Wednesday, August 15, 2018


Thank you all for your kind words of condolence and prayers about Squeaky.  They mean a lot to me. 

It's going to be a big adjustment not having her here.  It's been so long, it's hard to remember when she wasn't fact, my very first blog post was a sketch of Squeaky, staring into that place only cats can see. 

There are reminders of her everywhere, but it's the little things...

Walking into the laundry room without climbing over the gate ...

Being able to leave the bathroom rug in the bathroom floor without it getting peed on...

Finally taking that hideous plastic slipcover off the couch...

Scrolling through my Facebook memories and realizing how many of my posts were about her...

Giggling over the very last picture I will ever take of her...

While I was looking through my blog for that photo I posted yesterday, I could see how much she'd declined just in the last few weeks.  Not too long ago, she started to show signs of being in pain, but as long as she was eating well, I felt like she would still be OK for a little while longer. 

About Saturday, or so, she went off her feed.  She'd done this before, but had always started eating again in a day or two.  This time, she didn't. 

When I got home from work yesterday, she had gotten so weak, she could barely walk across the kitchen floor.  That's when I finally made the call I'd been dreading for so long.

I said I wasn't going to cry, but I did.  I cried all the way to the vet office.  I cried in the room waiting for him to come in.  I cried all the way, as I drove home alone.  I tried to apologize to the veterinary assistant for crying, only she was crying, too. 

The only time I didn't cry was when I held my kitty, wrapped in her towel, and rocked her as the light left her eyes. 

My heart aches, but I know I did the right thing for her. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Promise Kept

When I found you in my yard all those years ago as a kitten, you were in such poor health, I thought you would die.

I promised you that if you were going to die, at least you'd die warm, well fed, and in a safe place.

Today, I kept that promise.  You were warm.  You were safe.  And I held you until the last.

Good bye old girl.  I'll miss you. 

January 1, 2001 - August 14, 2018

Sunday, August 12, 2018

He Didn't Get It

Cody came home last night and said he didn't get that job he'd wanted.  They felt he was not qualified enough to work in customer service.  He said, "Even though I spent a year helping people who were actually dying."  He was disappointed, but said the Wal-Mart up in Collierville had called him about working there.  It's not his first choice, or even his second, but hey, it's an income.

I asked him what had happened with the Fed Ex job.  He said they wouldn't hire people who didn't already live in Memphis.  That puts him in a bit of a catch 22.  The apartment complex won't lease to him until he's shown them three check stubs proving that he makes at least $1500 per month.  So, he can't get an apartment until he gets a job, and he can't get a job until he gets an apartment.  Well, not the job he wanted, that is.  I suggested he work at Wal-mart a few months, then move up there and re-apply to Fed Ex.  He said he might do that.  I haven't asked him if he's put his resume up on Glassdoor or Indeed.  Honestly, I just now thought about it. 

On the bright side, if he's still living with me at the end of next month, he can watch the dogs while I go to Fiber Fun In The 'Sip, and I won't have to pay for boarding.

Moving right along...

Since I got that pile of wood cleaned up, my next project is to clean up my fence line. 

The previous owners seemed to think that area right behind the fence was their own personal junk yard, so there is a lot of junk out there.  And most of it is just junk,

 but there are some wheels out there that look to be in pretty good shape.  They're either lawn mower wheels or 4 wheeler wheels, I can't tell.

I advertised it on the local Free-Bees group, but as usual, the people who said they wanted it never showed up.   There is a guy at work who picks up scrap metal and takes it back for recycling.  I'm going to ask him if he wants it.  The only down side is that he'll want me to clean it up and bring it to him.  That's not going to happen.  If he wants it, he can come get it.  If not, it's all going into the garbage can.

That's what I was going to do this weekend.  However, I got up Friday and decided it was still too hot to do another big outside job.  What I did instead was to get back to bricking.

I've still got a long way to go, but I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I got most of this short side almost finished before I ran out of stripper.

The hardest part is going to be getting this back corner behind the stove. 

I'm hoping I can get it stripped, primed, and painted before Christmas, so I can put my mantle back up, and put my nativity on the mantle.  The first year I was in this house, I had that mantle decorated so nicely.  I want to get it back to looking good, instead of being just another half finished project. 

In the midst of all that, I got another hat done for my friend's blessing bags. 

I like the way that turned out.  I might just make one for myself. 

Last but not least. I gave Squeaky a bath, which she did not appreciate. 

I did it anyway. 

When we make that last trip to the vet-- which will be soon-- I don't want them to think I didn't take care of her. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Lazy Day

Apparently, yesterday was National Lazy Day.  Who knew?

I decided to observe the day by being lazy.  After paying bills, grocery shopping, doing the laundry, washing the dishes, filling the bird feeders, and mowing the yard, that's exactly what I did.  Of course, by then it was bed time, so it didn't mean as much, but hey, I celebrated Lazy Day!

 I have at least three deer coming to feed, so while I was at the store, I bought them a salt lick.

I haven't seen them licking it yet, but that doesn't mean they haven't.  I finally managed to get a half- way decent picture of the twins.

It's the best I can do with my old point and shoot.

This afternoon, I was in my chair knitting, when Cody walked by and said, "You have a deer out there."

I threw my knitting into the air.  It landed, I know not where.  I dove my body out of my chair ...and that's where my rhyming abilities stop.  Reverting to prose...

I flew to the window and pressed my nose against the glass.  Sure enough, the big doe was out there eating.  Soon, a smaller deer came out of the woods.  Cody said he thought he saw some buttons on that one.  I said, "I'm blind as a bat.  I can't see anything.  Hey! I'm going to go order some binoculars!"

Away to my computer I flew, and began looking at binoculars.  It was then that I remembered somewhere in this house, I have a pair of my dad's binoculars.  I even thought I knew where they were.

Back to my bedroom I flew, and began dragging boxes out of the closet.  Oh, I found so many treasures!  I won't bore you with all of them, but here are a few I did want to show you.

I'd completely forgotten I had this.  It's my ET A School class photo.

The sad thing is, I only remember about half of these people.  I'm going to get my boot camp photo framed and hang them both up.  I'm not sure where, but I'm going to hang them up.

This is a fishing lure my dad made for me when I was about 3 or 4 years old.

I can't believe I still have it after all these years.  I don't think I ever caught a fish on it, though. 

And this...oh, this is probably the most prized possession I have.  My dad's cap gun. 

Some of you may remember the story of how my dad shot the chicken hawk.  If you haven't, click on through and read it. 

It's one of the favorite stories of my dad's childhood. 

I showed these treasures to Cody, who kept coming into my room every time I exclaimed, "Oh, LOOK!" then packed them carefully back into the box-- at the bottom of which I had found the sought after pair of binoculars-- then went back to the window and watched the deer until they had finished eating and went back into the woods. 

I still haven't found my old film camera, but at least now I know where it's not.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018


I am done cutting wood!  At least for the foreseeable future.

When Cody got home yesterday, I got him to stand that last big log on end. 

This morning, I got the ol' chainsaw and went out there and just started hacking away at it, cutting off chunks until it was small enough to handle.

It took some doing, a couple of breaks, and at least one unwholesome word directed at an uncooperative chainsaw  --for which I had to repent --, but I finally got it all cut up and stacked up. 

Maybe now my back will stop hurting so much.  And best of all, I have my yard back!  All of it this time. 

Before Cody left for his first shift at his new job -- which is really his old job, but at a different store in the same chain -- we were chatting in the living room, when Jesse started going absolutely crazy.  I hollered at him and said, "If you're barking at that cat again, I'm going to whoop you!"  Figuratively speaking of course.  I don't whoop my dogs. 

I looked out the window, and it wasn't that cat.  It was a deer.  A different deer, this one with two spotted fawns trailing behind her. 

The doe came and sniffed where the corn was, but I hadn't put any out yet today.  I usually put it out when I get home from work, and the deer will soon get used to my schedule. 

So, now, about Cody....his friend that lives in Collierville works for -- um...some company.  Cody said it's in distribution of sports equipment or something like that.  He'd told Cody they were hiring, so Cody put in an application last night.  His friend checked with HR this morning and they've already taken his application back.  Whatever that means. 

What I hope it means is that he'll get the job.  He said that they'll give him a typing test, and if he passes, he can get into the e-mail department.  I'm assuming that's in customer service.  I think he'll do well in that, because unlike his mother, he's a real people person.  The best part is, he'll start off making more money than I make after 23 years in my current position. 

Back in May, I got my cable cut off and subscribed to Hulu with live TV.  The weird thing is, they were showing me commercials from Oklahoma.  Tulsa hospitals, Oklahoma politicians, car dealerships, etc.  When Cody came in last night and logged on to my wi-fi, the whole internet went berserk. 

That's a Viking word, by the way...

As I was saying, the whole internet went berserk.  My Roku kept crashing, my Fire couldn't connect, even my laptop lost the signal.  I reset my modem and that seems to have solved the problem.  Only now, on my Hulu, I'm getting commercials from Tennessee.  I'm not sure how they determine my location. 

It certainly isn't from my zip code on their website, because I'm still not getting commercials from Mississippi. 

Monday, August 06, 2018

A Fortuitous Turn Of Events

I woke up bright and early this morning, and started getting ready for work.  When I turned on my water to wash my face, alas, I had no water pressure. My first thought was I'd better go out and check my meter.  Now, the last time this happened, I'd thought something was wrong at the water office and I blew it off. That evening, I came home from work to a busted pipe, a flooded yard, and a $165 water bill -- not to mention a $250 plumber bill. 

So, there I was at 3:00 AM in the yard, in my nightgown, checking my water meter with a flashlight.

Funny how things work out.  A few weeks ago, I -- for some reason unbeknownst to me -- had looked into my meter box.  It was so full of dirt and mud I couldn't even see my shut off valve.  It was completely buried.  I couldn't have shut off my water if my life depended on it.  When I took my vacation last week -- you know, when I was supposed to have gotten my tooth pulled --I got out there with my trowel and dug all that mud out. 

While I was doing that, one of my neighbors walked by and said, "You know they don't even read those meters any more.  Remember when they came out and put those new meters on?  Now they just drive by and stick a wand out and read it that way." 

I said, "That must have been before I moved here."

He said, "Nooooo...." 

I didn't know what he was talking about, because I still had the same old meter that had been here since I moved in.  I just kept on digging and soon had my shut-off valve free of the mud. 

Which brings me back to this morning...3:00 my nightgown...all prepared to shut off my water, only my meter wasn't moving.  Good news, the problem was on their side.  I finished getting ready for work, and left right on time.   I passed the water office on the way to the plant, and sure enough, the men and the trucks were out there, fixing whatever had gone wrong.  I came home to a fully pressured water once again.

The good news is, Cody made it here safe and sound.  He is still working for Home Depot, but they let him transfer to a store up in Collierville.  He'll be commuting -- yes 98 miles every working day-- until he can get a second job and get a place up there.  His first day is tomorrow.  Yes, tomorrow. 

In a fortuitous turn of events, I just happen to have a vacation day tomorrow. 

I don't know what that has to do with Cody's new job, but there it is.  And this picture doesn't have anything to do with anything, but I need a photo to pin it. 

So there it is.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

She Came Back

There I was, just a watching TV, when Jesse started going crazy.  I looked out the window, and there she was.  My deer.

She was nibbling up the corn I'd spread for her.

I stood there at my French doors and watched her for a long time, taking lots of pictures with my point and shoot.

I also snapped a couple of the birds at the feeders,

and a squirrel in the yard. 

Wishing all the while I had a better camera. 

But better cameras are expensive, and I've got too much work that still needs to be done on this house. 

So, I just do the best I can with the camera I have.

And I wonder how some of you manage to get such good pictures with your phones. 

Because I sure can't. 

Do they still make film?  Off to research...

Saturday, August 04, 2018

A Backyard Again!

Here I am once again doing my best Tim Conway impersonations, but hey, I got nearly all of that wood out of my back yard!

I didn't split any of it -- except for the logs that were too big for me to cut without splitting--but at least it's up and out of the way.  Between what I cut today,

and this wood that I bought before the big snowstorm in January,

and this that I had already gotten out of that same pile of wood in my back yard,

I should be set for firewood for quite a while.  But the best part is, I have my yard back.

Most of it, at least.  I still have this one log left that is just a bit too big for me to handle.

I advertised it in the local free-bees group, but so far, the only one who answered was a guy who wanted me to pay him to move it.  Um, no, thanks.  I'm sure there is someone out there who will use it for firewood, or woodworking projects, or whatever.  If nobody picks it up, I'll just have to figure out how to cut it up without killing myself. 

Before I did all this wood cutting, I got up and went to the Farmer's Market.  I picked up some more patty pan squash, and this time I got some yellow squash as well.  I want to put it up to make the squash casserole we used to have at every family gathering.  It's actually my cousin Judy's mother-in-law's recipe, but we all begged it from her. 

I'm not sure this little squash is going to make it into the casserole, though. 

It just looks too much like Jerry Gourd to me.  See? 

All it needs is eyes and a smile. 

Since I couldn't move for the rest of the day, being all sore and stuff from cutting up wood, I spent my afternoon watching TV and knitting.  I finally finished this hat for my friend's blessing bags. 

This yarn was not a joy to work with.  I think the needles I was using were too small.  I knit this hat on size 8 (US), and the resulting fabric is pretty stiff.   I'll try a 9 (US) next time. 

Friday, August 03, 2018

Finally Friday

It's Friday!

And it's the first of what will end up being many long weekends -- at least for me.  Thanks to the judicious use of my vacation days, I'll have quite a few four day weekends starting next month.  Hopefully, they won't all be as busy as today was.

The first thing I did was to get up and turn this pile of wood

into this much smaller pile of wood. 

Yeah, I still got my chainsaw skills. 

I'm going to try to get it finished tomorrow, after I get back from the Farmer's Market.  I'd have finished today, but I needed to get a shower and go run pay day errands.  Which I did.  Quite frankly, I'll be glad when school starts and people stop using Wal-mart as their day care.  Seriously, folks.  The store is not your babysitter.  Stop dropping your kids off and letting them run wild. 

You know what they say:  you can take Shark Week off the TV, but you can't take the sharks out of the girl's heart.  OK, maybe they don't say that, but look, they had these Shark Week sharks on clearance.

Naturally, I had to get some.  And I picked up this little guy.

I've got a soft spot for Hammerheads.  Mainly because my grandpa's nickname for me was Hammerhead.   Anyway, it's got something called shark sand inside, but I haven't gotten it out of the plastic bag to see what it's all about. 

About the time I got home, I got a text from Cody.  He wants to stay with me for a few weeks while he looks for a job in Tennessee.  The job with Fed Ex didn't go the way he had hoped, but he still wants to move to the Memphis area.  Not Memphis itself, but a town close to it called Collierville.   He says he may have a better option.  If he doesn't get that one, I'm going to refer him to Modine here in town. 

The bad news is, he's getting here Monday, which means I've got to find a place to put all that yarn that is on his bed. 

And all the other stuff I've got stored in his room.   

I guess that's what I'll be doing for the rest of the weekend...

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Alternate Schedule

Remember way back in January when they switched us to this alternate schedule?  The big selling point was that we'd work four 10 hour days, then have a three day weekend every week. 

This weekend... this coming weekend...the first weekend in August...we finally get one!

I can't really complain, though, because for the first three months, I was volunteering.  It made for some nice paychecks, but I'll be glad to have some time off.  Finally. 

What do I plan on doing with a real weekend?  First thing is to sleep past 3:00 AM.  But then, I want to crank up the old chainsaw and work on getting what's left of that pile of wood out of my back yard.  One of my coworkers keeps asking me, "Can't you find someone who will come get it for firewood?"  Um, I want it for firewood.  You know, for my wood stove.  That thing I've spent the last year stripping gloppy paint off of the bricks?  That thing?  Yeah. 

I was going to come home and do some chainsawing tonight, but I ended up watching TV and knitting a bit.  Speaking of, remember all those knitting projects I was halfway through with?  What do I do?  Instead of finishing them, I cast on a new hat.

What can I say?  The yarn was calling my name and I couldn't resist.  I'm thinking about doing this one in a simple pattern.  Maybe a waffle stitch or garter rib. 

A last bit of good news before I turn in for the night, my tooth extraction seems to be healing just fine.  It's been a little sore, but not so much I even felt the need to take a Tylenol. 

Now, if I can just keep from breaking any more teeth off, I should be good to go. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Whiskers On Wednesday

I was going to have her put down over the weekend, but when it came right down to it, I just couldn't make the call.  She's still with us.

For a little while longer.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


I am now toothless.

Not completely.  I still have most of my teeth.  It's just one tooth I am less.

Today was the day I got the remnants of my broken tooth extracted.  It went pretty smoothly, though the dentist said since it was broken off right at the gum line, there was a chance he might not be able to pull it.  If that were the case, he'd have to refer me to a specialist. 

However, that were not the case, and he was able to get a good grip on the tooth and extract it quickly and cleanly.  The bleeding has pretty much stopped, and it's now to the slightly oozing stage.  From what I've researched, that can last up to 24 hours. 

The bad news is, he didn't give me any of the good drugs.  He said they've decided they don't really work all that well for dental pain, not even loretabs, which is what I used to take.  I'll do just as good taking ibuprofin or Tylenol.  Since I can't take NSAIDs, Tylenol it is.  Or in my case, generic Wal-Mart brand acetaminophen. 

However, since the deadening is already worn off, and it's not hurting too badly, I'm going to hold off on that.  It may be sore tomorrow, but for now, it's just a little tender. 

I'm also supposed to avoid heavy chewing, hot foods or drinks, and straws.  Hee hee, straws.  Get it?  I've been banned from straws and I'm not even on the left coast! 

OK, moving right along...

I have to go back in about three weeks to see if Dr. Moody can add another tooth to my partial.  I told them to schedule me for a 4:15 appointment.  I can't keep missing work for this.  That was the weirdest part about the whole thing -- being home two hours early.  I keep thinking I'm late getting to bed, but it's not even 6:00 yet. 

Speaking of work, they are starting this new thing where employees meet with the plant manager and the head of human resources.

 Guess who got picked to go.  Yippee...

One of my coworkers, when she found out, she clapped her hands like a little girl and said, "You're going to have so much fun!"  I just smiled and nodded, but inside, I was thinking, "What does she think this is, a tea party?"

Truth is, I don't really even want to go.  Neither does anyone else I've talked to.  One guy even ran and put in a vacation day to get out of it.  Another friend said, "It's just going to be a bunch of people sitting around not saying anything." 

I said, "Those snacks better be more than a granola bar and a gatorade!" 

That's why I'm going.  If they try to engage me in conversation, I'm going to say, "I'm only here for the food." 

(Everafter reference.  It's the only Drew Barrymore movie I actually like.  Other than ET, which doesn't really count because she was young and cute back then.)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sunday Evening

Well, my mini vacation is almost over.  The thought of going back to work tomorrow is enough to make me cry.  Or throw up.  Or cry while throwing up.   

I had this big long list of nothing I'd planned on doing over the weekend, and I got most of it done. 

No, really.  Since I'd planned on having my tooth pulled and spending the weekend recovering, I hadn't planned on getting much done besides sitting in front of the TV.  Other than the standard chores of mowing, laundry, and scooping the cat pan, that's pretty much all I did was switch back and forth between Shark Week and Christmas In July. 

Speaking of Shark Week, they finally had a show with Dickie on it.  I love Dickie.  He's crazy as a rocket.  He's like, "Oh, that looks really dangerous.  I can't wait to try it."  I guess you gotta be a Shark Week nerd...

In the midst of all this TV watching, there has been knitting going on.  I've got another hat for my friend's blessing bags almost ready for the decrease rounds.

I've got a washcloth started. 

But what has really been calling my name is this scarf. 

It's the Clapotis pattern from Knitty.  I'm just knitting it in lace weight silk, so it's turning out scarf size instead of wrap size. 

The only other thing I accomplished was to get my printer set up and working.  I can finally print out patterns again!  That's going to make my knitting so much easier. 


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