


Goodbye little Amish town....

I will miss you.
I blaze with a deep southern magic, 
the bombardiers taxi at noon.....
(Pat Conroy)

(I'll tell you what the bombardiers do another day. )

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 the cops!


I've been kidnapped by a couple of non-Amish people and we're headed to the Land of Oz!!!

And they put me in JAIL!!!!!

To be continued......

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yay! We Got The Call!!!

We got the call!  The pedigreed Ragdoll kitten that we put a deposit on is finally ready for us to go get!  The breeders are an Amish couple in the largest Amish community in Kansas and Missouri.  It's hours away from us.  We are so exited to get this kitten, but we're also excited to view another culture and their community!

Blaine has claimed the rights to name this kitten and he says he won't know what to name her "until he sees her"....sigh....I suggested Gwendolyn, Little Layla, Princess Rags, Vanilla Puddin', Little Babycakes, etc.  But he just gets bristly as a porcupine and says: "I am the one naming this kitten so quit suggesting names.  I'm leaning towards Precious because she costs so damn much."

Well, so I've been silenced!

But whatever her name will be, this means I will be raising two kittens---Little Lu-Lu and the unnamed Ragdoll.  And the Ragdoll is much younger than Little Lu-Lu so she will take some extra help and protection until she can hold her own.  But our hope is that she will become a playmate for Little Lu-Lu since our 6 year old cat is too rough and doesn't like to be bothered by a frisky kitten.  

And we still don't know what, from the picture, the Ragdoll's coloring might be.  She has "points" on her tail and ears and some slight color on her face--- and a blaze across her back.  If any of you know Ragdolls and determining coloring, I would welcome any information.  (Please!)  But it doesn't really matter because we have wanted a Ragdoll for so long, and Blaine finally buckled down and paid the $1,000.  (Yikes!)

We're going to go get her on Saturday.  We will have to get up very early as we have to be at the Amish couple's house at 9am.  They said it was because of a "family gathering".  And they said it was "not possible" to conduct the buy on Sunday.  I don't really know why.  I didn't ask questions of anything because I felt it would be rude of me.  (Also, their answering machine says something about their business having something to do with "harnesses".  So I'm hoping to see some horses.)

Anyhoo, if anybody knows about Ragdoll coloring, would you please leave a comment or give me your email address?  My email address is on the right sidebar.  Thank you!  Also, I'm going to be at the mental health center today until 3:30pm so I won't be able to read my emails till then.

(Will keep you all posted about the kitty.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Okay, I'm just going to say it.......

Like many of you know, I am mainly a middle-of-the-road person politically, with leanings towards the Republicans.  I say this as I duck for cover since Republicans seem to be in the unpopular minority these days.  (Give me a break---I can't help it---I grew up in politics and most of my friends and relatives are Republicans.)

And also, I am a born-again Christian.

Okay.  So, lately the Republicans seem to be getting themselves into one scandal after another.  First, Aken makes himself an utter and complete fool with his remarks about rape.  (Link here.)  Lord have mercy but when I heard him say what he said I almost fainted in disbelief.

How could anybody be so dang STUPID????

And then, if that wasn't enough for the gleeful Democrats to enjoy, that idiot Yoder goes and swims in the Sea of Galilee STARK NEKKID!!!  (Link here.)  I mean, that in itself is a scandal for American politics and dignity-- Republicans especially.

But I'm angry at him for another, more important reason.

The Sea of Galilee just happens to be the sea where JESUS WALKED ON WATER!!!!  (Link here.)  And idiotic Yoder goes and defiles it by skinny-dipping in it like it was just an unknown backwoods pond.  What in the hell was he thinking???    I mean, the Sea of Galilee for God's sakes!!!

Okay, let the tomato-throwing begin.  I'm an easy target this morning because I did not sleep well last night and the cats walked back and forth over me like I was a throw-rug.....

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Everyone's Asking About the Progress of Our New Addition to the Household, My Precious Kitten "Little Lu-Lu"....

Need I say more?

(She's still up to her old tricks---obsessed with my yarn.  Nothing like knitting with yarn soaked in cat spit.....)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

This Wouldn't Have Happened if Blaine Had Listened to Me About the Emergency Room....

(Okay, I must warn you that this post contains adult content.   Viewer discretion is advised as it may not be suitable for all audiences.)


(Don't worry, there will be no pictures.)

Okay, one morning we woke up to a nice little sprinkling of rain which made my deck garden's multiple types of flowers glitter like jewels. And, as I always do, I opened the drapes all the way across the sliding glass doors so that the entire  deck was visible, making that entire wall a beautiful "picture" of my magnificent deck garden.  I enjoy looking at it all day long. (Can you tell I'm proud of it?)  That day I was looking forward to planting some pretty coleus cuttings I had rooted in water and also deadheading my petunias.

Anyway, Blaine appeared to be piddling around and looking out of sorts.  And he was also frantically scratching his knees, thighs, and private area.  So finally I asked him "What in the heck is the matter with you? Why aren't you reading your newspaper?"

After hemming and hawing for a few minutes, he revealed his problem.  He was totally embarassed about telling me but he finally said that he was a victim of quite a nice case of chigger bites!  He showed me---and Lord, they were all over him, from his knees up to his waist. After thinking a minute, we deduced that he had caught them because he always wears shorts outside while bending over and standing up and down in the grass while watering his tomato garden.

So, he had flaming red bumps from the waist down , the itching of which was driving him crazy. I had to call a local pharmacist because he adamently refused my advice to go to the Emergency Room.  I asked the pharmacist if there was anything over the counter for chigger bites. She said yes, you can use an ointment called "Chigarid" to swab onto each bite. You don't need a prescription for it but it's not on the shelves---you have to ask for it because it's behind the pharmacy counter.

I don't understand that. I mean, I can understand why they keep products containing pseudophed and other products behind the pharmacist's counter because they are ingredients used in the manufacturing of "crack".  But Chigarid? Is there some sort of drug culture that uses Chigarid to get high?  Are there Chigarid junkies?  For God's sakes, it comes in a tiny little bottle and smells like a cross between Vicks Vapo-Rub and Ben-Gay. And I can guarantee you that a little tub of Vicks Vapo-Rub (or a tube of Ben-Gay) is a hell of a lot cheaper than the tiny little bottle of Chigarid.  I guess it takes all kinds in this world...

Where was I?

Oh yes, Blaine's chigger bites.

Anyway, down to the drugstore I went and bought the Chigarid. I came home, read the directions, and told Blaine to disrobe below the waist.  He pulled his pants down to his ankles and stood in front of me as I sat on a dining room chair to get the best angle.

I did the back first.  I took the Chigarid bottle and used the little wand that comes with it to swab all the chigger bites on the back of his knees and thighs---and also up to his butt cheeks.  Then he had to manually hold his butt cheeks up so that I could get to the chigger bites that were under there.

"Man, that stuff stings!" he complained, dancing around like a marionnette with his hands holding his butt cheeks aloft.

"Stand still you idgit!" I exclaimed.  "Now I've got to do the front!"

So he turned around so that I could do the front, and I commenced to swab more of the vivid red bites with the Chigarid ointment.  I swabbed bites all up his inner thighs.  I even told him pull his bits up so that I could get the Chigarid to those areas.  And I even had to swab on his private area.

"Okay, you're all done for now", I told him.  "You can pull up your pants now.  We can do another dose later in the day."

He pulled up his pants and I stood up to go get a cup of coffee..... and it was then that I noticed.

Oh.  My.  God.

I was utterly mortified to realize that everything we had been doing was a few feet away from the sliding glass doors, in FULL VIEW of at least three houses' windows whose back yards back up to our back  yard.....

God knows that if anybody was looking they were probably aghast, thinking they had just witnessed some weird or perverted sexual act.

("Oh please baby... put some Chigarid on me.....yeah baby, that's the way....put some more on....oh, that's so good baby.....")

Thursday, August 9, 2012


There will be another song for me
For I will sing it
There will be another dream for me
Someone will bring it

("MacArthur Park", Richard Harris)

Well, I came downstairs this morning and welcomed the day with a nice cup of coffee with vanilla creamer in it. I was feeling a little better about things. So I took my coffee to my knitting chair with the intention of working on a crazy pair of psychedelic socks I'm knitting. I knit my socks simultaneously so that they are finished together and I can avoid "Second Sock Syndrome".

Anyway, I sat down to my enjoyable task. I opened the vinyl Namaste knitting bag the socks were in to retrieve both of them. I had cut their yarns into long tails in order to add new colors to each.  But I couldn't find one of the socks......

After quickly scanning around my knitting area to see if I misplaced it I panicked. Where was that stupid sock? I must have searched the area's every inch, high and low, muttering to myself things like "where in the hell is that damn sock?" or "when I find that sock I'm going to punish it by frogging it within an inch of its life...."

I looked all around my knitting chair and thoroughly through the things on my knitting side table. And I also looked thoroughly through the mass of knitting things underneath the table. I even lifted my heavy knitting chair to see it was under there! I was asking myself over and over: WHAT in the hell had happened to that sock?

And then I saw it.......


That little snip had stolen my sock! And it was a good sock because it was the first time I had ever successfully knitted a toe-up sock (I had only recently learned the technique).  And I asked myself HOW in the HECK had she gotten inside the Namaste bag?

I tried to catch her but she was too fast for me.

Since I always talk to her in "baby talk", I found myself talking ridiculously to her in baby talk--- even though she was in trouble and I was totally ANGRY with her!!!

"Now give the sockee to Mommy, Little LuLu!"

And then.....

" Dammit!  Give the damn sock to her or she will 'pank you....."

But the baby talk didn't work. And she wasn't afraid of being 'panked.  And she wasn't going to give up that sock.

She even showed off her "Dancing Tyrannosaurus Rex" skills---a thing that used to crack me up but was irking me no end at this particular moment...

Well.....shit fire and save matches, dammit.

I'm going to have to knit another sock. Because even if I got this sock back it would be saturated with cat spit and the yarn totally tangled up....


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

As I Go On.....

After Little Baby's death Blaine got tired of me crying every day. And the spark has left me. I don't feel like I'm Bo anymore. I am walking around like a zombie, the memory of her dying in my arms always in the back of my head. And I also keep remembering the day I rescued her from the bush in the ghetto street. So I threw myself into gardening, knitting and crocheting, and other things. But I do these things with dead emotions and sadness. I listen to melancholy music a lot. And those who know me well know that I especially listen to my song, "Galveston", and dream about its beaches.

Anyway, Blaine understands, but he also understands that I get lonely at home during the days. Leonard, the older cat, goes upstairs all day. He's Blaine's cat and has nothing much to do with me. I needed company for me.

So Blaine went to PetSmart where the Humane Society displays rescued animals and bought me a tiny little black kitten I immediately named Little Lu-Lu. I am developing a special relationship with her---she is my lap kitty--- and I am so grateful to have a little friend as I mourn Little Baby. Here's a pic of Little LuLu watching me work in my container garden on the deck. (All pics can be made larger by clicking on them.)

We have also put a deposit on a pedigreed Ragdoll kitten from an Amish couple who live a couple hours north from us in Amish country. We will get her when she's between 6 and 8 weeks. We want Little Lu-Lu to have a playmate to grow up with. I don't know why Blaine wanted buy an expensive pedigreed cat but he got a bee in his bonnet about Ragdolls. I have no idea what to expect from the kitten. But I will love her just as much as I love Little Lu-Lu. I'll keep y'all posted.

Also, I have turned into a total gardener. My deck garden is pretty nice---but it sure takes a lot of work. Most days you can find me out there in the early mornings watering---which is essential in the drought we're in---and in the evenings deadheading the petunias. Or I'm preventing coleus from flowering or other plant maintenance. I've got all kinds of plants, even a banana tree. My mother actually came up from Texas to help me get this garden started. She bought the fountain for it and the birdbath---you can click on the pic to see the details. (And my mother says she's coming in the fall to turn it into a pansy and snapdragon garden.....oh, help me Lord.....because we all know shall I say it...."eccentric" my artist mother is.....)

(You can click on the pics to enlarge them.)

My garden was shown on TV which was my fifteen minutes of fame. I laughed my head off that somebody thought something I did was worthy of TV. (But secretly I was proud.....I'm only human afterall....)

Other than gardening, I have been knitting. We're redecorating. The house will be painted taupe with white ceilings. The kitchen has a new stainless steel refrigerator, range, and dishwasher. There will be red accents. I have SUPER plans for the window treatments. So I've been knitting some dishcloths to hopefully match.

Speaking of knitting, Lu-Lu is driving me crazy trying to get at my yarn. I've really had to work hard to train her to LEAVE IT ALONE. So when she was sleeping in my lap I couldn't resist putting my yarn on her and taking a pic.

Also, Blaine is growing tomato plants. And yesterday I canned 10 pints of them. Will be gooooood chili tomatoes this winter.

Also, I crocheted a cardigan out of granny squares. I used various types of granny squares but mostly the "regular" ones. Then I put a different color in each round and lined the square in white. The collar area required triangular doo-hickeys and much cursing words. I used only open and closed "boxes" for the sleeves since I was stumped as to how to make granny squares shape into the type sleeves I wanted. It looks like the sleeves are too short but it's a drop sleeve cardigan and I pulled the sleeves down for the picture. Also, I put one row of "sparkle" or "metallic" yarn in at least one row of each granny square but it doesn't show up in the picture. In addition, I made my own buttons in my jewelry studio by baking some that were created in matching colors of polymer clay, then drilling the sewing holes. (You can't see the colors very well in the picture---but you can click on the pic to make it larger.)

Oh.....and please forgive me my vanity. But I was tired to death of putting on dadgum eyeliner. I absolutely HATE putting it on!!! I always get it globbed up on my skin or eyelashes. So, exasperated, and after much prodding from a cosmopolitan friend in Washington, D.C., I went to the plastic surgeon and had permanent eyeliner tatooed on my eyes. I had it done just like I've always worn it---black on top and blue on the bottom. And let me tell you, it hurt like hell....