Archive for May, 2010

Raggs and Wounds

Last week  Miss Raggs, my calico, bit the bejeebers out of me.

When I picked her out of a basket of free kittens down at the Saturday Market six years ago, she was a tiny kitten, just barely weaned.  The older she got, the longer and fluffier her fur became.  I’ve always had short haired cats, for obvious reasons.  I wasn’t really into brushing.  Mom had a ginger colored Persian when I was in high school.  She was always fussing with Pedro’s fur — brushing, trimming.  If she didn’t, he looked pretty scraggly.  I like the idea that animals take care of their own fur care and hygiene.  Come on — it ‘s like any adult.  Big people comb their own hair and bathe themselves, right?

Long cat hair means lots of brushing, particularly when winter ends and summer begins.  That extra fur has to go somewhere.  If it’s not brushed out, it knots up into balls, which have to be trimmed off.  Taking scissors to a cat that is already wiggling is a scary adventure in and of itself.  Add a nature-girl cat who loves to lay in the woods in the pine needles.  Pine tar is difficult to remove too.  Sometimes it can be brushed; sometimes it needs trimming.  If Raggs were a human, she would have long curly hair and wear dangly earrings, broomstick skirts and peasant blouses.  A real free spirit.

Anyway, we were out on the porch and she seemed in the mood to be groomed so I was moving along, on the second big handful of fur when she jumped and bit me — really hard!  She nailed me on the first knuckle of the long finger on my left hand.  It bled – a lot.  Normally she isn’t a mean cat.  Although I have seen all six pounds of her take on other cats and even the dog — and win.  After I washed and bandaged it, I returned to the porch to find a big clump of her fur on the floor.  Heavens — if someone had yanked that out of me,  I’d bitten them too!

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Dry, Baby, Dry

Recently while hunting for home style napkins online at the Vermont Country Store, I discovered something interesting.  Remember my comments about clothes lines?  Read what I found on their website.

Let It All Hang Out!

Thanks to the strong support and testimony of Lyman Orton, proprietor of The Vermont Country Store, laundry day here in Vermont is turning into a celebration of sorts as the legislature recently enacted a law giving Vermonters the Right to Dry. No longer can towns or homeowner’s associations prevent residents from putting up clotheslines in order to dry their laundry.

What Does This Mean?

Clotheslines are no longer looked at as eyesores, but as a way for Vermonters to dry their laundry using zero-energy in an effort to reduce energy costs and preserve the environment.

What’s Next?

Put up a clothesline of your own and encourage your neighbors to do the same in order to send a clear message to your state legislators that you too want the Right to Dry.

Way to go Vermont!  Sanity has returned — at least somewhere. . . .

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Oh Mama

Mother’s Day is a good time to relax.  Not that I need much of an excuse these days.  Church and dinner with James and Marilyn, Emily, Jonathan, and Marilyn’s mother, Veronica.  Although the service was slow, it did give us a chance to visit.  And that was good.  My usual Sunday routine is the porch and the paper.  It was a perfect day.  Well, almost.  The Dairy Queen has wonderful Blizzards.  My favorite is Georgia Mud Fudge.

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Turn Off and Tune In

Sometimes recently I’ve felt “out of it” because I haven’t joined Facebook or Twitter, and even refuse to learn to text message.  After reading the blog of son David, Evil Genius Chronicles, recently, I was reminded why.

In years gone by, I have sometimes held down more than one job at a time.  I really had to be aware of what day it was, when I had to be where, and even what I needed to wear.  In fact, after I retired, I re-read my daily planner and realized that it had something — a meeting, an appointment, or an activity, or a school duty — listed for every single weekday of the month.  Routinely,  I was fully booked during the work week, every week.  The last few years we had to check emails and voice mail and mailboxes several times a day.  I was required to check — repeatedly.  I always felt chained to them.

Needless to say, not to be “on” was, and still is, a delight.  I now need not to be so busy.  That much activity is stressful, not just for me but for everyone.   Recently a friend told me that her adult son spent the Easter weekend with friends in the country.  The group called a ban on cell phones and laptops.  At the end of the weekend, what was the best part of their time?  They unanimously agreed — no cell phones!

I worry about children who do not know how to sit quietly and read or write or daydream, or even talk in a social setting.   I see children in restaurants playing games on their phones or gameboys, or listening to their ipods.  I want to yell, “Put it down.  Talk to your family.  Listen to your family.  You’re in public  for heavens sake!”  Some of my fondest childhood memories are sitting on the curb after a rain and watching the ants float down the street on a leaf — sitting in the treehouse watching the patterns of sunlight filtered through the tree leaves — curled up reading a book, lost in the story.  In fact, how many children even play outdoors anymore?  No wonder they’re obese.  We watched TV only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.  I still feel a little odd watching TV during the day.

I guess the greatest part of not being “plugged in” is deliberation.  Thinking more about what I do and why.  Thinking my way through things — even seemingly simple things like housework.  Am I doing it efficiently?  Is it worth my time and energy?  Or am I just going through the motions?  Mindlessness is something I’ve never ever wanted.  What a waste.

Anyway, I enjoy blogging because it forces me to articulate what’s on my mind.  One of the joys of Life with Bruce is that we always, and I do mean always, have things to discuss.  Often he starts in on a topic that had been floating around in my head.  He helps me put ideas into focus.  I hope I do the same for him.

Therefore — I’ve resolved to no longer beat myself up for not being plugged into the new social media of Facebook and Twitter, which to me means you’re really less tuned in, not more.  Oh the irony!  And to my friends who no longer blog — I miss you.

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