Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Love a Library

Does walking into a library slow your pulse rate and lower your blood pressure? When you inhale the scent of books do you feel right at home? Can you spend hours in a library and feel like it's only been minutes? If so, you're a true book lover.

April 12-18 is National Library Week. If you haven't noticed it before, libraries have come a long way from the image of prune-faced bespectacled librarians shushing all the patrons. These days libraries sponsor so much activity, it might be more accurate to describe them as a community center. From arts and crafts workshops to book discussion groups to exercise classes, the library does it all.

St. Charles County's library system is truly a jewel. Each branch has a virtual plethora of things to do and learn.

Of particular interest to me are the author/book events. The library showcases both local authors and national best selling ones. Take a listen to a few of the recent big names to visit the library: Sara Gruen, Jennifer Nielsen, Sarah Dessen, Sharon Draper, John Stephens, and  Lisa Scottoline. Every one is a New York Times bestselling author. Tomorrow night I plan to attend the Susanna Kearsley event (another NY Times bestselling author). I recently read her book, The Winter Sea, and absolutely loved it. In high school I adored reading Mary Stewart's books and Ms. Kearsley has a writing style very similar. She meticulously researches her historical romance novels and recently did an event with an author you may have heard of...Diana Gabaldon (Outlander). I can't wait!

If you want to "check out" what's going on at the St. Charles City-County library branches, click here.

If you live farther away, I hope you take the time to visit and support your own library. You just have to love them, don't you?

Monday, April 6, 2015

How Do You Furminate a Cat?

Bogey has been furminated. Well, at least as much as he'd let me.That nice little pile of fur used to be on his back and belly. If I could only have kept grooming him longer, I'll bet I could have collected enough hair to build another cat. But once my efforts bring on a biting and scratching display, it's time to give up. At least for now.

In the areas where he let me work on him, the Furminator did it's job well. I ruffled my hand over his fur afterward and barely even a hair came out. If I had scrubbed his fur like that before, the air would be filled with floating puffs of fluff which would then glue itself permanently to my clothes. Not pretty. Not pretty at all.

This handy little tool is one awe-inspiring invention. Due to it's mystical and magical powers, I am officially in love with the Furminator. All I need to do is convince Bogey.

There has to be an efficient way to furminate a cat. Any suggestions on how to do it without losing a few fingers in the process?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Gift Giving for a Tree Dweller

While in the midst of a recent shop-til-you-drop excursion, I ran across an item that caught my eye. It wasn't something for me, for Hubby, for Indy, for the house, or even for friends. It was for Bogey. Something I knew that if he was with me and he could talk, I'd hear him yowl, "I'd give my right paw to have one of those, Mom."

The price was right and Daughter's big SUV sat waiting in the parking lot. I couldn't help but pull the trigger. Here's the new acquisition. 


It's said that cats are either tree dwellers or bush dwellers. Bogey is most definitely a tree-type cat. He loves to be above the stomping grounds of mere mortals. Since the new addition is two leaps higher than the old one, he's been purring in ecstasy. I'm glad Bogey is happy. Because there's one other item I purchased for him during my shopping trip.

Monday, March 23, 2015

It's On My Mind

Even though we officially have an extra hour of daylight, doesn't it still seem as though there's not enough time to get everything done? Lately I've been chasing my tail (not unlike one of my previous pups), spinning around and around and feeling like I'm no where near finishing anything. That's why this past weekend was a pleasant surprise. Here are a few of the tasks now crossed off my list:

Flowers in my foyer.


Plants migrating from a gloomy basement to glorious sun. 

And best of all, I did a BIG project.  I painted my front door in a color I'm sure has astounded the neighborhood. I tend to play it safe with calm neutral tones. But this time I decided to go wonky wild with a bright, vibrant color. 

I pored over paint samples and finally selected The One. I sanded my fingers to the bone to get off the boring cinnamon color. Then I locked Bogey and Indy in the bedroom (no need for paint on hair or hair on paint). My trusty brush and I had a date with destiny, and here's the finished product:

It's fun and glorious and maybe just a tiny bit Easter eggy, but that's okay. Overlooked is something that will never befall my front door. 

Can you tell I'm in a Springtime frame of mind? 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sun, Cleanliness, and Inspiration

Happy Sunday fellow blog peeps! It's going to be 70 degrees today (yes, really). The sun is brightly spectacular and you can almost hear buds ready to burst into bloom at any moment.

For Midwesterners, spring is the pot of gold at the end of a long cold winter. And oh, are the people out in droves. Especially at the car wash. There's something about a beautiful day that makes me wish I owned a car wash. Everyone is eager to get rid of the winter grime and reveal the true color of their trusty car.

Someone else got cleaned up yesterday. Indy has a new haircut, so today he is properly exhausted. He also looks like he lost 5 pounds due to the length and poufiness of his previous curly hairdo. I wonder if a short cut could do the same for me?

But back to the business of today. I have a wonderful blogger buddy, Tammy, who is a very talented writer. Her prose is about as beautiful as anyone's I've ever read, yet she can throw in a wicked twist of tea-snorting humor when you least expect it. I consider Tammy the Queen of any story, but especially of the mini-story. She can take a picture and turn it into a 100 words or less masterpiece like no one else. Oh, and did I mention she was a finalist in a Reader's Digest mini-story contest? Do yourself a favor and check out her Message in a Bloggle. Scroll down and allow her mini-stories to brighten your day.

Tammy most kindly nominated me for the Inspiring Blogger Award. Aww, thanks, Tammy!

I am to report 7 things about myself, link back to the nominating blog, and nominate at least 3 other bloggers (including a link to the blog). With no further ado, here we go:

1. I am a planner and love to make "to-do" lists. One would think this makes me a very organized person, but my closet, basement, and garage all beg to differ.

2. My son and daughter inherited their mother's love of critters. This means my house becomes the family kennel whenever they travel. They travel a lot.

3. I love watching Jeopardy. I don't know most of the answers, mind you, but I love watching. Hopefully this activity will ultimately keep my brain sharper rather than simply bewilder it.

4. I'm lucky to have among my current dearest friends, some people who were friends in high school. I won't count how many decades ago we met, but we certainly were groovy back then.

5. I've worn an activity tracker for about a year. My best day so far has been 15,000 steps (vacation in Key West without a taxi). My worst, 300 steps (20 times from bed to bathroom in a 24 hour period).

6. I drive an older model silver Ford Escape. So do about 2.5 million other people in my area. I've tried at least 5 times to get into someone else's car. Thankfully, no one has called the police yet.

7. Saved the best for last. I have a target date set for retirement. I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel...soon!

Now, my blogger buddies, it's your turn. If you haven't done this exercise before, I challenge you to do it now. Tell us 7 things about you. No excuses and the weirder the better. Come on, let's hear the story of YOU.

Monday, March 2, 2015

In Like a Lion...

I think one too many people observed we were having a mild winter. Over the weekend, Mother Nature emphatically reminded us who's in charge. Winter isn't over until it's over. Millions of plump snowflakes created a heavy, fluffy snow which clung beautifully to tree branches. Since I didn't need to drive anywhere, I could enjoy it from the comfort of my cushy easy chair while sipping a cup of hot chocolate.

My old Indy-boy used to love a snowy day. Now he's easily confused. This means I pull on my boots and troop out to fetch him back inside whenever he loses his way. Let me tell you, snow clings better to fur and hair than it does to tree branches. Even after a towel sweep off we're both pretty damp. Snow is pretty, but I'm looking forward to the fresh yellow-green of early spring. I sure hope March intends to go out like a lamb.

Of course, kids adore snow, no matter what fuddy duddy adults say about it. Watching them sled down the hill behind our house until their cheeks and noses are bright red, can't help but make me smile. I think being around children helps to keep oldsters like me feeling young.

Speaking of being around children, I recently wrote a story about my two grandsons which appears in this month's Sasee Magazine. If you have a moment, I'd love for you to pop over for a read. Please consider leaving a comment, if you are so inclined. Here's the link. Sasee is an awesome magazine for women and I bet you'll enjoy flipping through the pages.

Well, yippy-tie-yie-yay, here it is. March has arrived!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

How to Waste Time

Are you sick and tired of being stuck in the house because it's just too darned cold and slippery to go out? I know I am. As I sit at my keyboard, old man winter has lowered the temperature to single digits and sleet is tapping at my window.

It's not that there aren't plenty of things to keep me busy. I could be cleaning. I could be cooking. I could be doing laundry. I could even be writing some (hopefully) brilliant piece of prose. Instead, dear readers, I've found my 567th sure-fire way to waste time. There's a site filled with games related to dogs (and cats, and hamsters, and horses, and even spiders, if you like). It should keep you busy for just as long as you feel like playing. I believe in sharing, so click here to check them out.

You're welcome!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Sunny Room for Three, Please

I've got that winter itch.

No, it has nothing to do with traveling, or wool sweaters, or a weird skin rash. There's something about this time of year that makes me want to embark on a house project. Sometimes I paint. Sometimes I rearrange. Sometimes I put up a new picture.

But right now I'm itching for a lot more than that. Attached to my house is a lovely screened porch. The unlovely thing about a screened porch is it can only be used in good weather. So I'm tapping my forehead and pondering the possibility of turning my screened porch into a sun room.

Wouldn't this be pretty?

How about this one?

I like this one, too.

Oh me, oh my. So many possibilities. At this writing, I have 2 companies scheduled to give me bids. Since I did not win the Powerball, the bid must be extremely affordable before I can pull the trigger.

Both Indy and Bogey are thrilled with the idea of multiple places to lay around and sun themselves. Me, too.

We want a new sun room. And we want it now.

Anyone else thinking about a home improvement?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Lesson for All

Here's my sweet boy, Indy. He's been right by my side since the day I got him nearly fifteen years ago. Then he was an eight week old fluffy ball of energy.

Today his vision and hearing are both practically gone, and his back legs have a pronounced wobble. But there's nothing wrong with his sense of smell. He's not too old to follow after a yummy treat...

and he's still fast enough to beat Bogey to the prize.

Indy can accomplish a goal without letting life's obstacles get in the way. Nothing's going to stop him. My little Indy demonstrates a perfect lesson for us all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Clothes for Critters

Do you dress your pets or let them roam in a state of glorious nakedness?

At our house the answer is both. Most days, we prefer to live in Bohemian splendor. Other days it seems fitting to dress Indy in his sweater or put a hat (briefly) on Bogey. One serves a practical purpose. Indy is old, thin, and arthritic. In cold weather he needs a little help. The other is purely for my own entertainment. Or a photo op.

Apparently many people have extensive closets for their critters. Do a Google search and be amazed at what's available. You can find anything...sweaters, coats, dresses, shirts, hats, boots, necklaces. It's frighteningly true. Your dog or cat can (for a price) be better dressed than you are.

I ran across a picture of this fine fellow. He emphatically sums up Bogey's position about wearing anything except his furry birthday suit.

On the other hand, my son's dog has at least a half dozen outfits. What's more he loves to be dressed up in them, literally growling when you try to remove whatever item he's wearing.

Back in the days when Indy and I did pet therapy, a costume was part of our shtick. The people in the assisted living facility would laugh and clap whenever the fur kids had on some cute ensemble. Indy even had a pair of nifty sunglasses that made him look more like Joe Cool than Snoopy ever did.

How about you? Do your critters have a wardrobe?