Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Publicity shot

Yesterday, Joybells said that Eddie should have his own show. Well, he's ready. He's got the perfect publicity shot. He does love his sunbeams, and the light shows off his fur perfectly.

Monday, June 25, 2012

More fun with boxes

He's particular about his boxes. Some boxes he never touches. For others, he turns into a cat beaver. I don't know what the characteristics need to be for him to eat them, but he always likes Rue La La and Zappo boxes. He never eats Amazon boxes.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The gnome is back

And so is the husband. 

Kent made the long drive from Boston to Kansas City—he left Friday morning and got here yesterday afternoon. So now it’s official, we are both residents of Kansas. We need to get our plates and drivers’ licenses changed but we’ve got 90 days to get that done.

The gnome made the trip with Kent. I got this gnome at a Wal-Mart in Kansas City in the summer of 2005. He lived out in our yard then, under the trees in the back. 

When we moved, we put him in the patio on door duty. The iron security gate tended to swing shut when unlocked, which meant we looked through iron bars. I wasn't a fan of the prison look, so the gnome held the iron gate open during the day and stood sentry duty at night.

When the water main burst and we flooded, he ended up face down in dirt for about eight months. That’s how his nose got damaged. 

We think he’s a tough old gnome and capable of handling anything.  I just hope he’s not bored standing out there on the balcony among the tomato and pepper plants in placid Overland Park. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The cats, I mean.

Cats run hotter than humans, somewhere between 100--101F. I'm here to tell you that when three fur-covered heaters plaster themselves against me at night during the summer, it's hard to tell we have A/C.

And that's what they've done the last couple of nights. I get it, they missed me and they're still feeling needy. I'm just feeling rather hot.

Not from last night but typical of the cats who are also bed hogs. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

It was the best of times

Well no, it wasn’t the worst of times but the last four days sure were a study in contrast. All day I’ve been thinking of it as a plus/minus trip. It started with a minus when I set the alarm clock for 3 . . . PM.

On the plus side, I woke up at 3:50 and hollered at Kent that we needed to haul ass, no time to waste. And we did, we made to the airport and through security with only minor stress.

Then our flight had mechanical problems and ended up being delayed three hours. At one point we were positive we wouldn’t make it to Ben’s dinner that night but on the plus side, we did.

First we got caught up in crazy traffic, drove too far to the wrong Marriott and then backtracked to our real hotel. Anyway—we did get there, you saw the pictures from the dinner and it was a wonderful evening. After a celebratory lunch on Friday, we dropped him off at the airport, visited Ikea one more time, and got to Boston in time to have appetizers and drinks outside. all plusses.

Saturday was good, although cold and dreary. But that’s just Boston and so I don’t count it as a minus although it's certainly not a plus. The Ferals have been rattling their sabers again, and escalated on Saturday and they most definitely are nothing but big honking minus signs.

Sunday morning I woke up to an email from Delta telling me that my 6:30 PM flight that night was already two hours delayed (minus). I knew that didn’t bode well for me getting home Sunday so I rebooked to an earlier flight that took me through Detroit, and then we had brunch with our friends Fiona and David. Seeing them was almost as big of a plus as seeing Ben.

The trip home was unnecessarily painful—while I got the upgrade on both flights (plus), I didn’t have a seat on the second flight (minus) and almost didn’t get one, and one flight was delayed enough that I didn't get dinner (minus).

I got home (plus), only to find out that our cat sitter had locked the door from the apartment to the garage (yikes) and I didn’t have that key (big minus). I called her and thankfully she was awake (plus) and could drive over (huge relief, I didn’t want to stay in a hotel). After she left, I petted the kitties and discovered one of them had puked on the bed. Minus.

And then this morning, all I wanted was my morning cereal but the milk had spoiled. Minus.

How was your weekend? 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lush and green now

A little compare and contrast for our patio in Boston. I'm no Freshhell with her amazing gardening abilities but we did pretty well here with what we had.



Saturday, June 16, 2012

How bizarre

We are in Boston this weekend, staying in our apartment. It feels very strange to be here.

Kent’s known for years that I can’t relax and sleep in when I’m at home. I have things to do and seem to be incapable of just chilling out. But last night I slept for almost 11 hours and didn’t get up until almost 8 AM. That’s a pretty clear sign this isn’t home any more.

We have the place staged with a bed, a couple of small chairs, area rug and TV console plus a small dining room table and two chairs. So it’s more comfortable than, say, a hotel room but it’s not all that convenient in terms of fixing food or anything. Last night we watched old TV shows on Kent’s laptop through our Amazon Prime membership (hurrah for free video streaming!).

Today we’ve been knocking out some chores around the place (the patio needed to be weeded), and tomorrow we’ll hang out with friends before I catch a flight home.

I’ve decided that Boston is a great place to be but not a great place for me to live.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lookin' good

Mostly so Jen can see these right away, I'm posting a photo heavy entry. These are from last night's dinner. New England is cooperating with the most gorgeous weather, and last night was exceptional. 

Kent and Ben before dinner.

Ben and me after dinner.

Ben with a well deserved beer.

Amazing sunset--you can see part
of the War College on the right.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Four eyes

I started wearing glasses when I was 12. I was nearsighted and I vividly remember my astonishment at how clear the pavement was after putting on my new glasses. But I didn’t always wear them. That’s partly because my vision wasn’t horrible (I ended up about -2, purely nearsighted, with no astigmatism—compare that to my brother who I think was -12 plus had a horrible astigmatism). So I would wear them to see the chalkboard in school but often forgot them otherwise until I got older.

And I realized when I got older that when I was in a tense or uncomfortable situation, I’d take my glasses off. The instant blur created a sense of having a barrier which always eased my discomfort. It didn’t bother me that I couldn’t exactly see everyone; I’d just look toward them and be able to maintain eye contact without feeling uncomfortable.

After I had Lasik surgery, my nearsightedness was gone, but I chose not to correct for the eventual need for reading glasses. I figured I would just wear them (and I do). But now when things get tense or I’m tired of making eye contact, I just look through my reading glasses instead of over them. Everything is blurry, just the way I’m used to.

So far this works because my prescription is very mild. I need them but I don’t (yet) look like Mr. Magoo. Plus my frames look more like trendy frames, not reading glasses. We’ll see what happens when fashion changes or my eyes get worse.

What weird coping strategies do you have? 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The truth about cats and dogs

My BFF and her husband came over for dinner last night with their two young sons. T is almost 9 and J is 7 1/2 – they are fun kids, bright and inquisitive and not at all obnoxious. I feel like I can say that since I raised two boys also and know that sometimes boys can be a little on the rambunctious/obnoxious side. We all went over to the pool before dinner, which was a great way to socialize and let the kids burn off their energy.

Mostly the boys were fascinated with our cats. They have two dogs, a border collie and an Australian shepherd, but no cats. So they really wanted to interact with all three of ours. As you might imagine, the cats wanted nothing to do with them.

As the evening went on, they’d ask me about the cats, what they like, how they act, what it means when they meow or hiss or run away or just generally behave like cats. I enjoyed telling them about the differences between dogs and cats, like how you know a dog is happy when the tail wags but it’s a very different story when a cat whips its tail. T told me very solemnly that Wally had hissed at him and that he knew that meant Wally was afraid and needed his space.

We had a great time with the adults too—I look forward to doing it again, and also helping my cats get more socialized with children.

As for the cats, they have been utterly wiped out today.

Chloe is so tired she doesn't care
 that Eddie is kitty piling with her. 

Wally has hardly moved all day except to go
into the guest bathroom & lick the shower curtain. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Things I don’t understand

All real life examples, most are from this week:
  • Posting incredibly detailed information about your health condition, along with your symptoms and the drugs you’ve used to treat the condition—on Facebook no less.
  • Posting racist comments anywhere.
  • Ignoring rules or laws because you don’t like them (why hello, Ferals, I am most certainly talking about you)
  • Not using spell check on a presentation to a client. Lest you think I am being nit-picky, I’m not talking about using then instead of than, or even about poor writing. I’m talking about wrong capitalization and use of parentheses (Are “Businesses” . . . ) plus misspelled words (business savy). 
  • Holding a cell phone conversation in a restaurant after you are seated—on speaker phone.
  • Taking up two parking places with your car . . .

And as long as I’m being crotchety, I will never understand what passes for business casual dress in the work environment. If you’d wear it to the beach, it’s not business casual. If you’d wear it to go clubbing, it’s not business casual. If you’d wear it to work out, it’s not business casual.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How does your garden grow?

Very well, thank you!

Two tomato plants, three kinds of peppers
and a straggly mint plant (it's lasted for three years).

Tomatoes again, also peppers, and the
basil, rosemary and oregano plus some flowers. Because I can. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

As is

So I’ve been thinking (again) about body image. That’s partly because I’m a freak and partly because I want to change the way I look at myself. Who knows, maybe someone else will find this helpful too.

One of the blogs I read is particularly good in this area. In fact, she’s how I want to be. The author will tell you up front that she’s large and in charge, but she never uses negative language to describe herself. Don’t get me wrong, she’s under no illusions that she’s a tiny thing. She sews most of her clothing so she knows exactly what size she is. But size has nothing to do with looking good and she never uses negative language about herself nor does she put herself down. I love that. For example, she writes that her biceps are bodacious—what a great description. It’s truthful and positive all at the same time.

I remember my mother telling me one time while looking through pictures from years ago that she had been beautiful. It’s true, she was. What’s equally true is that she is beautiful. And basically that’s what I want to see—I want to see the beauty in me here and now and not just from when I was younger.

Actually, I should have the attitude of my cats. They know for a fact they are perfect exactly as they are and they sure don't run around thinking they look ugly or fat or anything silly like that.

(And sis, if by some chance you are reading this—my wish is that you too can see exactly how awesome you are right now. Seriously.) 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Food, glorious food

Kitties have a new post-dinner routine. They will come to whatever room we are in and then assume various languid positions on the floor. Last night Wally was actually lying flat on his back, something Chloe and Eddie do all the time but I'd never seen Wally do it before.

You won't see him doing it here either. As soon as I turned the camera on, he rolled over. Stinker.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

More random than usual

So three weeks into living here, I think I’ve caught up with sleep, getting organized and all that stuff.

It’s amazing to me how so many of my routines are tied to places. For example, in Boston I always put my phone on my desk and that’s also where I charged it. But I can’t really charge my phone at my desk here in Overland Park—the outlets are all in use. So what that means is I’ve ended up either forgetting my phone or running it pretty much out of charge (very out of character for me).

The cats are also relearning their routines. The first few days, no one cried for the canned food. Heaven! Well that was short lived, they’re full acclimated to the Central time zone and Chloe especially has resumed her food siren ways along about 3 PM.

Wally had a water routine going in Boston. We kept the fountain under our pedestal sink in the bathroom and when I’d pour more water into the fountain, he would leap up onto the sink to watch me pour any extra water down the drain. He loved that routine and would come running when he heard me fill up the glass. But the fountain isn’t in the bathroom here—no pedestal sink plus the outlets are a little far away—it’s in the dining room. I’ve started calling him when I’m going to add water to the fountain and then I pat the top of the counter by the kitchen sink (there’s a tiny bit of counter to the left of the sink, just right for a cat to observe). He caught on pretty quickly but the unfortunate side effect is he thinks all counters belong to him. I am working on dissuading him of that notion. (Don't worry, I'm clear on the chances of that happening.)

Eddie still brings his favorite toy of the moment into our bedroom at night. He’s such an optimist—I know he thinks we’ll wake up and play with him. If it’s the whistling mouse, and he drops it on me, I just put it under my pillow. Sorry, cat, we are not nocturnal.

This weekend I made black beans from scratch, lentil soup from scratch, cooked up a big batch of brown rice for freezing, did my ironing, hemmed a pair of pants, did the laundry, vacuumed (hey that’s a lot of vacuuming, I am out of practice), and hemmed two sets of curtains and frankly I’m tired. I head to the airport in about 90 minutes to fetch Kent, who worked a lot harder in Boston getting our place ready to go on the market. Fingers crossed it sells quickly and we don’t lose money.