Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer Semester and Projects...

The long summer session begins Monday (June 1), and, while my course site is ready, I'm not. Geez, where do the days go?

The projects for the summer--paint the bedrooms, living room, and hall; paint the Sears circa 1919 iron bed and some bookcases; rip the carpets up and refinish the red oak floors; make new curtains; get my daughter to build some bookcases...what else? Oh, yeah. Finally, sheetrock the wall I knocked down last year in the bathroom. The kitchen and bathroom might be good projects for next year. I don't have the money or time to redo them. Painting, etc., is going to be hard enough. I hate moving furniture, and I have no idea where I'm going to put all this stuff. Hmmm...I think a garage sale is in order--anything but my books.

I feel a trip to Lowe's coming on.


My mom called me this morning around 8am to let me know that a close friend of the family, Emma Davidson, died of a heart attack. I'm shocked. My mom and dad were planning a trip with them in August. Funeral arrangements are pending, so I don't know when that will be, but I'm guessing Monday. I wonder why, the older I get, the more surprised I am when people older than I am die. Of course, I'm also shocked when people younger die. Let's face it--I'm shocked when anyone I know dies. I hope I'm not holding on to the idea that I'll live forever. I thought I got over that many years ago.

So, here's a sunflower for Ms. Emma.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Kitten Saga...

A little over a month ago, the feral mother cat who is responsible for nearly all the other feral cats around here had another litter.  Four cute little kittens.  When the rains came, she moved them into the laundry room--her usual behavior--where they stayed until she thought I was getting too familiar with them.  Then, about two weeks ago, she moved them across the ditch.

Yesterday afternoon, I went out to the back ramp and, lo and behold, I found three of the kittens, meowing at a fever pitch.  I could hear the fourth one--sounded as though it was still across the ditch--and I figured the mother cat had not moved it yet.  Somewhere around nine pm last night, the fourth kitten came tearing up the ramp from the deep darkness of the backyard in response to its siblings' cries.

I have no idea where the mother cat is.  I don't know if they found their way here, or if she brought them.  She's a conscientious mom, so I'm wondering if the marauding dogs got her, or maybe a coyote or hawk. 

For the time being, the babies are in my laundry room with dry cat food and water.  They can eat solid food, but I worry that they still need their mother's milk.  The water will help hydrate them, but it's no substitute.

Anybody need a kitten?  They're a bit clingy right now, but they should be ready for a good home in a week or two.  You just have to promise to neuter them when they are old enough (ask your vet when that should be).  They haven't had shots, either.  I can't afford to inoculate every stray cat that hangs around here, even if I could catch them all.

So, here they are in a picture I took on May 5, before the mom moved them.  They are slightly bigger, but not much.  I don't know if they are boys or girls, yet, but time will tell!


Friday, May 15, 2009

What I Don't Like About Summer...

Well, let's go with the obvious first--the heat!  Though with all of the weird weather we've had lately, that might not be at the top of the list by summer's end.  On Sunday (5.17.09), for example, the high temp is supposed to be 68!  Go figure.

Second, my time clock gets screwed up.  I slept today until noon, for example, which is great, but I'll probably be up until 2am, which will cause me to sleep later tomorrow--you see the pattern here?  Teaching online from home is excellent, yes.  But, when fall comes, I'll have to seriously adjust my biological clock to get back on track.

Third, unless I go back to working at the bookstore, or having lunch with my "peeps" periodically, I won't see too many people unless they make an effort to come here.  That's not likely to happen.  So, by the end of the summer, I'll be holding regular conversations with my cats, expecting them to answer.  I'll have to schedule a few trips--and have, already.  Houston next week; Austin in the middle of June.  I'm hoping to persuade my kids to visit sometime during the summer, too.  My most sustained conversations, other than with the cats, will likely be the cashiers at the grocery store.

Fourth, air conditioning bills, though that's closely aligned to the first dislike.  The hotter the temp, the higher they rise.  I feel as though I'm working to pay the utility company.

I'm sure I have tons of other summer dislikes.  But, on the flip side, sleeping late has its perks, air conditioning keeps me cool, and I don't have to drive unless I want to.  And Mr. Lester's Market opens soon, so I can indulge in fresh produce and local honey all summer.  I think the likes/dislikes balance, which is all I really want--a balance.  I do have more time for writing and reading, and I love most that my time is my own...I can do what I want, when I want.  That's the best thing about summer.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Goodbye, Grandfather Tree

Well, it finally happened. My anti-nature next-door neighbor pulled down the old tree at the back of her property. She's back on her kick of removing as many trees as she can...when she first moved in, she cut down 19 trees. Oh, her Karma's so far in the hole!

Okay, so it was old and gnarled and frequently dropped limbs on the fence. But she was the one who put up the fence so close to it. I'll bet that tree was there for a hundred years or more. And now the back of my yard will get full sun all morning, which means the grass will get dry and crunchy.
I need a new neighbor.
I took a video of the tree coming down, but I can't figure out how to flip it--I turned my camera sideways to take the video. I'll figure it out and post it as soon as I can.
I'm sad my old friend is gone.