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. )


  1. that kitten is too too cute!
    Peaches'n Cream!

    I thought Blaine was naming her???? You won heh?

    just adorable, we saw a bunch of kittens on a farm today and it took ALL my resolve not to take one! My old kitty at home needs to live out her her days in peace.

    very, very sweet

  2. Hi Robin! Blaine just literally couldn't summon up a name. He said he'd let me name her because of that. So I gave him a bunch of choices and he liked the "Peaches & Cream" so we settled on that one!