Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Mountain Man is Gone...

My Mountain Man [Before]...

is gone [After].

{Both pictures taken on December 30, 2014}

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More Five Minutes

I am feeling sad and melancholic. I thought I would share a few more Five Minutes stuff I have written. Within most of these five minute writings, I included prompts and notes as it is my usual habit. And, some five minutes were used to save thoughts (quotes) that came to me in a spur of the moment. And, as always, please do not judge as these were five minute journal writings.

The following was written on August 22, 2014.

Evil comes from within.

{I was reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire when two main characters, Elphaba and Galinda, was having a discussion about evil. Galinda asked “where is evil located?” As soon as I read this, the above thought (quote) crossed my mind.}

Evil is simply the absence of good just like darkness is simply the absence of light. You have to nurture light in order to keep the darkness at bay. Evil flourishes if one denies(, ignores, or rejects) goodness.

I believe that those who commits atrocities desire or lust after evil be it rape, incest, murder, etc., and etc. Some have hidden behind religions to give legitimacy to their evil ways. The world has gone mad and the good people allowed it to flourish in the name of political correctness. It is so sad.

The below was writing on August 26, 2014.

Note: To read more about Doctor Who, go here.

[inside a dilapidated house]

Kathy Nightingale: What did you come here for anyway?
Sally Sparrow: I love old things. They make me feel sad.
Kathy Nightingale: What's good about sad?
Sally Sparrow: It's happy for deep people.

One of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who TV series is “Blink”. I could watch this episode over and over again. “Beware the weeping angels.” In fact, I have not yet deleted this episode from the DVR. There are so many quotes that have become famous; but, the above is by far my favorite and not quite so famous.

I think the reason is due to the fact that I can identify with what Sally said. Yes, old things make me feel sad. I often wonder about the people, the history, etc., and etc. behind old things. At the same time, it makes me happy to roam among them.

I would rather go to a junk (antique) shop than to a restaurant for dinner. I would rather attend a genuine flea market over getting a bouquet of roses (cut flowers). I would rather go to garage sales in hopes of landing a cool old item than receive diamonds. I would rather receive small meaningful gifts over expensive thoughtless items. This is who I am. This is the way to my heart.

{Yes, I am weird. I am not your typical woman.)

The following is a brief incomplete poetry (ditty) I wrote on September 2, 2014.

Every day is cloudy.

Every day I pray for rain.

Every day laughs in my face.

Every day I seek to remain sane.

Do not ask me why I wrote this. For the life of me, I cannot remember the details and sad to say, I did not include any prompts or notes like I did with most of my other five minute writings.

The following was written on September 3, 2014.

Rain causes lethargic spiders to dance.

This thought came to me while watching my Garden Spider in the rain. She drank some of the water and then dropped straight down a ways. She was very active –all over her web and beyond. I noticed this same behavior among other garden spiders nearby. (There are three others beside Charlotte, the one I am observing.) This was the first time it rained in over six weeks and it was not enough to soak the earth.

The below was written on September 11, 2014.

The written word is so inaccurate. I meant what you said pretty much.
~written to me by someone I know.

Who is behind the written word? Why is it inaccurate? Is it because you did not take the time to write what you really meant? Or, were you not careful enough with your grammar? Why do people assume that others will understand what you said with so few (careless) written words? We cannot read your mind!

Words, be it written or verbal, are powerful whether one realizes it or not. If one cannot be responsible and sensitive enough to take the time to write what he/she really thinks (means), then please, please do not bother to try.

I am now going off on a tangent that is related and yet not related to what I wrote above. I think I am going into a full on rant. And, thank God, no one can stop me because this is My. Personal. Space.

Why do people wish to pass the blame?

Why do people shrug off their careless words?

Why do people refuse to acknowledge or validate others for their own thoughts and feelings?

Why are people NOT listening? And, taking other people seriously?

I could go on and on with the questions that have no absolute answers.

Could it be people truly just do not care?

Could it be people are so self-centered that they cannot see others are in pain?

I think, maybe, just maybe, the true answer is:

No one wants to acknowledge the dragons in the room.

Note: “Here be Dragons” is a famous phrase often used on maps. It basically means dangerous or unexplored territories. The “dragons in the room” is my reference to topics no one wants to talk about and/or considers embarrassing or dangerous (either to them or others).

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Word Games {in Journaling}

Sometimes I do silly things when I try to get myself to write.

For example, on this day (December 19), all I could write was the word “blank” because I was feeling blank. And, I sat there for a while. I then started playing with that one word changing, removing or adding a letter. I then started writing with a 1-3-5 syllable sentence scheme. I think you will understand once you see it below. And no, this is NOT poetry. It’s just a game I created on the spur of the moment to write some utter nonsense and get my creative juices flowing.

Now please, do not judge me. This is just part of my writing (or journal if you prefer). It’s not meant to be perfect and there will be spelling and grammar mistakes (intentional or not). I do a little editing here and there; but, for the most part, it is an unedited raw form.

I was just having some fun. And, I think I succeeded. At least, I wrote something and had fun at the same time. And, honestly, I thought some of you might enjoy reading this. It first starts out a little serious and structured and then becomes downright silly. There is even one place where it should be two sentences; but, I didn't include a period. So, it is a conundrum. What am I really saying? Also, you might actually be surprised or shocked by the ending.


is this sheet,

the opposite of


Not a mark

on which I feel the



forever my friend,


Why is this?

Constantly I must


In my soul

darkness comes like an


Sorrow rolls,



Why must I

endure and fail to


it’s futile.

From within my soul


I’ve become

unseen and actions


I must stop

the disappearing


the Silence.

My presence becomes



became I without



Friday, December 19, 2014

Camera (Picture) Dump I

I was shocked with the number of pictures on my phone and the oldest was taken back in July 2013! Crazy! FYI: I communicate a lot with Dan via text while he’s at work. If something unusual happens, I have to take a picture and send it to him!

I decided to upload the pictures to my computer, go through them all, and pick the best ones to dump on my blog for posterity sake and then delete all of them. Here are the first fifteen that I kept which are heavy on cats!

Abby Gail, a little over 3 months old, July 7, 2013

Abby Gail, almost 4 months old, July 25, 2013

Abby Gail, a little over 4 months old, August 8, 2013

Gracie, a rare occasion of sleeping on me, September 17, 2013

Abby Gail and Chessie, A rare time of being together, September 20, 2013

Abby Gail, a little over six months old, November 9, 2013

She is on Dan’s legs with one of my legs on Dan. She was playing with a shoestring which is why she looked wired and crazy. Dan actually took this picture and I made him send a copy to me.

Abby Gail and Gracie, an rare occasion of them sleeping together, November 22, 2013

Moi, with a scarey situation of Abby Gail and Gracie resting together,

November 26, 2013

What the heck was I doing here? But, I liked the picture. It’s creepy in a happy sort of way. Ha!

December 1, 2013

Moi with Abby Gail, over seven months old, December 22, 2013

Abby slowly slipped into my arm and was contentedly playing with her tail.

Kitchen Light! Dan made this to replace the old ugly odd sized framing around the light, December 30, 2013

Gracie and Chessie, a rare occasion, January 6, 2014

Gracie and Chessie, another viewpoint of a rare occasion, January 6, 2013

Gracie and Abby Gail, a rare occasion, January 24, 2014

Chessie, Gracie, Abby Gail, an extremely rare occasion of all three dining together, March 1, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On {New} Eyeglasses and Selfies

While shopping for eyeglasses, I got the bright idea of using Dan’s phone (because I accidentally left mine at home) to take pictures of me with the new glasses because I am BLIND as a bat and could not see squat. I needed to decide between two of them.

Number 1.

By th way, Who is that woman?!?!? She seems so serious.

Smile lady, smile!

My first tip would be to smile.

Number 2. Ugh again!

I’m not a fan of this lady!

She takes some horrid selfies.

So, which pair do you think I choose? Which pair do you like the most?

By the way, I think I am referring to me in third person because I am denying she is me! Ha!

Well, back to the subject of selfies … My other tip would to take one with a person, animal or object to get the focus off of yourself. Ha!

At least, the woman smiled this time. She is actually happy and talking to Abby Gail. I really like the hazy effect on the lady. And yes, I am still denying she is me. Ha!

By the way, when I took this picture, Abby Gail got up on me while I was sitting on a chair outdoors which is a rare thing for her to do. I sent it to Dan because I liked it very much.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Note from Chessie

Hi everyone. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Chessie. I'm a Maine Coon and I'm about 17 1/2 years old (that's about 90 in human years).

And this is the day I died.

Perhaps I should back up a little...

A little over a year ago, I got a nasty sticker burr caught in my mouth. Dan quickly removed it, but over the next several months, the scar tissue that formed over it went a little crazy and I ended up with a big ol' fat lip. This past summer the vet removed as much of the scar tissue as possible and had it sent off for a biopsy.

The biopsy results were not good... It was a fibrosarcoma – a form of cancer; and the cancer had spread into the lymph node under my jaw. For those of you who are not Vets-in-training, lymph nodes are an important part of my immune system. With the cancer in my lymphatic system, I would have a very hard time fighting off diseases and infections.

After the surgery, life was good for a the rest of the summer – well, as good as it gets for an old cat like me. I was sore for a little while, but that thing was out of my mouth and I wasn't drooling like some DOG! (so undignified for a cat).

Then it started coming back – with a vengeance.

Most of the teeth on that side of my mouth were completely surrounded by the cancer and it was eating away my teeth and jaw bone. It was painful to the touch and would bleed at times. Eating became difficult and painful. I was constantly hungry and still kept losing weight. Healthy female Maine Coon females usually weigh around 14 pounds; I was just under 9 lbs. I was wasting away. I was basically feeding the cancer.

One last trip to the vet confirmed what we all suspected... there was very little that could be done to stop the cancer. It was time for me to go... before I really started suffering. I've lived a long and wonderful life for a cat (how many of you will live to be 90 years old?). I was ready.

Which brings me to today – the day I died; a cold and blustery day, which somehow seemed appropriate.

My last day started with a wonderful breakfast of chicken and salmon.

When it warmed up a little, we went outside to enjoy what little sunshine there was. I did one last inspection of the garage; I don't think Dan is ever going to get that car running again!

Then I made my way to my favorite sunning spot on the front porch...

and contemplated life, the universe and everything.

Later, I had a mid-morning snack of American cheese (I love cheese).

Then some fresh ham for lunch. Did I mention that I'm constantly hungry?

After lunch, I took one last nap in my favorite napping spot.

It was the longest, most peaceful nap I've had in a long time.

Finally, it was time and we headed to the vet. While waiting for the vet, Lee Ann held me and bid me a very emotional goodbye.

Then, as I looked at Dan's furry face for the last time, everything faded away; no more pain.... no more hunger..... and, no more drooling like a stupid dog :-)

Soon will I rest,... forever sleep. Earned it I have... Twilight is upon me, and soon, night must fall... That is the way of things.

– inspired by this blog.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Feline Friday: Gopher Hunting - Part III

As soon as I took this last picture of Gracie in my last Feline Friday's post, Abby Gail took over the hunting and I put my camera down. I had taken many pictures of her gopher hunting - It was the same ol’ same ol’ stuff.

At one point, Dan (and I) decided to bury the hole since there was too much activity by the gopher. We then went about our business and I kept an eye on Abby. She soon went back to that spot and started acting like a terrier digging uncovering the hole. There is not much I/we can do except let her be a cat.

Unphotographable Moments #10

This is a picture I did not take of Abby Gail (flying backwards) spread eagle in the air about three feet of the ground with a tiny creature simultaneously appearing inches away from its hole in the ground.

~ November 8, 2014 ~

When I witnessed this, I immediately screamed and panicked. After Abby Gail landed, her whole being screamed “what do I do with it now?” She cautiously approached the tiny creature, bopped the gopher on the head and immediately hopped backwards because the gopher snapped back.

By this time, Dan had reached Abby and grabbed her leash. He held Abby in check and examined the gopher from a short distance. He informed me (via sign language) that the gopher had bloody gashes on his (or her) hind leg. He also told me to grab my camera.

I was able to quickly snap a few pictures in spite of my concern and nervousness. It looked like the gopher was not seriously harmed. Dan eventually guided it back to its hole that it came out of with a long piece of wood. At first, the gopher fought back; but, once he (she) reached the hole from whence it came, it perked up and scampered back into the ground. The gopher should survive as long as his (her) wounds doesn’t get infected.

When Dan saw the pictures I took (which are shown below), he said they were awesome. That made me feel good because most of the time, I feel like I am shooting and getting squat. I have to say that when I opened up the pictures to view, I thought they were rather good too. This is a rare thing for me to feel these days about my pictures.

{To see a larger image, go here.}

{To see a larger image, go here.}

I know we probably should have killed the gopher; but, I have such a tender heart and do not believe in killing critters unnecessarily even if they are a nuisance in the landscape. I do see cats -- strays, ferals, and the ones belonging to Gardener – hunting off our land from time to time. I have to confess that I secretly hope they find and kill a gopher or two. After all, some of these cats eat only things they are able to catch.

Anyway, Abby was so pleased with herself. She was also so exhausted that she slept like the dead for hours once we went back indoors.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

November Recap

  • Savings

    Previous Balance 1972.00
    Week 40 (11/03)
    Week 41 (11/10)
    Week 42 (11/17)
    Week 43 (11/24)

  • Book Finishes
    • #22: The Lion, The Witch an the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

      This book is part of a series of books called The Chronicles of Narnia. And, I currently have an unabridged version of all seven books in one volume and the books are presented in the author’s preferred reading order.

      I read this particular book in childhood and loved reading it again. It is fiction. It is fantasy. It is written for children; but, adults would enjoy reading it too. None of the storylines and/or characters is supposed to ring true (to Christianity). The similarities are awesome. But, they are just biblical allusions not strong allegories. I wish people would stick to what it is: fiction and fantasy. But no, they have to nitpick details and whatnot, and by doing so, they destroy a beautiful story for themselves. This book makes for an excellent read for both children and adults.

    • #25: Blood Magick by Nora Roberts.

      These books are all romantic fantasies. It deals with subject matter that may be offensive to some (witches and magic); but, I treat it for what it is, fantasy and fiction. It is not real. And, it is not supposed to be treated as such. As long as one remains grounded in their personal beliefs, one will not be drawn astray by reading books like these.

      Anyway, I have read a few of Nora Roberts’ books eons ago. Nora Roberts has a way of writing that just draws you into the story, the landscapes, the characters and more. You can get lost in her books. I must confess that I just skimmed over the sex scenes in these books. She has a way of being very graphic without being overly pornographic. However, I avoid them because why get your heart and mind in a tangle wishing for things you do not have? It is the storylines and the characters that I am more interested in.

      Each book concentrates on one character (or two) and usually, the main characters of each book all have a connection to one another. But, I have to say that this series is just a retread of many of her prior books and I have to wonder why the rip-off? Is she losing her ground? Running out of ideas? Plot lines? My initial thought is that these were her earlier writings that did not make print and is now only being printed in spite of some issues. Who knows what the real reason is; but, I think it might have been a mistake to get these books to print because they will drive some of her hardcore fans away.

      My favorite series by Nora Roberts is the Key trilogy. I also loved her Born In trilogy. Even after reading these latest books, The Key trilogy is still my favorite series. And, I am saddened that some of the characters seemed to be ripped off from her earlier books I have read. Nonetheless, these are still good reads; and at times, the characters made me laugh. At the very least, the books are quick reads when in need of a quick read!

    • #26: The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis.

      This book is part of a series of books called The Chronicles of Narnia. And, I currently have an unabridged version of all seven books in one volume and the books are presented in the author’s preferred reading order.

      I believe this is the first time I have read this book and I enjoyed it immensely. It follows two desperate runaways. It is an excellent read for both kids and adults alike except for those who like to nitpick everything including the fact the storyline touches upon slavery (which is still a reality in many countries today) and possibly racist overtones. Yes, I have read a few reviews on this book. Face it, if I entered a country like Japan, China, or any one country in the Middle East, I would stand out in both skin color, how I dress and even in cultural nuances. How can I NOT notice (and feel) the difference? It is a fact of life that these things exist. We are so fortunate to live in a melting pot that differences are less noticeable. Anyway, I don’t believe the book is racist. However, many consider it to be which I will never understand.

    • #27: A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen.

      I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a better book than Jackson Galaxy’s memoire which does not explain how his cat saved his life nor does it talk about the cat much. It was all about him (the author).

      A Street Cat Named Bob is a much better book and it was not just about the author; but, the cat too. Street cats can save your life. I should know. My first cat came off the streets. I will never ever forget our first meeting after I prayed to God for a friend. And, that cat chose to stay with us in spite of the fact there were four of us (kids).

      Anyway, Bob is a very likeable and sociable cat and the author was more or less homeless and struggling to come off addiction. It is honest and not forced even though it may not be well written. It is straight from the heart unlike Galaxy’s memoire which I struggled to read through. And oh, Bob (the cat) doesn’t die! There is a sequel which is a continuing story of these two and I have it on my wish list.

  • Projects
    • My Room

      Slow and steady wins the race. The fabric built-in units are coming along fabulously! I can now finally see the end in sight.

    • Laundry Room

      I cannot remember why we started the laundry room. I do know that we were at a standstill and Dan was bored. So, we started ripping out the shelving to paint the laundry room. I was amazed and thrilled that the paint I had chosen matched one of the colors of the apron I used as the inspiration for the kitchen. Anyway, the laundry room is now painted. We are waiting for a good day to spray paint the cabinets that I bought from Habitat from Humanity restore and then hang them up in there with some new shelving. It is going to be fabulous when it is done.

  • Other
    • Thanksgiving

      We spent a little time with one of my brother’s family over the holiday and had a very good visit. We even played Mario Party (a video game) and that was a blast. And, lots of cribbage games in which I was beaten soundly.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Feline Friday: Gopher Hunting - Part II

It is not very often I catch Gracie gopher hunting. But, on November 8, 2014, I looked up to check up on her and spied her very interested in a small gopher hill. Fortunately for her, Abby was not around close by to disturb her for awhile. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few pictures.

Such intensity in her face!


Let me see if going around the hole will help…

Oh yes, movement…



Why can’t I get him (her)?


Oh man, so close…