Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Staying Warm and Toasty...

When I left the house this morning around 9:00 am, it was still below freezing. For the most part the roads were clear of ice but there were a few places still icy from run off water. Biltmore Village is a lot less crowded in January than in the summer, fall or Christmas seasons. The Corner Kitchen wasn't at all crowded. Since having the scrape in with the utility pole, I just pay the money to park and just like last month got my favorite spot. Went to my hair appointment and learned a lot about my hair as Christine instructed one of their employees in cutting hair on a head with a lot of cowlicks. I had no idea there were so many to deal with. Very informative. While at the salon, an announcement was made that Asheville Schools were being dismissed an hour early, so there was pandemonium and lots of texting going on to make plans for the retrieval of the kids. For a moment I contemplated going over to Origami Ink but took to heart the early dismissal factor and decided it would be best to head back toward home. That included a stop to pick up a prescription, get gasoline and make a winter storm warning stop at Dunkin Donuts. One needs something sweet in the time of ice and snow. The clerk was filling a box of a dozen donuts and turned to me when she was finished and said, these are for home. I told her the theory behind my crazy friend Debbie's plan for bad weather, donuts. I mean the parking lot of Ingles on New Leicester Highway was packed and a line of cars waiting to be granted access. Not a soul stirring at Dunkin.  Would you rather have bread and milk with a side of toilet paper or a donut....I think we all know the answer to that question. Made a quick stop at the Exxon station to fill up the truck and then headed home.

It was as if the Feral Fam was waiting on me to get home. When I went to the backyard to check their bowls, which were empty by the way. Mama cat came out of the tent of napping and sat there watching for the next move. So into the garage, got the food together and took care of the Feral Fam. That freed me up to go down to the road and pick up the garage can to bring it back up to the garage. Mama Cat must have felt that moisture in the air because she was a little impatient with her young uns. They ate and ran...so they must be tucked away in the hidey hole until the snow melts away. Just heard a weather report, we might get more snow than was forecast. Just looked at the radar and the snow is set to fall at any moment. Now that it is dark outside I will have to watch for snow falling in the silhouette from a street light. I'm thankful I don't have anywhere I have to be tomorrow. 

There was some movement outside and the kiddos were back for a late evening snack. I went out and added a few things as well as moved the bowls the steps of the deck. At least their little paws won't be right on top of the cold ground. It has started to snow small flakes so we will see what it looks like in the morning. This is the second time in the last few months that Texas and NC are having the same type weather.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Family Reunion

The last time I saw the Feral Fam was last Tuesday afternoon. Cali had let me get pretty close to her but scampered away with one more step toward her. She sat up on the rocks looking through the winter ravage shrubs and skinny young trees. After several days of not seeing the Fam, I felt sure they had been trapped and rescued or maybe Mama Cat had taken them up to the barn they call home when it gets really cold. Such hope every time I looked out the window to see the three kiddos bound out of the tall grass and come down the slope. No Fam up at the tent of meeting, they weren't under the deck and the squirrels returned without one hint of fear. I knew they were gone. With rain and snow during those days I sure hoped they were keeping warm and out of the weather. The Google helped with information and I resigned myself knowing I had been kind and done the best I could for them...if they had moved on, it is well. Of course there wasn't anyway I could think that something or someone had gotten to them.

Sunday afternoon it was time to gather everything for the trash bin and get it down to the road. There were a few disposable bowls that had held food for them on the table and those went into the trash bag. There was the food, thinking I would donate it to someone or an organization when out of the corner of my eye, there she was on the rock, looking into the window, Mama Cat. Hurriedly, I mixed up some food and got it out to her. She ate almost the whole bowl but no sign of the kiddos. About forty five minutes later she returned and finished up what was left. Seeing her was so hopeful but once again no kiddos. I was talking to Roy and telling him a nap was calling my name when I looked up and Mama Cat was scooting those babies of her down the slope and into the yard. I got into swift action to mix up some food for them cause that wee little bit of leftovers would not keep them occupied too long. So good to see them, so glad to know they are ok, although Mama Cat looks a little worse for the wear.

This morning the Feral Fam wasn't up and roaming around but by faith mixed up the food and took it outside and there they were coming out from underneath the deck and happy to have full tummy's in quick order. They had their 3:30 supper as well and hopefully they are tucked away, someplace warm and I will see them in the morning.

Buddy was excited to see the Fam once again. Last week she sat by the window looking for them. She can be sound asleep upstairs and hear a can of cat food being opened and she is in the kitchen in no time flat. She doesn't even like wet food. She has some new treats with different flavors she hasn't had in a while, so she is a happy Buddy.

With a chance of snow in the forecast we will see what happens and where they go, but for now the Feral Fam is back!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Remembrance and Sayings

She wouldn't be able to pick me out of a line up. She might have feigned remembrance of a Sunday Night Extra at Houston's First Baptist with her friend Marge Caldwell as they talked about friendship, more specifically theirs. Before they spoke, Peggy and I had the supreme delight of doing a parody of their friendship with some exaggerations, which is what parody is all about. But this wasn't the first time I met her in person. Years, many years before, my friend Mary Madeline took me to her weekly Bible study that met in a home in Tanglewood. An aside, the house where she taught belonged to my first tennis partner from The Met as I would discover when Cris and I became friends off and on the court. The particular study was out of the book of Exodus and Moses came alive to me through that study. She made him so human and made him so understandable, more than just a Bible character but so relate-able to a nineteen year old who had fallen in love with God's Word. She played the part of Corrie Ten Boom in the movie, The Hiding Place. I'm writing about Jeanette Clift George. Jeanette went to be with the Lord not too long ago and today in between mopping floors and vacuuming, I watched her recorded memorial service on Facebook. One of those services that truly spoke of Jeanette and who she was. She had the best laugh and whenever I heard her speak throughout the years, I looked forward to hearing that distinct and  rememberable laugh.  It was a delight to go to the crowded Grace Theater where the A D Players performed play after play with the result of happy moments and profound truths presented in a way that wasn't cheesy or smacked of coyness or cuteness or as Homer Simpson might call it, churchy la femme.  Like I wrote in the first sentence, she wouldn't have any reason to remember me but oh how thankful that I remember her and her love of studying the scripture...oh and the joy that seemed to ooze from her and everyone so wanted to be around her...I am so glad I had a seat in the production to her life. Like so many have said who were much closer to her and most probably like me, those of us who were in no way involved but for those few times...she changed my life.

Over the past few days I cannot tell you how many times I have looked out the back window hoping to see the Feral Fam coming into the clearing from the overgrown part of the gravel road.  I still hope but with an enormous sense of loss. Those cats brought such joy in their play, really their whole sense of living. I'm keeping the tent of meeting up and the picnic blanket in the yard just in case they return. You can tell Buddy misses them too. When the dogs next door begin barking, I look out back because many times the dogs announced the Feral Fam arrival.  What a b.eautiful picture it would be, it is dusk, with a few snowflakes gently falling to see those little cuties and Mama Cat. As it grows dark I will change my hope to a morning arrival.

Today I am doing those things that I have put off like mopping and polishing the hardwood floors downstairs and mopping the upstairs bathrooms. In between is laundry and putting things up from the Target trip yesterday.  One of the things I need to check on is if we have another set of flannel sheets for our bed. Right now we have a lovely set of flannel sheets with the decorative design of a brown bird on a blue limb. Doesn't that sound charming? There is a problem though, first Roy wants to put the bottom sheet on sideways...no, no, the birds go up and down not side to side. My problem is more in the blurriness of sleepy eyes. The brown birds kind of smudge together and can look like, oh like, maybe an accident by Buddy by mouth or by....uh, the other end. Remember I once thought the AC/heating vent was a bat...not baseball but belfry type bat. Then there is the time I awoke and thought the brown bird was blood from a nosebleed. And my favorite is when Buddy brushing her tail across my arm awoke me and the brown bird was mistaken for some kind of vermin and I lit out of that bed screaming, grabbing for my glasses and turning on the light, all at the same time. That twelve year old Buddy made moves like she was a kitten trying to get out of that bed and room with my banshee cries as background leaving music. Only I discovered once again, it was the brown bird on the blue limb. Ain't nothing charming in the middle of the night with these scenarios.

Without the Feral Fam the squirrels have returned to steal from and dominate the bird feeder. Only thing sometime yesterday, they broke the feeder. In my mind's eye I see myself telling the squirrels, you see this is why we can't have anything nice!" So I went outside trudging through the 1/8 of an inch snow, picked up the broken feeder and then returned with one of those squirrel resistant feeders that neither the birds nor the squirrels like. This made me think of those parent sayings we hear growing up that we never quite forget and probably never respected. My father was the parental saying parent and some of his most memorable sayings were, "my best is not good enough!" I remember a few times responding back, "well, I don't know about that, we've never seen your best." I had to be able to have a quick exit with that response and the first few times I responded that way, it was a sincere not a smart alec response. He also would say, "complain, complain, complain...do, do, do." My brother's response was one of those ummmm....he said do do! A couple of other statements were, "don't play near the thermostat!" and "use good judgement." I don't know about Doug but many times this from my report card would be read back to me in a most dramatic voice, "does not use time nor materials wisely." Even into adulthood, he would say that to me. I might have said that to myself today when I could find all kinds of excuses for not using my time wisely....the material part was fine. After watching the memorial service today maybe that is what I should have put on the ol' headstone....She did not use her time and materials wisely. For goodness sake people, she could distinguish between a brown bird on flannel sheets and blood or bats or vomit or poop or vermin. Well, that's a wrap.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

2018 Word

It has been a steady rain for most of the day, well at times it is more like a mist but non the less it is damp and wet. I ran a few errands today, not the ones originally planned for the day because the different routes had wrecks which makes for some long road time...just sitting. When I left the house and began down the road, there were some big trucks in the middle of the road by the community store. A truck had gone off the road and needed to be pulled out of the mud. The first truck trying to help was a regular pick up truck and it couldn't get him up onto the road. A huge industrial truck made its way up to the truck, they hooked up the chain and he was able to get the truck back onto the road. When the big truck went by I applauded him. The truck off the road was no sissy truck either, it was a dually.
The rain continues into Friday but not so much a heavy rain as consistent. I headed out early to do a couple of errands before meeting Taylor for our first workout of the year. It was a struggle getting back into the routine and my body didn't want to start back but I pushed through and made it. Feeling pretty good I headed over to Target, Home Goods and Whole Foods. I was in luck because WF had sliced and peeled oranges. With more people living in Asheville compounded with rain, the traffic getting back home was wild and crazy. Happy to arrived home safe and sound. I really hadn't eaten lunch and had a light breakfast so a late lunch/early supper seemed to be in order. 67 Street BBQ is really good, easy to find in grocery stores and that sounded good over a baked potato with sour cream and jalapenos. Two oatmeal raisin cookies fit the dessert bill and then a happy little nap got worked into the afternoon. Perfect day for napping cloudy and rainy. I have a feeling the sunset was stunning because the sky colored everything with a sepia color, then suddenly became gold and then the sun set with the golden hue. It was beautiful! Tonight the temps are supposed to drop and all this moisture on roads and surfaces could turn to ice by in the morning.

I think I have finally come to rest with my word for the year. In another blog post I wrote about leaning toward archaic to fulfill the word and then I saw a word that seemed to hold so much promise but it felt like a look back kind of word and this year, instead of looking back at the effects I want to gaze forward with a word that fits life and just what it might hold in this year ahead. So those effects turn to "effect brought about by something." At the gym today one of the boards had the word results on it with Dream Big,  BIG)Begin in Gratitude...and the emotions, work, thoughts and feelings bring about results. So this year my word is Results. From all the work to improve, have functional fitness and trying to keep a sharp mind...this is a year for results.

Here is the word origin of Result:

Word Origin & History

result early 15c., from M.L. resultare "toresult," in classical L. "to spring forward,rebound," frequentative of pp. of resilire"to rebound" (see resilience). The noun is1620s, from the verb.

So this feels right for 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Squirrels Return To Capistrano...I Mean The Backyard

The wintry sky has returned a cold and misty hovering overhead. Looks like an announcing window covering to the weather that lies ahead this weekend. Mainly this view is of the mountains but when it comes to just a view of the sky there are patches of blue and wispy clouds on the horizon. The birds, especially the cardinals, have taken advantage of a full feeder because the Feral Fam hasn't been around at all today. This is not unusual but it seems strange because there isn't snow and the temps aren't too bad. Buddy even seems to miss their presence as she goes to the window every now and then to gaze upon the backyard. Earlier this afternoon she went to the door at the back deck which is a sign that she sees one of the fam and when I went to the window, disappointment because no sign of them. The squirrels have also returned which is also a sign the Feral Fam is not around. I was outside quite a bit yesterday and maybe my presence was more than Mama Cat wanted to abide with so hopefully she has taken her fam to another place and will return. Of course, there is always the obvious reality because life as a Feral is hard and usually short. So, a quick look up in The Google helped as a person shared as they help these wild cats they keep in mind that for that period of time they have done their best, were helpful and kind to these animals that exist with a little or a lot of help. I even found a devotional about what we can learn from feral cats and I agree this time with an outdoor family of cats has been an eye and heart opening experience. Hopefully, they will surprise us with an evening visit or a impatient wait as we begin to stir in the morning. Last night while waiting for Brenda as she was dropping off some delicious homemade soup, I stood there and watched Cali. She sat up on the rocks and watched me. I called to her as I have so many times. Brenda arrived and I pointed Cali out to her and then Brenda and I had a short conversation. When I turned toward the yard again...Cali was gone. That was my last view of her and the fam...I am hopeful for their soon return but if they don't I can withstand the roller coaster feelings with the fact, I was helpful and kind and did my best for them. I mean really, how many cats have their own tent of meeting?

I keep thinking about a couple of errands I need to run and every night I go to sleep with those errands being some of the first things I do the next morning but by the next morning's wake up, I have talked myself out of running them. Only did one of them this morning and that was a trip to The Fresh Market to get tuna fish and maybe a few other supper kind of dishes but they were out of pot pies and nothing else looked good to me. I am such a mood eater.

So I am being to like Topo Chico even more. That sparkling mineral water has become my night cap this week and it seems counter intuitive that I am sleeping better.
A rainy and foggy morning might change my plans for the day. No sign of the Feral Fam and these pesky squirrels are taking over the backyard once again. Guess I'll have to notch up my bad fruit throwing skills once again.

Peggy and I got caught up in a two and a half hour phone call yesterday. We vowed to call each other more...oops, squirrel. I think we will try to do that. Roy called in the midst of our conversation and I assured him I would call him back. He said, talk to you this evening. He knows us too well. She called again last night to get the particulars of my ear candling experience.

Twitter reading is interesting these days...on so many levels. I read most of my news from Twitter...Tuesday night the Simpsons were on for background noise and the episode where Homer decides to write fake news on his blog once again is something the Simpsons have predicted before the headlines. With the winter Olympics being marketed by NBC I suddenly have the desire to narrate every move and give out scores. Like the other day in the grocery store parking lot where I was getting ready to turn onto the main lane exit, I noticed the woman in the car coming toward me frantically waving and trying to get my attention because right there beside me, in the opposite lane for traffic was an older woman in a Camry or some other small car, just driving along like it was two lane traffic. The woman in front of me needed to pull in front of me because this woman wasn't going to stop. Cars are dodging her, getting out of her way. She finally comes to a stop, turns off her car and goes into the store. Only thing, she is parked right in the middle of the lanes. That would have been a great film narration. I wonder if anyone got her attention to move her car?

I cannot sit here and while away the hours staring out the windows looking for the Feral Fam. Every little movement, I look up and it is a pesky squirrel. On into the day....

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

In A Nutshell.....

This is the first day since before New Year's Eve that I have been able to make a quick jaunt outdoors without wrapping up in a coat, gloves and scarves. The cats have been fed and the birds too but at different times as not to hamper the peace in the backyard motto we have going for the new year. We were expecting some freezing rain but the threat of ice is almost over. The surfaces are so cold from the abnormal cold temps it wouldn't take much to make the roads hazardous.

Taylor texted me this morning that two of his appointments had canceled so he canceled me as well. Yea! Not a fan of icy roads and weather. With that news I turned over and slept till 8:40 and it was a good sleep. Even Buddy complied with a little sleeping in. I looked out the window and saw the Feral Fam, at least a part of the group, came downstairs, threw on a coat over my jammies and fed them Today, I got caught outside within a neighbors view as they took their trash down to the road. I hope they noticed that my garden clogs matched my jammies.
Well, it is almost Tuesday evening and I am just now getting back to this post. This morning I didn't see any of the Feral Fam when looking out the window and so I came on downstairs to fix breakfast and give Buddy her first treat of the morning. Sitting here in the chair, I looked out and there the Feral Fam sat looking in the windows. Even little MJ got close up on the deck and gave the eye...of where is breakfast. Once again I fixed up their food and fed them but no one caught me in my jammies today...yet, I was wearing the same gardening clogs too.

Once I felt assured that the roads were clear, I got out for an appointment and then a quick trip to the grocery store for milk and bananas. Ran by home put up groceries and headed back out the door to go eat lunch at Turkey Creek Cafe. The soup today was potato and I had thought about getting some to go but decided not to. Now I know why, Brenda called and wanted to drop off some potato soup she had made, along with a few sweets and some bread. Yum! My supper is all planned, just needs to be heated up. I just had supper and the soup is so good!

Back to the little Feral Fam. The one I adore is Cali. She is not a rough houser like MJ and Camo. Mama Cat got into the play time last night and tonight. They must feel so good not freezing and trying to use all their energy to keeping warm. MJ and Camo duel it out with all types of cat defying jumps and collisions. Cali came to the back deck door the other day and I kept her entertained with a ribbon and moving things. She even sat there when I opened the door but when I moved the screen door, she ran.

Even after all these really cold days, the sunshine was brilliant this afternoon and so welcomed. The fragrance in the air, almost had a spring like fragrance. I'm not ready to be done with winter cause you know the flannel and boots thing but wearing linen again...will be nice. Such extremes but that is kind of me in a nutshell.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Feral, Orinson, and Cark...Words

So, I haven't written about the Feral Fam of late. There are several reasons for that. This week amidst the cold and wind chill temps, Mama Cat has found a place to keep them warm so I didn't see them for almost forty eight hours. I made checks out the window but no Feral Fam to see. It seemed the good thing to do would be leaving out dry food, just in case. Yesterday, after arriving home from the Post Office and taking pictures of ice, the dry food bowl had just a little bit of food. So Ferals or something else had found food. Back to doing things around here and another look outside and the bowl was empty. Buddy began to stir from her millionth nap of the day and moved over to the back deck door to look out and that usually means Feral Fam is in residence. In the dusk to dark hours, there was MC and Cali. A quick mix up of food and a fresh bowl of water since it all turns to ice in a matter of time, and I was out the door. Roy had given me this spotlight of a flashlight which was so helpful in locating the Fam patiently waiting under the deck. Just a couple of steps away and turned to see if they were approaching the food...boom, they were already at the bowls. Returned with some treats to leave on the steps and Cali so engrossed in food let me get so close and almost was able to scoop her up. Wherever MC has found warmth for them must not include food. This morning MC and Cali were hanging out in the backyard, looking into the windows. Got halfway dressed and once again mixed up the food,inside cause the garage is too cold, and took it out to the Fam with water. They have been playing a bit in the sunshine but checking the food bowl, so just took out a little more to them.

I saw something interesting this morning with MC. A huge, HUGE, owl was up in the tree turning its head to and fro. The kiddos are usually with mom, but she was alone...under that tree...keeping an eye on the owl. The kiddos were safely under the deck as she kept an eye on the situation. Before I could get a pic, the owl flew off. MC held her position for a bit and then came down into the yard and under the deck. I'm wondering if I should bring the tent of meeting down here? We have one more night of arctic air and a mild warm up begins bringing back seasonal temps. MC has been more diligent in keeping watch over her little flock. With the cold temps, creatures of the outdoors are looking for food and warmth and she isn't looking to help birds of prey or anything else feast on her little fam.

There is so much to learn from this time with the Feral Fam. Buddy stays interested when they are close by but she has moved on, confident in the warmth of a home, treats, food and water laced with a laxative to help her along. Don't tell her about the water being spiked. I am notes on what can be learned and applied both from the right things and the wrong, misguided choices they make.
Sunday morning and I am at home. Didn't feel all that great last night and woke up with a sore throat and a slight headache. Several years ago the cardiologist encouraged me to err on the side of caution when the temps are cool and everyone seems to have a cough due to cold. He said I know you are a Christian and go to church but be wise because church people have a tendency to attend when they should stay home and not infect others. This is one of those mornings So I will be attending computer church and not even in my jammies.

Today we are supposed to get above freezing and that will be welcomed. I told Roy last night it is so cold that I could feel the coldness on my legs, through my jeans. It has been a long time since I have been that cold outside. The electric bill will be through the roof this month but that is so much better than a plumbing bill and repair. Tomorrow it will be in the 50's and that will seem like a heat wave.

I have told a couple of people what I thought my word for the year would be, in fact it fit in so well with a new found love of archaic words. But it just didn't seem to fit or to work even with an additional word added to it to make my own one word. Then yesterday, I read an article that a friend posted on FB and I knew then, I had found the word. This isn't a set up for people to come back to read, I want to give the word the justice and meaning it deserves in a blog post. I will say that the words previously considered were orison, which means prayer and cark which means worry. It was to be a combined word, orisonforcark. Prayer for worry. I also considered using little. The definition of little seems to be of a negative measure but little in my experience has been much more.

Nancy's Monablog