Posts Tagged ‘Simplicity’

The Citizen’s Free Library

September 26, 2013

When Sugar bought the grooming-and-boarding business two years ago, he signed a three-year lease on the building.  We considered that now that the lease is almost up, perhaps we should look at other properties, even though we don’t think that there will be anything available.

We looked at buildings that were for rent or sale in our little town.  We didn’t actually tour any, we just looked at the outside and considered if it was large enough and what renovations it would need.

One of the buildings was the old Coca-Cola building.


It was a patchwork-looking affairs, and had several additions to it.  It probably wouldn’t work, but we drove around the building anyway….

…and found the Citizen’s Free Library.



And because Sugar is a book collector, of sorts, we had to get out and take a look.



I didn’t even want to touch them.  They were dusty, and warped, and some were mildewed, and they smelled bad.




I said, “Oh, my gosh, this is just ridiculous.  Why are you looking at these?  These are just disgusting, and don’t even think of taking any of these books, and ohIhavetohavethisone.  It’s Sam Levinson!”




There were embroidery hoops, and old stuffed animals, and Yarn!


Sam Levinson wrote the first adult book I ever read.  I was probably in the fourth grade, and I was standing in front of the children’s section in the church library, trying to decide which book I was going to read – again – and the librarian said, “Let me show you this one.”  And she went to the next bookshelf (it was a very small library that had maybe four bookcases), and she pulled off Sam Levenson’s “Everything But Money”.  I protested that it would be too hard for me, and she said that it wouldn’t.  I was worried that I was going to get in trouble for reading a too-hard book, but I was taught to obey figures of authority, so I was stuck.

It was the best book ever.

And now, thanks to the Citizen’s Free Library, I have my very own Sam Levenson book, “In One Era and Out the Other”.


Thanks, Citizen’s Free Library!  No late fees!

Kiss That Adagio Good-bye!

January 12, 2013

Once upon a time, I picked out a “good” china pattern.

It didn’t get used very much.  I used it once for Thanksgiving in 1978 for a making-of-the-peace meal for my mother-in-law, which is another story, but if any of you have ever had a mother-in-law, then just make up your own story.  You know what I’m talking about.

I used it a few more random times for birthday meals.  Once, Satan himself put his plate into the microwave oven.  He had never before actually handled any dishes at all in any form during his tenure, but his mother was there and apparently he was trying to impress her with his worldly skills about how to nuke food.  Unfortunately, the china was rimmed with a silvery metallic trim, and sparks flew in the microwave, along with great popping sounds.  Instead of turning off the microwave, the devil himself became mesmerized with the light show while I flew across the room and prevented the room from exploding.  Or me.  Was that me that was exploding?

It hardly matters.

Fast forward to today.  I’ve carted that nine sets of good china through hell and half of Georgia.  And I’m done.  I like that china just fine, but I think it’s time to set it free.



























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The pattern is Noritake’s “Adagio”, 1978-1994.  If you are interested, take a look at my Etsy shop, Catcatcher Corner.

(Cat added for scale.  No cats were harmed in the making of this blog post.)

Jackie Lends A Paw

September 24, 2012

You know how cats love all things wool?  There’s nothing like sleeping under a wooly blanket, and then waking up to a cat sucking and kneading on the bedcovers.

Well, I don’t have a wool blanket in this hot climate, but I have been knitting some woolen articles, and that started me to thinking about cats and wool.

I started a new design last week.  It’s called a “Cat Mat”, and it’s knitted of 100% wool with a novelty “eyelash” yarn added in for textural interest.

I used a size 13 circular needle, cast on 40 stitches, purlwise, with 2 strands held as one, changed the colors as needed, and added the eyelash yarn when knitting the borders.  Then I put the item in a pillowcase, tied it shut, and washed it for a full cycle in the washing machine.  This results in a felted item.  Normally the instructions for felting an item in this fashion call for using hot water, but I don’t have any hot water for the washing machine (because the water supply for the washing machine comes directly from the well hook-up), and the first time I tried my cold-water method and it worked, I felt like I had created cold fusion, whatever that is.

Jackie helped with a little photo session.  I draped a fitted sheet over the doghouse for a backdrop, and Jackie was quality control.

Step 1: Start with woolly article. If you do not have a mammoth lying around, a knitted-and-felted item is acceptable.

Step 2: Add cat.

Step 3: Adjust brightness.

Step 4: Stand guard protecting your woollies from the dogs while trying to look nonchalant.

And here’s the uncropped photos…

Then Step 5:  Bribing The Inspector takes place.

Get a New Toy

August 29, 2012

Gerald the Cat, who lives at the grooming business with his friends Errol the Feral and Car E., loves water.  He simply loves water, or at least that’s the way it seems.

There are two water bowls available at all times, and the water level would mysteriously drop in both bowls, and the floor around the bowls would be wet.  And not just a little wet.  It looked like both bowls were standing in a puddle.  Gerald would be standing off to the side of the bowls when you enter the room, and his little paws would be soaked.

Sometimes you can hear him in the resident cat room, splashing away in the bowl.  One day he got into another bowl when he and the other cats were given free reign of the building.  He got into that big white porcelain bowl that is usually used for other purposes.

You know what I mean.

I wondered if we could distract his water fetish by providing him with other toys.  I fetched a tabletop fountain from the loft in the shed.  I’d had it for a few years after the BabyGirl gave it to me, but I really had no where to use it, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity.

The little fountain on the countertop. The cats pace inside their room.


Who inspects the fountain first? Not Gerald.


Who is the least interested? Car E. Of course. It’s not food.


Then Gerald steps up.







Gerald: “Ommm. Ommm. Ommm.”


Welcome to Cat Zen.

I wonder what will happen when I add the river rocks?

Jackie Loves the Telephone

August 18, 2012

Jackie: “Strangely, I feel an affection for this inanimate object.”

Jackie: “Meanwhile, will someone please pull Big Fatty out from under the furniture and tell him the storm has passed over?”

Peachy the Cat, Part Three

May 14, 2012

Peachy the Cat, who lives behind the grooming business, has become so comfortable with his situation that he comes inside the fenced play yard, even when there are dogs in the yard.  He’s a typical clever outdoor cat, and he knows who is hostile and who isn’t. 

Peachy is *inside* the yard playing with a Wubba toy. Apparently, he thinks he is a dog because a Wubba is a dog toy.

When I step through the gate…

The feeding station is on the other side of the fence.

And he’s up on the rail, over the fence, and waiting on room service.

Peachy the Cat, Part Two

April 28, 2012

You folks might remember Peachy the Cat?  He’s a soft feral cat that I relocated from another colony that was in danger of being euthanized. 

Anyway, the Peach lives behind the grooming business that Sugar owns.  That’s the very same business where the BabyBoy is the groomer.  Sugar was worried that Peachy didn’t have shelter, so he took a large dog crate, removed the door, and made the crate all homey by using hay for bedding.  He checked the bedding one day and found that the rains had entered the sides of the crate through the ventilation slots, and now the hay was wet.  So he took plastic and duct-taped it over the openings after he replaced the hay. 

We would see Peach sitting on top of the crate, and Sugar decided that Peach needed a better perch, so he took a bit of plywood and made a dandy platform. 

One evening we met at the grooming business to walk the rescue dogs that live there, with the intention that a trained dog is a more adoptable dog, and we saw Peach on his perch.

Once again, I take photos out the window of the car. I have perfectly good reasons for not getting out of the car. The motion and noise of the car door opening startles the animals and ruins the shot.

And plus, I'm basically lazy.


Precious Paisley the Problem Cat

February 3, 2012

It doesn’t take long for the word to get out. 

A few weeks ago, the BabyBoy, who is a groomer at the local dog grooming salon owned by Sugar, got a phone call from a woman about her problem with her cat.  It seems that the cat didn’t want to use the litter box.  Why she called him, I don’t know, but perhaps the word was out that he’s a friendly, helpful sort, and she was clearly desperate.  When he told me about the desperate woman, he also said that she was old.

Now, BabyBoy is young, so “old” can have a different meaning for him than it does for me.  Heh. 

He made some suggestions about what to do about the cat and the problem.  The woman called him again the next day, with the same problem, and he made the same suggestions, and then she did the unthinkable. 

She showed up at the grooming salon with the cat, and gave. her. up.  BabyBoy called me, a bit rattled and confused, because, really, why would you just show up somewhere with your cat and say, “here you go”, or something along those lines?  After I finished work at the vet’s office, I went to the grooming salon to meet the cat. 

O.  No.  It was Paisley. 

I’ve been worried about Paisley and her owner, the purported old woman, who is indeed old.  I know them both from where I work at the vet’s office.  I was surprised last year when ancient Mrs. PaisleyOwner got a kitten.  The kitten turned into Paisley, actually a very nice cat, but she has skin allergies.

More importantly, Paisley is allergic to fleas.  Mrs. PaisleyOwner would call the vet’s office from time to time to report that Paisley was losing her hair, and sure enough, when Paisley would come in for a visit, she would have fleas, and her skin would be scabby and flaky and dry, and her hair was falling out.  She generally would get an allergy shot, and by the time the office visit was over, there was no money left for flea prevention.  So the cycle of flea reproduction would continue, and Paisley never really got better.

Cats that do not use the litterbox are not doing it to piss off their owners, although folks will call our office to report that their cat is messing with them, and just peeing and pooping outside the box to make the owner mad.  Well, not really, but inappropriate litterbox behavior generally indicates to a medical issue, like a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, diabetes, etc.  If a medical issue is not found, then perhaps your cat really is trying to drive you insane.  In my mind, if I were crawling with fleas, I’d pee outside the box, too.  Now there’s a desperate cry for help.

So anyway, here was precious Paisley, dropped off by her owner, an ancient lady with a cane.  I asked the BabyBoy if he got her to sign off that she was relinquishing the cat, and he said that he couldn’t talk to her because she was crying.  The owner, not the cat.

After the crying owner left, the BabyBoy found fleas on Paisley, so he gave her a bath, dried her, and settled her into the former cat room where Errol the Feral, Gerald, and Car E. used to live and had since graduated to a larger room.  She ate well, drank well, and USED THE LITTERBOX well.  She looked really content in her bed on the wide windowsill in the afternoon sun.  I used a tube of Advantage Multi on her to make sure that she continued to be flea-free for a month.

Believe it or not, she is actually contented, no matter what her expression might tell you.

The next morning, BabyBoy called me to report that Paisley had licked a raw spot on her left side about the size of half your palm.  I’d had such faith in Paisley, because I was convinced that she had temporary insanity caused by fleas, and now she was doing some kind of OCD Lady Macbeth behavior. 

Two days went by, Paisley was still doing okay and still using the litterbox, and had stopped the OCD stuff, and then her owners showed up.  (Insert ominous movie-music here.  Or a drumroll.  Or whatever works for you to show imminent doom.)  I have not mentioned yet that Mrs. PaisleyOwner has a traveling companion, a male counterpart who I believe is not Mr. PaisleyOwner, but is Mr. MainSqueeze.  Heh.  Life is funny like that.  So.  They had actually come to pick up Paisley’s crate, which had been left behind in the tearful aftermath of dropping her off, and they had gotten their senses together enough to visit Paisley and pick up the crate.  They petted her, and oohed and aahed over her, and then they put the open crate in the floor and said, “Do you want to get into your box and go home?”  And Precious Paisley walked right up to the crate, and BabyBoy thought, *she’s going to go in the crate*, and Paisley looked in the crate, and turned her head and walked away, turning a cold shoulder.  She had things pretty good the way they were going. 

After five days, Paisley stopped using the litterbox.  So I gave her another litterbox, this one filled with traditional clumping litter, and put it next to the original litterbox with pine pellets (which break down when wet and turn into mulch and is purely awesome).  She started using the box with the clumping litter, plus I sprayed the room with a pheromone spray which helps to calm cats.  (The pheromone spray is completely odorless, and comes in a spray mist or a plug-in diffuser and is the answer to a lot of problems that cats have.  Google it, really.  It’s a fascinating concept that actually works.)

Sugar wanted to take Problem Paisley to the vet for an exam, and I argued with him – ohyesIdid – that Paisley needed time at the cat spa and sabbatical resort to unwind and regroup.  Leave her alone with some benign neglect since her fleas were gone.  He wanted the licky spot on her side to be examined, but I argued that it was not infected, so let’s don’t throw money at the problem.  Then he wanted to know what the plan was for Paisley, although clearly I didn’t have a plan past eat/drink/pee/poop. 

After ten days, Paisley’s owners showed up to reclaim her.  They paid her bill.  And lived mostly happily ever after.  I suppose I should go see them with a monthly flea treatment, because flea eggs hatch out in less than a month, and I feel like I should reach out to these folks who just wanted a nice cat, and we all could use a little love and support from time to time.

Because really?  That cat’s gonna ix-nay on the itterbox-lay if she gets infested with fleas again.   


Some Christmas Cheer

December 10, 2011

I haven’t had a Christmas tree since 2008 when I moved into the RV.  This year, the BabyBoy put up a tree at the grooming salon.

It appears that the tree with only have lights on it.  Watch the slideshow, and you’ll see what I mean.

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Errol, Gerald, and Car E.

November 17, 2011

Every morning on my way to work, I stop at the grooming salon to take care of the three cats that live there.  Handsome one-eyed Errol, SweetFace Gerald, and Charming Car E. love to sit in the window’s deep sill and enjoy the view and soak up the sun.

These cats are so loving and lovable, and so stinkin’ photogenic, that I can’t resist taking their pictures.

Gerald is will going to a home soon, as soon as he recovers from ringworm.  He had a breakout over his right eye which suddenly exploded into an outbreak over his entire body.  He now has a regimen of baths, medicated wipes, and topical liquid medication.  He might get over his ringworm before I get over mine.

I don’t know if I can stand to separate him from Errol and Car E.