Thursday, January 17, 2019

Cats, Snow, Taste And See and Thumbs...All Happening On A Thursday

Today just might be the day that Riley won't come back into the garage. With the temps turning cooler and rain or snow in the afternoon forecast, she is defying the conditions to stay around Punky. Earlier I called out to Riley and she came near to the door, meowing and turning her head in the direction of Punky, who sat on the deck stairs. Riley went back to her, touched noses and tried to get her to follow, but Punky isn't too sure about me or probably about her newfound alliance with her cousin. Camo comes and goes, but it has seemed to this non cat that she is trying to ditch Punky and has probably ditched Strawyer somewhere. He has not been around the past day or two. Riley helped Cali with her litter of kittens and watched over them more than Cali seemed to at times. One afternoon, it was just Riley and the little black and white kitten that goes by the name Tux now and Riley played and tried to corral that kitten to keep him on the deck. He rolled off onto the ground and Riley continued herding and playing, with great concern and every once in a while looked on the deck to see if Cali was going to reinforce her efforts of rescue...nope. So now that this cousin alliance has been formed, I may have lost out. After the Buddy attack, I don't blame Riley for being so cautious around the garage last night and this morning. I'll keep an eye on the backyard especially since Mama Cat has shown up. Both Riley and Punky are interested in her but she hisses and take a swipe at them if they get too close. While this drama plays out in the backyard, Nancy and Naia went down the gravel road on the four wheeler. Punky was on the top of the fence, about the third generation of fence sitters here, and Naia tried to get Punky. She gave up the pursuit quickly this time. Riley was hiding and only came out when the coast was clear. The temps this weekend are supposed to be the coldest of the season, so hopefully Riley will come in during that weather event. Part of me has mixed emotions...the process is so slow with ferals and just when I thought a corner of resistance had been turned, the whole Buddy incident happened and set us back. There is good to come out of this, Buddy has a new will to stay awake and be active. I've had mixed emotions and thoughts about Riley in that, I haven't been looking for a new cat, especially a new indoor cat but if God brings them to you, you accept the responsibility. For sure, I love that cat named Riley. She has come so far and maybe this time out by being sheltered and fed in a garage, with toys and treats, will be a big part of who she becomes. So far, she is not like her mom and doesn't seem to traverse the countryside like Cali but she is wild in the trees and on the gravel road. She is well acquainted with all the pathways of to and through, from front to back of the yard and house. With the skies turning that steel gray of a winter storm, maybe she'll decide to come in but in a funny way, I'll be proud of her if she stays with Punky to help her weather the storm. 

It is beginning to snow, so I went downstairs but first looked out the window onto the backyard in our bedroom. From there the view was Camo slinking around and Riley coming down from being under the fir tree. I went to the backdoor and called out for Riley and clapped. She came to the door and meowed her heart out, like help me get that little one in. Only just like a bad dream, Camo comes and takes Punky with her up the incline by the fence. Once Riley sees that, she turned and came into the garage. We played a little and she was rewarded with treats. Now, she'll probably take a well deserved nap. All of this went on under Warden Buddy's presence on the bench by the window. Only, sleep finally overtook her and she naps away.

With many things filling my days I have been remiss in writing a blog post about the book Taste and See by Margaret Feinberg. It is always a welcomed email when Margaret releases a book and I get chosen to be on the launch team. It seems like it has been 3-4 times and each time her book has been the right reading for the right time. Taste and See is no different. Sadly, it is not making me want to bake or cook but the comparisons with ancient biblical times with food and modern times is outstanding, just like her book Scouting the Divine. Just these little tidbits about nets, fish, figs and bread...that is how far I've gotten in reading. It is a tug of war because the book is so good I want to read it quickly yet the book is so good, I want to savor and take in each word, each sentence.

One year the skin on my face, right underneath my eyes dried out something terribly. There was a whole lot of flaking going on. I found that Chanel hydro serum worked for a while, then I found another and better product. The next winter the skin on my feet was dry and rough, Detox Gel to the rescue and my feet have never been the same. This winter the skin around my thumb nails has started to split and hurt. It almost makes using my thumbs impossible because of the pain. I have a great product for that but keeping it on my thumb to is nearly impossible. So I Googled thumb thingies, you know those rubber thimble like things that were used a long time ago to sort papers or money, to keep from getting a paper cut. Well, thanks to Amazon I know know the professional term for thumb thingy is thimblettes and they come in sizes. Seriously, I am considering an order so I can put the lotion on my cut and then put the thimblettes on each thumb.

Okay, I ordered them! Here is to healing thumbs!

Kitty Cavalcade.....

It is the kitty cavalcade today. After the kitty cat title of fight the world last night in the garage, all the cats have come back to hear the story of a fight that ended in a draw. This morning it was definitely a wait and see to get out to the garage and feed Riley. Buddy was hyper-vigilant. Finally, not being able to stay awake, she made her way upstairs for her first morning nap. You know, I played it so cool, just like any other morning, getting ready, and then sneaking downstairs to get brunch to Riley. She was ready for it and a few treats. She no longer sleeps by the backdoor but has a hidey hole someplace. When the sun came out, we both headed out of the garage. There was a cat there to meet her outside and thankfully it is our neighbor's cat, neutered and nice. He was looking for some extra scraps, but with only Mama Cat around yesterday, not too much food was put out. By the time I was leaving, Punky had shown up. She meowed at me but kept a safe distance between us, so I whipped up some vittles and left. Upon arriving home, Camo had made an appearance to wolf down some food and then left. Punky was feeling a little deserted. She was interested in Riley but Riley kept her from getting too close. I do not understand the cat world, one day Riley is interested and the other cats reject, then today Riley is the reject dispenser in catdom. It was warm enough briefly to play with Riley and Punky with the fishing pole but the wind picked up and that sent me back inside. I am happy to report that Riley came in this evening. At first, I wasn't too sure she would but Camo was less than pleasant to Riley on her last round, so Riley came into the garage, got some treats and I am sure she is sound asleep because she was on the go all afternoon.

Ran a couple of errands this afternoon. Made a grocery store stop at Publix, brought all that home and put away most everything. Then it was onto The Baked Pie Company because they had lemon drop cheesecake pie today. Brenda told me how good it was, so, you is delicious! Since no matter the route to Baked Pie Company, one has to go through Woodfin...where I got my ticket...first one in thirty one years. So, just in case, I go under the posted limit and dang it, I was so happy to do that cause one of those silver and black cars pulled into a spot to find a speeder. It wasn't going to be me...

After pie pickup it was time to get some birdseed at Tractor Supply. Sometimes I get so involved with the ferals that I forget the birds. Some warblers have found their way to the feeder and this is really nice. Came home, then took half a lemon drop cheesecake pie to Brenda and fam. Larry is recovering nicely from knee replacement surgery. Then on to the Exxon station to fill up the truck. There was a lot of parking available, so it seemed to be the right time to try out Ole's Guacamole. So, two steak tacos and queso. Y'all it was so good! Next time trying the shrimp tacos. Anyway, got it to go.

Buddy has been asleep for most of the evening and I am headed that way soon. It has been a good day and good sleep will be so welcomed.

The 2018 version of Monablog was delivered today. Thumbing through it...January seems to have a recurring theme. It's a quiet season and apparently I am over predictability. Wrote about it a lot last year and this year, well, I have been thinking about it a lot.
Speaking of predictable, you know a post is going to cover a day or two or seven. This morning before Buddy came downstairs, I was able to get Riley fed. Then when I needed to get something out of the refrigerator in the garage, I just put Buddy in a bedroom. Riley was ready to go to the great outdoors and Punky was hanging around for breakfast. Since returning upstairs Buddy has kept an eye on me but she has finally given up because the call to sleep overtook her.

Today calls to me to be an ensconced day. No place I have to be, nowhere I have to go. Could be snow in the higher elevations today and we are told to expect a very cold Sunday into Monday. Don't know about ice or snow yet. The day began on a good note with a conversation with Lisa P.

Warden Buddy just did a walk about checking on my presence. Still here in the bonus room mam. Guess we need to have another talk about helping the orphans and widows.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

When Domestic and Feral Meet.....

Once again this morning by faith, Riley goes outdoors. You know I pray for that little one to be safe and to return. It's kind of chilly so it was a surprise that she went on out but for a kitty that has run free for all of her life except these past few weeks, the call has to be urging her onward and outward. She looks for Camo and fam but they haven't been around the past couple of days. At least this morning Riley went outside after eating breakfast cause yesterday, she didn't like what was being served.

This morning a godly man who loved God, his family and life went to be with the Lord. I loved talking with and listening to this wonderful man of God. It has been a while but while working at the church there were numerous opportunities to visit with him. You always came away encouraged.

So today, things were going along well with Riley. She went out for a bit and then came back into the garage. When I got home from The Fresh Market, the sun was out and feeling a bit warmer than earlier in the morning so she was out once again. She was into finding a mole when Mama Cat, her granny, showed up. I got her fed but she took a few swipes at Riley, cause granny is a cranky, cranky cat. While Riley was outside we played with the fishing pole and I got the yarn ball and for once it was very nice to have a steep driveway cause you throw the ball and it rolls down on its own. Riley was having so much fun chasing the ball. She had a great kick and twist thing going on. So playing today was a way to convince this little orphan cat that she is better off with me....well, that was until later in the afternoon. Even with the sun still shining the temps were beginning to cool off, so I called and here came Riley running to the garage door and safely inside. A little later I was going to go out to the garage and feed her. That little sneaky Buddy sat on the stairs looking like she was going to go on up but she waited till I opened the backdoor and that lil cat flew out that door and straight into Riley. There was a whole lot of shaking, hissing, and fighting going on. Those two cats took their fight under the Mustang. I called Buddy and was just about to set the alarm off on the car to scare them, Buddy came out from under the car and Riley ran over to another part of the garage to hide. It was just a few seconds, but those few seconds felt overwhelming and powerless. I am thankful that Buddy came when called. Maybe because she was in over her head messing with a street smart cat. A saving grace to the story is Riley is not an Alpha cat, so that was a blessing. Buddy looks ok, maybe just missing a little bit of fur. I mean Buddy was the aggressor and for an old lady she was pretty good. Riley pulled Buddy's collar off and it is probably underneath the car. I got Buddy into the house and then sat out there in the garage for a while to see if Riley would come to me. She would not. So back into the house and did another look see of Buddy. She's good and she's tired. But, she is keeping an eye on me and my travels. I was working in the front bedroom, she was in the bonus room but she came to see if I was working alone. If I go downstairs, she is there...she is kind of like Psalm 139 right now...if I go upstairs, Buddy is there. Where can I flee from her presence? If I make my bed, she is there. That cat is on all point bulletin. I did get Riley's supper out to her and a few treats. So, I will wait to see if Buddy will fall asleep.
A new day here in the kingdom of cats. Buddy slept close by me all night. That is normal almost every night but she settled in quickly and closer. She and I had a good talk earlier in the evening. I told her she had nothing to be jealous over, cause she is the cat of my heart but Riley, is an orphan and doesn't have a cat pack to run with. She is on her own out there in the world and we are just trying to help her. Hope Buddy understands, but gee, I am sneaking around to get out to the garage to check on Riley. It's exhausting! I don't know how people do this...not with cats but with others that are not their spouses. It takes a lot of energy.

The morning began in the 20's, with frost and fog. Don't know if it is freezing fog or not. The sun is supposed to show up this afternoon, so until the temps get a little warmer as for me and my house, we are staying in.

The other day the thought came, of all the preachers and pastors that have walked through my life. I'd say in but none of them have ever really been in my life, guess the closest would be Pastor Gregg, but that would only be when I was on staff at church. The first pastor I remember was Reverend Tharp. He was an old guy who was retired but helped the little church starting out. He was the pastor of Westbury Baptist when it was a mission church of River Oaks Baptist. My mom was the first person baptized at Westbury...she was a Christian but from another denomination and they didn't dunk, I mean immerse. Then, the mission became a church and the next pastor was Hoyt Greer, who had an affair with a woman in the church...broke up his home and hers, then they married. A W McGregor came next and what is memorable about him is, we sang Jesus Never Fails at the end of every service. During the song, he would make his way to the back exit of the sanctuary and greet as we left. His gait swift, head bowed and Bible tucked away in his left hand and arm. He resigned but a few years later he and his whole family died in a private plane crash. Then came Milton Cunningham, but by this time, I was a teenager who could drive and I went to Willow Meadows Baptist. Ralph Langley was the pastor, very kind man who loved Luke 15, the story of the prodigal son. At Southwest Texas, I went to First Baptist but can't remember the pastor's name but he had played for the Dallas Cowboys and he was nice looking.  Well, that seems like a good place to stop.

Going to check on Buddy who is asleep and then Riley, who might want to play but we will have to play quietly cause...we don't want to incur the wrath of Buddy.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Weather, Sabbaticals, and Riley

We survived the ice/sleet/freezing rain overnight. Many are without power but we only experienced a little off and on yesterday afternoon, not even enough time to trigger the generator. Church will be at 11:00 with no Sunday School. On Thursday, I had found out I needed to teach this Sunday's lesson, so a lot of Friday and Saturday was taken up with preparation...which is enjoyable. The shortened time makes me a little anxious but just like always, He provided the direction. Next Sunday is my normal Sunday to teach, so it will be good to combine the lessons. This morning also brought about the first big sore throat of the winter season which is a sign unto me to cut back, take it easy and take care over my immune system. So, decided that this would be a sabbatical Sunday. It is better to not let anything start and have to fight so hard to defeat the germs later. 

This year my #oneword came easily. Last year's not so much but this year the word is meaningful. full of meaningsignificance, purpose, or value; purposeful. After choosing the word I noticed that a book and journal I had ordered, more out of curiosity than anything. When they arrived, I just put them on the kitchen table but only noticed last week that the subtitle of the book is, having a meaningful life. There has just been so many things that have needed attending to, reading has taken a backseat. While eating breakfast I was able to peruse a few of the devotions and it looks good. The name of the book is I've Been Thinking by Maria Shriver. 

Over the holidays we got a new iPhone for me. With every update the battery became more of a problem but the phone had served since 2011. Not bad. It is an adjustment getting used to not having a home button. The pictures are better than the old phone. 

Buddy is asleep on the bed. After a couple of days of not eating her food, she has regained her appetite which means she is eating her chill pill enhanced food which helps her sleep. She slept a lot yesterday and even slept up around my neck last night while I watched TV. Good thing not any of the football teams that are playing are any teams that we follow. She would have not had the pleasant sleep she experienced. Went to the garage and played with Riley a bit. She can entertain herself which is good. She has a new way of playing with the ball in the circle, mainly she is upside down. Got her fed and treated and played out a bit. If it gets warmer this afternoon I will see if she wants to go outside. She turned down the opportunity yesterday. 
The afternoon temps have gotten into the 40's. This morning after feeding Riley and giving her a few treats, I decided to see if she wanted to go outdoors and today she took the offer. It worked well because it is garbage day and so with the big door opened Riley came and went for a little bit. Then she took off with a hard right and on the run to play in the backyard. With the trash down to the road, it was off to the post office and then to workout with Taylor. This was the first workout of the year, so he did a little more restorative work on muscles. We will hit it hard next week. After that it was to the bank and grocery store. When I came home, Riley was still intently playing and keeping an ever intense eye out for moles. She wasn't interested in coming in especially with the sun coming out for just a bit. I was able to eat lunch and then take care of some business related things and just happened to look out the back window at the right time. Riley was sitting there looking at birds but yet keeping an eye open for the backdoor to open. So, I was able to oblige her, opened the door and she came running in. With all the excitement it is safe to assume that both Buddy and Riley are in nap mode.

Riley has started to rub my hand when I put it in front of her...if I try to rub her back though, she's not that thrilled. So once again, patience is the word and the practice to wooing this little one over to the warm side. There is a small heater that can be used in the garage, so her little corner is getting roasty toasty. Went out there to check on her and to see if she was wanting to play but she of course, wanted a treat and then it is looking like she will return to her napping, that I so rudely interrupted.  

January 14th, our little dog Tiff was born on this day, as well as Roy's father and my father shared the day with these two. It always signaled, to us, the dreaded holiday season was over and life would return to normal for just over a month until the next celebration rolled around on the calendar. I cannot think of one gift we ever gave my father that he liked. Nothing! We stopped being creative with him a long time ago because it was a total waste. So, we bought shirts and pants probably the last fifteen or so birthdays we celebrated with him. We always bought shirts that Roy liked cause most likely, he would give them back and tell us with his little snear on his face and sarcasm in his voice, he didn't think he could ever like or wear the shirts. Fine with us. Since his death in 2017 I have become more intolerant of behavior that reminds me of him and that intolerance is quickly coming into taking steps away from friendships that feel all too familiar with toxicity. Can't say a kind word? Can't cheer on others when victory over a challenge happens, every remark is some kind of smart a$$ remark under the guise of humor...uh, thanks but no thanks...been there...don't need it. Don't want it. Last year it was taking the steps away from anyone too possessive, anyone who spoke on my behalf when they didn't know what they were talking about, or telling untruths or twisting my words....all on my behalf. Had years of that, now freedom rings and I ain't hanging around to be a possession. There are way too many other fun people to be around and friendships to spend time on. Yep, toxic is an overused term, but as for me and my house, we be keeping the toxic spew on the down low moving along its way.

Roy got new shoes for Sequisha yesterday. He had an appointment for the tires on Friday only thing, they didn't order the tires. So the reschedule was for Wednesday but the tires came in, they were having a slow day, so appointment moved up. They put nitrogen in the tires. Never heard of that but then I don't hang out at tire places too much. 

This afternoon's chill has made this perfect for hot tea. We have several favorites here and even though the holidays are over, the holiday tea flavor with orange, cloves and cinnamon, is just right. Then you add some lemon drops and it is all good. My mom used to do that, add candy lemon drops into the tea, fun to hear it crack as it melted. When we first bought the house someone mentioned we should get some Stanley thermoses to have around on display when workmen came to the house, letting them know yep there is a man who lives here. Now I've been using some of these manly Stanley's for hot tea upstairs. Perfect size and keeps the tea all warm, ready for a pour. 

Just did another check on Riley or maybe it was more a check on the heater. Riley is all tucked in the corner of the last step, a box with a blanket overflowing onto the mat is her choice, she's still not in the box. Still not a fan of anything soft. She of course was willing to move for a few treats and then settled down next to me. I'm sitting on the stairs, she on the aforementioned mat. She seemed content with my presence but then something feral must have kicked in during the comfort, cause she got up quickly and made her way over to the Mustang acting all independent like. After the demonstration, she returned to sit by me.

After the sabbatical Sunday morning, it seemed the right thing to do, have a sabbatical Sunday evening. So, didn't go to choir but did get to have a conversation catching up with Dena. Great fun and lots of laughs. Also watched a little football and happy that the Saints will be marching in next week since they experienced a victory.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Life of Riley

No photo description available.

No photo description available.

Well, life with Riley continues. Today is the 12th of January and she has been coming and staying in the garage since December 24th. During the warmer temps she spent most of her days outside and even made a slight connection with her family yesterday. But when it was turning cooler and a little before dusk, I called her and down the hill she ran, straight into the garage. 

When she first came into the garage, her stools were runny but now eating solidly good food and thanks to Buddy sharing her Fortiflora, gastrointestinaly, Riley has come along way. There, we got that delicate subject out of the way. Even after the debacle on the 26th of trying to get her into a crate, she has trusted me again. She greets me in the mornings with lots of rubbing around my legs and feet. She will touch her nose against my hand and in the past several days, she has let me pet her just a little bit. She knows the two places I will put treats and will wait until said treats are delivered. 

It seems that play is the way to this kitty's heart. So, we play a lot with the laser, the fishing pole with the small rubber fish on the end, the ball in the chute thing, stuffed animal, and newest feather/ribbon/animal on a stick thing that she chases all about. She and Cali played hard everyday and so it seems play is her love language, that is if cats have a love language. There is something about soft textures that she doesn't like, so she won't use the bed or a box that I put a blanket in. Today most of the blanket came out of the box so that she feels just the bottom of the box on her paws. So, maybe she will use that more to stay warm in the evenings. 

Yesterday, was a sunny day. She went out and played, chased birds and squirrels making this mama happy....about the squirrels not so much the birds. Camo and Strawyer were in the backyard and for the most part the remnants of the Feral Fam got along. Even with Mama Cat thrown in the mix. Riley, Camo and Strawyer even laid on the same big rock together taking little cat naps. There for a moment, I thought it might be hard to get Riley to come back in last evening but as the first paragraph said, she came running in. That is one smart kitty.

She plays with all the toys and is not afraid of them like Cali and MJ last year. Pine needles are bark were their preferred toys. 

I am so glad her instinct told her she was safe in that garage. She had come and gone plenty of times, even Cali did that but until the 23rd, no inclination to stay had ever been expressed. With coyote mating season upon us, I like knowing she is in the garage at night. 

Every once in a while, Riley walks with the same languid style of Cali and I tear up a bit but what a gift having Riley in the garage has been. She is kind of like a teenager when we are outside, she'll play but reverts to feral mode in front of the other cats by going under the deck when walking close by. 
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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Old News, Just A Week Late

It was a rainy, overcast, dreary, miserable, cold morning that began way too early. Like 3:30 am early because someone could not settle down, lie still and go back to it wasn't me. Finally, I got up and began getting ready for a dental checkup appointment. All the normal ways of going toward the Biltmore area had lots of traffic and wrecks, so Google Girl suggested an alternate route and it worked out well...well, kind of but that is a boring story. Teeth cleaned and Glory Be To God, no dental work needed, so I left with an appointment in July and the dental goody bag of toothpaste, dental floss and toothbrush. Most of the rain had tapered off and the options were considered but the choice was The Fresh Market for a few things and then a quick stop at Tractor Supply.

Riley was ready to roll outside upon returning home and opening that door comes with a prayer she'll want to come back. Because of time limits this morning we didn't play but she took her time deciding on her move...what was making her a little hesitant? Camo was out on the deck. Camo without any kittens. Brought out some food for her and put out a few treats for Riley and Camo took over and ate the treats...everything. Riley made her way up by the fence and went through the opening. A little later while downstairs, I looked out the window and Riley was making her way beside the fence and crossing over to the, I went and opened the backdoor and she came in like she had been doing this her whole life. She has a different attitude outdoors and even runs under the deck when I come near...but that backdoor opened and inside the garage, she is purring, looking for treats and rubbing around my legs. We played a little when she came in and then it was time to get into the house. Gale called yesterday and asked if I could teach this Sunday because Judy has the flu and Gale has a family thing...not a problem, we are in the midst of the plagues, Passover and passage. Oh alliteration, you are a Baptist's friend. So that means Exodus.
It was a rainy, overcast deary miserable, cold morning...but today I got to sleep in till almost 8:30. Thank goodness, cause I was really needing the rest. Because it is a rainy day it felt like a good day to stay inside and take care of things...ok, laundry but other than playing with Riley, petting Buddy and working on the lesson...that's it.

With all the rain I didn't give Riley the opportunity to go out but we have played a whole lot more than usual. Playing might be just the thing that helps her trust more. It is not having blankets or a soft bed to sleep on cause she seems to not like the softness or texture of blankets and bed. But she will chase a red laser light or a fish on a fishing pole for the longest time. Of course, she loves the food aspect and today, I added some of Buddy's prescription food to her bowl and Riley seems to find it very tasty. Trying to help her with gastro/ poopage issues. She is more loving in the morning and will rub her head on my legs but she also does that to the car...and boxes. Oh well, but she doesn't draw back as quickly when I put my hand for her to smell. Patience, but I am wanting her to drop all those months of being really, really feral and become really really domesticated.

The good news from yesterday, no cavities or work that needs to be done, see them in six months goes along with the semi good news Roy received.  Roy had a  dentist office visit too, having a crown put in. The Dr doesn't like how his other crowns have held up, that he installed, so he is going to replace them for free. Yea! All good news in the dental world.

My friend Brenda, well her hubby had knee replacement surgery today and it sounds like it all went well. Told them when they get home I will bring a I am not cooking! Larry doesn't like Italian food so I told him I was bringing pasta. Got a reaction so that means he is doing just fine.
So, this is all old news but I feel like starting a new post, so this will have to do.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Oh Happy Day, O Happy Year...Welcome 2019

Happy New Year! Happy 2019! O, Happy Day!

My plans were to close out 2018 with a blog entry or rather an add on blog entry that covered several days, but since it is a new year and all of that, it seemed good to start the year with a new, fresh entry. Hmmm....don't know about that fresh part because most probably this year's blog will be a continuation of the theme from 2018...cats...feral cats...and one domesticated, fun loving, gray cat, Buddy. Okay, maybe fun loving is a stretch for dear Buddy, because as she ages, she's a little to a lot more whiny....depending on the day or dare it be said, at night. . Roy has renamed Buddy, Treaty Pie especially in the mornings. She has just joined me to warm up her little paws from her morning of porch sitting.

2019 came here in sleep except for a distant rumble of fireworks or thunder...probably fireworks at midnight. It stirred us just a bit and then it was as if nothing happened. It was also a sleep in kind of morning which if any resolutions for the new year had been made, early rising would not be one but the thought of being more productive did surface, then quickly submerged itself cause, mostly, that ain't going to least as the world views productivity. Roy is the goal he has set goals...whereas I am more of a mindset kind, yep, that is the best way to describe that. So this first day of 2019 came as a relaxed and laid back mindset with no particular goals for today other than maybe....emphasis maybe...empty the dishwasher and watch the LSU football game. Oh, laundry but that emphasis is already on the third load.

This morning Buddy got treated and then headed to the front porch because it is a warmer kind of day. Kind of nice after having rather cold temps leading into the holidays. Then it was to the garage to feed Riley and do a little playing. Because it isn't raining and not particularly cold, Riley was given the chance to go back outside but after a few hesitations, she came back into the garage. Going down there in a minute to give her the option again and hoping that we set a pattern for her to feel free and safe coming and going. In all the research of feral cats, she is defying the odds. She is counter intuitive, even more so than Cali. Who kept close but a distance once she became a young adult cat. Riley is at that young adult cat age....we are playing with things that were purchased last year in hopes that the Feral Fam might play and they never indulged into the fun except for the red laser light. Riley and I did that last night in the garage and she had a grand time of never capturing the light. All cats, after they figure out they aren't going to catch the light lose interest...but for now laser tag and the fishing pole toy is of great interest and play to Riley.  Well, after a few rousing games of fishing with Riley and after treating her, I opened the door and she went out...came back to the threshold and then back out, up the stone path, slowly, gingerly making each step, came to the spot where her mom is buried...moved on for a few feet then sat under the fir tree. She looked back for a second and then like a hundred other times, she went into the brush and bramble. Later on I'll go outside and call her, to see if she comes and if not, it will just be getting used to a new normal hopefully of a coming and going Riley. Oh totally remiss and not shouting out to her, "use good judgement!" Doug and I heard that phrase often enough growing up.

This year I am leaning toward my #oneword being meaningful. A couple of years ago the word ful was the oneword and that way it could change daily...what that meant, thankful, grateful, playful...etc... While 2018 seemed meaningful and it was, that wasn't the oneword for that year. In fact 2018's word came later than sooner.

2019 also is beginning with a new iPhone. Think it was 2011 around the new year when getting the last one. Memory was fading, quickly deleting pics at the Biltmore while having our Christmas lunch at the Inn, so I could continue taking snow pics left and right. So, it is getting used to no home button and taking screen shots differently.  The Sprint guy that helped us has a very interesting family history, ancestors one of the early settlers, and he has led an interesting and varied life...come to find out, he lives in Leicester. So with the iCloud, making the big switch between phones is a whole lot easier than it used to be. We were getting this errand done while Mustang Sam was in the shop for Auto Butler and oil change and rotating the tires. In by 8:00 out by noon. Makes me a little happier with the dealership since you can't make an appointment for oil changes etc... After dropping off Mustang Sam we headed over to Another Broken Egg but the original plan had been to eat breakfast at Moose Cafe. Roy is a waffle man, thus the change of venue....then for me the relative closeness of a Barnes and Noble to shop after the holidays was a joy and easy decision.

The day after Christmas we made plans with our very fun friends Cuman and Inez. Our first choice had been taking Roy to the Cataloochee, but with the government shutdown, translate that to bathrooms not open, and the probability of rough roads, we went to second choice, eating at Bonnie and Clyde's. Well, with B and C closed for the holidays, we went to Tommy's in Weaverville and enjoyed a delicious late lunch. But before eating Cuman took us back to the dam in Madison County. This was pre-flooding, whew! It was still very powerful though. Since he took us there last year, I have tried to find the way back and each time, lost, but in a beautiful countryside that made the trip enjoyable. So, now I know the non-twisty turny road to get there. I love hearing the stories since Cuman and Inez grew up in the area. With Wednesday being such an emotional day due to the earlier debacle of trying to get Riley into a crate and we not being fast enough, bedtime came very, very early for this child. And all the friends that reassured me that Riley would come around...cause you know I didn't believe them...well, they were right.
I was too nervous to watch the LSU game, so it was constantly checking Twitter and it is so good that they won. Now to wait till the fall for LSU football to begin again and thankfully, baseball isn't too far off.

Then last night while planning to finish up this post, Love, Gilda was on CNN. She has always been a favorite and loved her comedic style. So, after watching and filled with documentary emotions, the best decision was to go was my hair and go to bed. If it comes on again, please watch, even if you didn't like her on SNL. Having current comedians read from her journal, very poignant.

Riley was all lovey dovey this morning and it is so hard not to try and pet her. It is just a natural reaction, like with Buddy, but after reading an informative article about putting aside the lap cat wish and tending to their immediate needs to help them come to a better life. In a bit I will open the back door and let her out. A nice day and tonight rain is supposed to move in, so here's trusting she will return later this afternoon when I call for her.

January 2nd, Shell texted a fraud alert to us. Were we in Miami? Uh, no...think the small charge is a try and see if it will go through. Roy called them and they are sending new cards. They also said there was an account out there with my name on it, so he cancelled that too. Think it happened in Gastonia when stopping for $1.94 gasoline.

So this day is getting away and there are a few errands to be run. Happy New Year! Thank you for reading Monablog.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas And Unexpected Blessings

Merry Christmas from the mountains of Western North Carolina! When we got up this morning it was a balmy 27 degrees. Frost on the ground and rooftops, but no snow. We stayed up past our bedtimes and watched White Christmas. This time last year I had seen it, oh probably, about five or six times. Roy had never watched it and while he prefers a Hallmark Christmas movie, he did enjoy the story line. I looked up the trivia for the movie and we had fun watching for a few missteps and the pure laughter of Bing and Danny when they sang the "Sisters" song. Yes, we are so easily entertained.

Christmas Eve Day was rather laid back and it is looking like we will have that same mindset for today. Around 4:45, yesterday, the bell ringers did several run throughs of Away in the Manger. We were joined by the ushers as they prepared the candles and the juice box communion elements...the ones where you have to find the dividing point of the wafer and grape juice. Let's just say if Roy hadn't been here to successfully open mine, I'd still be at church trying to take the Lord's Supper. Roy was happily taking pictures and videos as we rehearsed. With just four notes for me to play, mostly on words, I felt better about this song than Sunday morning's. That being said, everyone else had the huge responsibility to carry the tune, add the musical embellishments and the was a harder song for everyone else. While I won't miss bell rehearsal, then home for two hours and then going back to church for choir practice, I'll miss the time we spent together learning but mainly cause you know it has to be fun, laughing. This year, the Christmas lesson is getting out of your comfort zone and although some think being out of a comfort zone should be mountain climbing or bungy jumping or zip lines or kayaking down the rushing river, this was just as challenging as any of these I have listed. Well, at least for me cause there was a day that all that outdoor adventure stuff was a piece of cake to do.

After the service last night as the candles and holders were gathered to be put away for another year and as the bell tables were taken down and returned to the closet, I watched and took in the various scenes taking place around the sanctuary. Family pictures in front of the Christmas trees, friends gathered in groups laughing and visiting...just a general feeling of peace on earth, goodwill to men. Kind of like Mary, only in the pondering and taking these things to heart, I sat there so happy to be a part of this church and this community. Just as simply as possible, we gathered to worship our Savior who came as a baby to save us all from sin and death and all that comes with that. It has been especially poignant to be so grateful for our friends, both here and there. Life long friends to newly made friendships, so thankful for you all.

We are experiencing unexpected blessings yesterday and today. Especially when it has to do with these little feral cats that have become a part of our lives for over a year. Riley came into the garage yesterday morning, unknown to me, and she hasn't shown any desire to leave. We are going to have to figure this out by Thursday morning though. So yesterday she came close and smelled my hand and my toes...she meowed to me and her purring was on high gear. Have her all fixed up with a litter box, food and blankets if she will use them. The garage isn't exactly the warmest place but it has to be much better than where she has been sleeping. When Cali died, that left Riley on her own. Camo and her kittens don't have anything to do with her, so Riley is fending for herself. As I fed her and gave her treats I hoped she would see that she is better off and so I guess this is her first step in realizing this. Of course we are talking about feral cats, so who knows? Today, our experience totally blew me away. When Cali was a kitten, I tried playing with her and MJ. They were somewhat interested in the little kid fishing pole but they never quite trusted me with the toy. So today, Riley and I began playing with it. She loved chasing the fish. Several times today, about forty five minutes at a time, we played. She was purring and having such fun with it. Later I moved from the backdoor more toward the other end of the garage and she was even more attentive. What happened later totally shocked me, but she came up to me and began rubbing against me and putting both paws around my leg. Okay, I was trying to hold it together...but maybe a few tears were shed. I went out there to check on her a little bit ago and she is doing fine. There is so much research on feral cats and the whys and hows but most of the advice is this, patience, patience, patience!

Meanwhile on the outside it is a hit and miss situation with Camo and Crew. They come and go, days at a time. Just when you think there is some kind of normal with them, they all disappear. Mama Cat came by kind of late for her and she missed out on any food cause those kittens eat. I even felt sorry for Camo, which doesn't happen too often.

Brenda came over this evening bearing gifts. Now, she is a great gift giver! And she is also a lot of fun to shop for. Roy could only laugh at all the sheep related gifts tonight. Buddy loves the wrapping paper and has kept herself amused with it. Gift giving is such an art and lots of love and thought usually goes into it. There are some people I wish I could ask for us not to exchange gifts cause it feels like anything chosen for them goes into the black hole...never to be seen again.

The fine folks at Publix helped us with our Christmas lunch. I was thinking we might do tacos but in the end, traditional food won out. We did a late lunch cause Roy had made biscuits for breakfast. He made eggnog biscuits and we had elderberry jam. Delicious!

Today, with a slower pace, it was a good day to take in all we have heard this year in church leading up to this day. After the holidays life in January begins to slow...more into a quiet season. I don't think Roy can do many days like today but for me they are treasured.

Nancy's Monablog