Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ode to Moggie

Moggie, I hardly knew you.
You were always around and played with all the kids.
Other pets came and went but you were always there.
You were Traci's pet, you just allowed the rest of us near.
When I moved here I saw how wasted you were. I knew.
Your time was near. You spent a lot of time hiding.
You seemed to stare at your food.
One time I found you in the bathtub.
Several times you slept under my bed. The dogs knew.
You liked to walk out to the garden and sit at it's edge.
You went out yesterday and didn't come back.
It rained most of the day, we found you later in your spot.
Now you have found peace. Bye Moggie.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two Unhappy Dogs.

I guess the garden will be happy. Bobby had said the other day he was hoping it would rain before he had to water. He got his wish. Two days now it has been raining. I wonder if there are any more rattlesnakes hiding out in the yard. Hopefully they have moved on.

Lady and Daisy are not happy with wet feet. I took them out this morning and you would have thought I was about to torture them. Daisy did hers right away and ran back to the porch. Lady , on the other hand, just stood there. "I have no intention of doing anything now, woman" she seemed to say. I pushed her out into the area that was newly mowed thinking she would do better there. Nope. We ended up in a staring contest as she looked up at me without moving. Where is Dana Carvey when you need him? "Not gonna do it". So I picked Lady up and inside we went. She then hid in her chair. Not so fast Lady. I let her think about it for a while. Another hour or so and she will have to give in. Yeah, I had to put the leash on her and take her out front to do anything. She was not the least bit happy with me. It's tough to be dissed by a dog.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I sit here listening to Norah Jones and relaxing in the quiet of her songs. It dawned on me that I have been listening to music most of the day. Of course I had to stop to catch the Astros as they beat the Brewers in a squeaker 3-2. And supper was good. Bobby made home made Chinese style food. Fried rice, beef strips onion and broccoli stir-fried and a garden salad. Other than the rice and beef most of the meal came from the garden.

I just sat down to look at all the music I played today. I have listened to a range of music from Pete Fountain's Dixieland to Bernie Williams, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Bette Midler and Russell Watson. And of course now Norah Jones. Haven't decided what will be next. A little wine and a little music...what can I say about that. It does seem to help take away some of the pain.

TIME OUT-- rattlesnake on patio!!!

Yes I said rattlesnake. A small rattlesnake found it's way to the patio and was curled up as the cat was investigating. Aryn came running into my room in terror telling me about it. We watched and listened to it rattle. Bobby was finally able to kill it and Traci put it into the trash can since the trashman comes tomorrow. That ought to be a surprise. Now we have to wonder are there more out there?

Did I say peace? So much for that little bit of quiet. Just try keeping dogs and kids inside while the snake is dispatched. Ok so now I have had my peace and now I am trying to relax again. I don't think I will be walking into the back yard for a while. Ok problem solved. Now what did I do with my wine?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dog Days, Why Me?

Did you ever have one of those days when everything irritates you? Do you know who or what irritated you? Today was my day. First, I think maybe I missed my calling (who called?) as a dog psychiatrist? Sammie, the lab mix seems to think that she is a lap dog who wants to tell me all of her problems. I sat down on the couch and here she came, up into my lap. Since when does a lab mix get the idea of being a lap dog? Anytime they want I guess. So, here she is. Big black head and soulful brown eyes looking intently at me. Uh, Sammie, you need to lay on the couch if you want to see your psychiatrist. So that is what she did. Head in my lap, she proceeded to give me the painful details (sort of) regarding the mess her life is now that two interlopers have invaded her territory. She needed a belly rub and a few words. Yes she actually looked at me with some intent while I spoke. What the intent was I don't know. Probably some spiteful thoughts about Lady and Daisy. After a few minutes she decided the session was over. Probably because the little ones came home from school.

Oh, but Sammie was not the only problem child of the day. Oh no. Both Lady and Daisy got on my nerves. Lady refused to eat her food, instead opting for the chance meeting with food dropped from the table by said children.Or she decided that she wanted to sit at Sammie's food bowl and stare at me as if to tell me she wanted something. This, even though she had already been fed. Ever been stared at by a little dog?

Then the brat of the day honor went to Daisy. First I had to make my bed three times before I finally gave up. Each time after I had it made, Daisy would get on and unmake the bed to her satisfaction. I finally gave up. Then she kept pestering me to go outside for a purpose I have yet to figure out. Maybe to annoy me. All day long she either followed me around or prowled around looking to see what she could get into for some kind of kick. She has been stealing the kids underwear from the floor or the bathroom. Well, she thinks it is fair. They left them where she could get them, right? Then when I thought she would finally be still on the blanket after supper, she would have none of that. She watched the cat and Sammie as they snatched food left on plates from supper.It was as if she was getting pointers on how to do this. Sit down and be quiet! Ha. One dog who does not want to be still and behave is enough to really, I mean really, irritate me. It was like I had two nerves left(imagine that after the last 6 weeks) and she was standing on one of them. Finally after the game was half over and Lady had decided to eat the cat food, I had enough! Both of you, to bed! Finally quiet! Alas my bed is yet again unmade by Daisy and Lady is in her chair snoring. Maybe I should just go to bed myself. That is if Daisy will let me in.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

So It isn't "High Noon"

That sneezing cat is now on my list! Beware of women with an attitude! Look, you sneezing cat, I've ignored you sitting behind me and playing with my hair. I've even forgiven you for sneezing all over me multiple times. I understand that Brad forgets to feed you. I hear your plaintive cries as you plead with me to get you some food. But I draw the line with you using my dog's bed as your litter box.

You may have to search for your litter box. Sometimes Traci puts it outside. Sometimes it is in her bedroom. Most of the time it is in the corner of the kitchen. Yes, I know that Cheyanne sometimes neglects to clean it fast enough to suit you. But the next time you come into my domain, also known as my bedroom, and attempt to take a dump in the dog bed we will go to war. How does a blue, yellow and green blanket look like cat litter? You are lucky that you could not dig into it. You are unlucky because you pooped in the corner of the room, right behind the door. I saw you! I know what you did and I am the one who had to clean it up! Beware cat, you may have nine lives, but one might get a little shorter if you do that again.

Consider this the first salvo of the war. As long as you respect my boundaries and I stay out of yours, we will be ok. Try to poop in the dog bed again and the truce will be broken.Are you listening to me Sneezy? Probably not. I know how you cats are. You are so much more civilized than us humans, or so you think. We are to be tolerated unless you want something from us. Remember that when Brad ignores you pleas and I get you your food and water...

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Farmer in the Dell?

The recent hail and wind did some damage to the backyard garden. But not as much as I had expected. Bobby lost a few little tree seedlings and some of the leaves of the veggies had holes in them. But all in all things did ok.

Yesterday we pulled some turnips. I cleaned them up and ate a couple of the turnips. Not bad. Then Aryn helped me clean the leaves and get them ready to cook. Bobby had never had pot liquor (the juice from cooking). I remember hearing about people drinking a little glass of that while eating some cornbread from when I was a kid. Good ole Southern tradition...

We looked around the garden and discovered tiny little brussel sprouts hidden around the base of the plants. Very exciting. Well maybe not to everyone, but since I have never grown them I was fascinated to see them. I love to eat them but rarely bought them because my kids sneered at the idea of eating them. But what do they know? Bobby and I were happy to see them. Now we will know where to look as they grow.

Two of the broccoli plants had big green heads at the top of the plant. The stalk was thick and the florets were lush and green. I was so tempted to run inside, cut the stem off and and indulge myself in a little broccoli and Ranch dressing. After we had cut off the tops of those two, we discovered tiny little ones around the branches which were just starting. I always wondered how they grow.

Then later in the afternoon, the euphoria of the day was slightly marred by the fact that Brad and Aryn had decided to play in the mud at the back of the garden where the fence is. Think Tom Sawyer. They decided it would be fun to grab handfuls of mud and throw them at the wooden fence. So now there are big globs of mud smeared on the fence. Let's just say that "farmer Bob" was not happy. All I could think of was now who was going to wash the fence? Such is the life of the "gentleman farmer".

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hail, Hail, and more Hail

Hail everywhere. It pounded down for several minutes early this evening leaving the yard looking almost white. The kids really thought it was funny and tried to jump in the pile of it. Traci was not happy with it falling on the car. At one point while I stood on the back porch it almost looked like a "whiteout", the hail was so heavy. Apparently no real damage though we have not checked out how the garden did. It got hit pretty hard.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Almost There

For those who have not finished your taxes --hurry up. For me, my taxes were done and paid before I had to leave. Maybe getting married on April 15th was a bad omen.

It has been a quiet, melancholy but reflective day. I remembered that the minister who married us got lost coming to our house. Maybe another omen? I remembered Jimmy's parents sitting on the hearth as we took our vows. Then I realized that 21 years had gone by. Where did the time go? There were good times and bad times, but we were secure in the knowledge that we had each other. I even remembered when he had to have emergency eye surgery because he was working around the house and tried to nail something and hit the nail wrong causing it to fly into his eye. That ripped a hole in his eye and we had to rush him to a specialist for the surgery. I also remembered when he broke his wrist. Just try to take a shower with a cast on your arm!

Then I remembered when he told me I needed to leave. I never saw that fastball. I've never gotten an answer to my questions. So I remain hurt, confused and angry. But his decision just seems to go along with how people view the world today. We live in a disposable society. Get bored with your car, trade it in on a new on. Tv breaks, don't try to fix it, buy a new one. The computer seems outdated, buy a new one. Need to fix a faucet that only needs a washer? Don't go to the storage shed to get the washer, buy a whole new faucet, cause it would take too much time to hunt for the washer in the shed.

It used to be that married people worked out their problems. Now it is much easier to just get rid of a partner. Throw them away just like that empty soda bottle. Don't tell them about feelings, or issues. That might take time. That would also mean confronting your inner fears or feelings. Those little things you don't want anyone to know. So it has been 20+ years. Start fresh, train a new one.People fall in and out of love all the time, often with the same person. Getting married is the easy part. Living in the marriage is the hard part. We all discover that our spouse has annoying habits after we get married. Most of us learn to live with them.

So as my wedding anniversary day nears it's end with less than an hour to go, I am left to remember what was and what could have been. We could have had it all. But somewhere the lines of communication broke and I don't know how to fix them. I just know that until he decides what he wants, I will remain neither here nor there. My life has been suspended and I am unable to move.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What Do I Look Like, the Pied Piper?

Since I joined Twitter I have been finding various things to follow from Annie, Traci, and Bobby to Houston news, GMA, and the Astros and Texans teams. It is kind of fun to get little notes about what is going on. However the Astros have not had much luck so they aren't saying much. But the whole Twitter thing is interesting. I've got "people" following me who I have no clue who they are. That's a "huh" moment.

Traci and Annie twittered about "Friday Night Lights" season finale. I can keep up with bits and peices of the national news. When I found that the Houston Texans football team was on Twitter, I thought "cool". After all it won't be too long till the new season schedule will be anounced. They will twitter me when they do. After all I follow them and they "follow" me. Though I doubt a person actually looks at what I say on twitter. But I did get a funny notice yesterday which made me laugh. "The Texans Cheerleaders are now following you..." Yeah, standard reply when you start following something. Some how that struck me funny. Ok, so all these guys are following me on Twitter. So just where are we going? Are they lost?

The other day I found another person "following" me but not on Twitter. I'm being followed on my Yahoo messenger. That is a little strange. Every afternoon this person logs in to Yahoo messenger with an "available" status and a status note. I noticed that a couple of these status notes, which are not chats, were directed at me. Strange I thought, especially since they are from my husband! The other day I had "bored" on my status. I had already read a couple of chapters of a book, watched two tv shows, listened to the radio, and a cd. What else could I do I thought. Next thing I see is a note next to his avatar - read a book. Excuse me, who asked you for a comment? So apparently even though we are not currently speaking, he is following me on line. Why?

So with all these people "following" me I am beginning to feel like they must think I know where I am going. I don't. Maybe I should just go in circles. So attention all followers: If you are going to follow me, bring a map. It's going to be a long trip.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Seen the Easter Bunny Lately?

Once upon a time there was a man who was peacefully driving down a windy road. Suddenly, a bunny skipped across the road and the man couldn't stop. He hit the bunny head on. The man quickly jumped out of his car to check the scene. There, lying lifeless in the middle of the road, was the Easter Bunny.

The man cried out, "Oh no! I have committed a terrible crime! I have run over the Easter Bunny!"

The man started sobbing quite hard and then he heard another car approaching. It was a woman in a red convertible. The woman stopped and asked what the problem was.The man explained, "I have done something horribly sad. I have run over the Easter Bunny. Now there will be no one to deliver eggs on Easter, and it's all my fault."

The woman ran back to her car. A moment later, she came back carrying a spray bottle. She ran over to the motionless bunny and sprayed it. The bunny immediately sprang up, ran into the woods, stopped, and waved back at the man and woman. Then it ran another 10 feet, stopped, and waved. It then ran another 10 feet, stopped, and waved again. It did this over and over and over again until the man and the woman could no longer see the bunny.

Once out of sight, the man exclaimed, "What is that stuff in that bottle?"

The woman replied, "It's harespray. It revitalizes hare and adds permanent wave."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Dog, A Real Dog?

Annie and the boys finally got their wish - a dog. It is a 4 week old lab/retriever mix. It apparently looks a lot like Sammy. I understand that Jason was not especially thrilled at the idea. "we travel a lot" apparently was an excuse not to get a dog. Plus he did not like the idea of dogs in the house. That was one of the reasons I didn't move in with them. My little dogs would freak out if they had to stay outside all the time.

And just who is going to get the chore of housebreaking (assuming the dog will be allowed inside). After all it's still a puppy. I would guess that the boys are happy. Yeah, should the puppy stay inside, how long will that last as she cries at night...

Hang in there Annie. Remember the puppy will be a lot like another kid. You will have to be her mother. She's little now, just wait till she gets bigger. And you remember what happened when Lady and Windows collided. right? Your cat may not take kindly to the puppy. Just remember you can travel with a dog if you know what you are doing, Jason.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tv Series, Cliff hanger or Mars??

I have been catching up with some of my tv shows as much as possible. I have missed some episodes cause Traci and Bobby watch different shows here. That's ok, thanks to the internet. I'v managed to catch up with most.

We all like the series "Friday Night Lights" which is about a Texas high school football team and all the people around them, for those who have not seen it. Vintage Texas high school football. Trust me this is the way it is in Texas. So the show ended tonight with a wedding and the head football coach being offered the head coach position at the new school while his wife is the principal at the old school. Hum... The district is going to divide the school into two. I smelled a cliff hanger... Yes there will be a new rivalry next year...want to bet?

But one of my other favorite shows apparently has been cancelled. "Life on Mars" was, to me, a drama with some quirks, to say the least. What else would you say about a police detective in 2008 who has an accident and wakes up in 1973. I liked the show because it showed the difference in police policies, then and now. It also featured music and set decor very much like 1973. Even the clothes were right. But I guess either the producers and writers had the end planned all along or if they new it was going to be cancelled, they took their anger out on the viewers. I figured that eventually the detective would have to go back to the current time somehow, but this was nuts. I sat watching on my computer as the show ended with the detective and the other cops wake up (as astronauts) as they landed on Mars! What the Hell were the writers thinking! I guess the joke was on us! Jeez... I'm going to bed now.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Sounds of Music

We went to see Cheyanne's band concert last night. Cheyanne plays the french horn in the 7th grand band. We think they did quite well. The 8th grand band also played. I have always wondered why, in a school band concert, do they always seem to play the music of some obscure composer. One the other hand I'm not up to date on some of the classical composers. Oh well. The 7th and 8th grade choirs each sang beautifly. No guys in the choirs though.

We also saw some very good art work by various students some of whom received medals. I found the subject choices and the detail of these to be very good. It was a little hard to believe how young these artists are.

The evening's "hosts" were two high school students. The girl wore a hot pink cocktail dress and silver stiletto heels. Traci wondered how much money her parents spent on the outfit. It was a little hard for the hosts to move things along because the choirs had to come from different areas. A sort of cute thing was when these two hosts presented medals to the young artists. Why did no one tell these kids to sit together instead of being all over the place? That caused a good bit of time lag and unlike presenters on tv the hosts did not know how to fill time.

Did I say the bands sounded wonderful? Last on the program was the hight school drill team, the "electric blue". Columbia blue is the school team color. At first I felt a little embarrassed for the girls. The curtains opened as the girls stood in a straight line across the stage. They stood there for what seemed to be an eternity. Apparently someone did not know how to work the tape player. Yikes. Mercifully some one thought to close the curtain while the "technical" bugs with the music were worked out. Finally the drill team did their thing. Somehow how I will never hear the theme music to "Knight Rider" the same way again. There were a couple of other "music" pieces that I did not recognize but I guess the kids did. As far as the drill team... well let's just say they were not exactly light on their feet. Traci had warned me "they suck". Yeah, right, I thought, they can't be that bad. Oh yes they can...

Did I tell you how much we enjoyed the band and we are so proud of Cheyanne? I hope she will continue to enjoy being in the band. Keep up the good work Cheyanne!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Patterns of Life

I'm beginning to see the patterns of life around here. The family pets have theirs. They are adjusting, sort of, to my dogs. Sammy the lab mix has decided that I should be her friend. Then she tries to pick a fight with Daisy. "I was here first" type of mentality I guess. Then Sammy looks at me with those big brown eyes, pleading for attention. So this morning as I am sitting on the couch drinking my coffee both Sammy and the sneezing cat decide that I am fair game. First the cat decides to get down off the back of the couch and into my lap.All well and good until said cat decides to stretch out the front feet and stick claws into my shirt. Daisy is on my left side with her head in my lap and is only tolerating the interloper taking up space on me. Sammy is on the other side wanting attention. Then I get stuck in the middle when the cat decides that Sammy is too close. Ok, guys do I look like the United Nations of animals?

Then I am stilling learning to cope with neighbors who just pop over at will. There is a little girl who likes to play with Aryn. Almost every afternoon she knocks on the door multiple times to ask Aryn to play outside. So Aryn goes in and out. Sometimes the "playtime" is short and "Sara" goes home only to return a little while later, over and over.

But the most interesting of the neighbor families is the one next door. The father is in the Army, currently in Iraq. The wife works during the day. they have three teenagers. Dad was home for a while when I first got here. It seems that he and the rest of the family like to pop in just about any old time. knock on the door and walk in...hum. Cheyanne is 13 and is buddies with their 17 year old girl. Ok, though it is a little odd that the 17 year old is such good friend with a 13 year old. But they are both smart and make great grades in school.

But yesterday morning one of the younger teens knocked on the door (at least he didn't come in) at 7:30 am. Bobby was not at all happy. He basically told the kid to go home.Yikes! Who goes next door at that hour of the morning on a Sunday? Later that day, boy teen pops in saying his Mom wanted to know if Traci had any toilet paper. Yes, I said toilet paper! This is the same mom who went to town the day before and popped over asking if Traci needed anything. Go figure. I still have no idea why she needed toilet paper.

Yes, the patterns of life are a bit different here. I guess I will eventually get used to the free wheeling comings and goings of the neighbors. Oh and I met the "creepy guy" from across the street yesterday too. I see why they call him creepy...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Feline Heaven

The sneezing cat loves me. When I sit down on the couch he has to climb up and sit right behind me. Sometimes he lays down on a blanket next to me, but most of the time he is behind me. Maybe he will change my hairstyle since he likes to occasionally play with it.

So in honor of the sneezing cat and the old cat who hides all the time:

A cat dies and goes to Heaven.

God meets him at the gate and says, "You have been a good cat all of these years. Anything you desire is yours, all you have to do is ask."

The cats says, "Well, I lived all my life with a poor family on a farm and had to sleep on hardwood floors."

God says, "Say no more." And instantly, a fluffy pillow appears.

A few days later, 6 mice are killed in a tragic accident and they go to Heaven. God meets them at the gate with the same offer that He made the cat.

The mice said, "All our lives we've had to run. Cats, dogs and even women with brooms have chased us. If we could only have a pair of roller skates, we wouldn't have to run anymore."

God says, "Say no more." And instantly, each mouse is fitted with a beautiful pair of tiny roller skates.

About a week later, God decides to check and see how the cat is doing. The cat is sound asleep on his new pillow. God gently wakes him and asks, "How are you doing? Are you happy here?"

The cat yawns and stretches and says, "Oh, I've never been happier in my life. And those Meals on Wheels you've been sending over are the best!"

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April is the Cruelest Month

A lot of people like to play April fool jokes today. I did as a kid. Then I grew up. My mother died of cancer 4o years ago today. She was 49. Income tax day is looming. I've already sent them their due. My wedding anniversary is also on April 15, 21 years.

It is the poet T.S. Elliot who first said April is the cruelest month...from The Waste Land written in 1922. Here is part of it:

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

Hopefully April will go a little easier on us this year. Flowers begin to bloom, birds sing, leaves of grass turn green. Trees blossom and provide shade for all creatures. After all it is the season of renewal, right?