I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Something broke…go see what happened

Raven and Koki upstairs in my office


This is a common statement in my house since Koki started playing with Raven.  My husband has bionic ears and is able to hear through walls and knows what’s happening in the house at any given time.



 Raven and Koki

So I wonder how many calories you burn running up and down the stairs by the time I’m on my fifth or sixth trip.  Naturally by the time I get up here, the cats are lying about looking innocent and usually I don’t see anything out of order.  Once in a while they’ve knocked over a small accent table or something and nothing major…yet.



 Koki coming back up the stairs

Raven waiting for her
 

I have to say “yet” because I don’t want them to break anything when they’re having the best time playing, although realistically I know it’s only a matter of time.  So hopefully what they break won’t be too important.  They have such fun running from one end of the house to the other.  It gives them exercise and I don’t want to spoil that, especially since it took Koki eight months to warm up to the boy.



 Koki sleeping on the modem after play time

Raven sacked out on my reading chair after play time
 
It’s entertaining to watch and I try to take pictures when I can catch them in the act.  I think they must hear me coming though and Koki probably says, “Lie over there and be quiet.  She’s on her way.”  Naturally they always think they’ll be in trouble.  Yesterday Raven went and hid in the closet.  It took me the longest time to find him.  These cats never come if they think they’re in trouble for something, so I had to look under all the furniture and in every nook and crevice.  How young do they think I am?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

We’re headed for the deep freeze



It’s that dreaded time of year again when things turn nasty and cold.  The next three nights will be in the twenties with tomorrow’s high only in the 40’s.  Right now the sun is shining and it’s in the low 60’s here, but the wind is starting to pick up and will blow all this s*** in here.

We tested the furnace today to make sure it will work.  We haven’t turned it on yet this year.  And we’ll be out covering plants again before dark, the ones I still have that didn’t perish last year.  Some of the Sago palms are too big and heavy to move to the garage.

When we were at the store earlier in the week I was trying to stock up on things and my husband said, “Good grief.  It looks like you’re getting ready to hibernate for two-three months.  Just stop it.”  I told him I was because I’m not going out if it gets too cold and crappy.  He said he’d go out then.  He goes stir crazy in the house anyway.

I’ll just settle into writing, rewriting, and reading like I always do, or cleaning because there’s always something to do if you look around.

Raven

Koki

The cats are wondering when I’m going to drag out their fleece throws and make them tents on the couch corners.  I don’t know if it’s happening this year because you never know when you have to be ready to show the house, but we’ll see.  I don’t want to deprive them either.  They like to snuggle in and I don’t blame them.




I’m making chili and cornbread tonight.  Doesn’t that sound good for a cold night?  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A New Home for the Holidays

My Home


Tired of shoveling snow and months of cold weather?  If you’ve ever thought about desert living, check out this house in the high desert of southwest Utah.


This home is near several national parks and about two miles away from a beautiful state park.  You’ll love living here if you love the outdoors and watching wildlife.  This is especially true for hikers, campers, rock climbers, and photographers and artists.  There’s something magnificent to see everywhere you look from the scenic red rocks, to petrified sand dunes, to old black lava flows.

If you’re not into outdoor physical activities, you might enjoy plays from Broadway that are acted out using the backdrop of the unique red rock amphitheater only two miles away.  Enjoy a performance of an array of plays, bands, and comedians throughout the year.



 Tuachan Amphitheater

My home is large enough to accommodate a big family, or a retired couple that want space and a place to entertain relatives and friends.  The landscaping is low maintenance with just enough grass to make it desirable, yet easy to take care of.  Barbecue and watch all the wildlife you want from your own backyard.  At night view stars all the way to the horizon because we don’t have all the big city lights. 

This home sits on a large lot in the picturesque community of Ivins.  It backs up to the desert where you’ll find hiking and horseback riding trails, making it also the perfect place for walking your canine friend.

One of many hiking trails behind my house

Ivins is a small community of about 7400 people located minutes from St George where you’ll find all the shopping and restaurants you could ever want.  There are two Walmart supercenters in the area, as well as a Costco and all the chain stores and restaurants.

We get over 300 days of sunshine a year here.  Summers can be quite warm, but winters are mild and short when you consider the northern and central United States, December and January being the coldest months here.  As surprising as it sounds when you think of Utah, we get very little snow, if any, every winter.  It’s usually melted in a day or two.

We’re also only two and a half hours north of Las Vegas, or thirty minutes from Mesquite, Nevada where you’ll find fabulous buffets and gambling activities.

I must warn you, we have very little humidity here year round.  I love this house with its spacious open floor plan and so much storage.  I wish I could transport it closer to my family, but as my husband reminds me, we do need to downsize a tad at our age.  And of course it’s impossible to transport a house unless you’re Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

We’ve enjoyed a great ten and a half years here.  Now it’s someone else’s turn.  Please take a look at the website, enjoy the pictures, and ask questions if you have any.  All inquiries will be answered.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Leaping Game

Raven - my little darlin'


Raven has come to the “flying squirrel” part of his life.  He thinks it’s great sport to leap as far as he can at any given time.  I wish I had some pictures of this, but it happens so quickly and he’s from point A to point B in a flash.

He gets a running start from one side of the room and it’s up over the couch, table, and chairs and into the top of the cat tree and then he reverses his actions coming back down so fast that it makes the chair rock, which makes my husband yell at him, which he thinks is great sport.

What happened to the kitten that used bump his chin on the kitchen counter when trying to jump up there not so long ago?  Raven now jumps from counter to counter all the time and is even thinking about attempting a feat from the ledge on the cat tree to the kitchen counter, which is probably about eight feet away.  I can see the wheels in his head turning.



 Koki on my desk is usually my shadow
 
Meanwhile, I’m not getting much sleep at night anyway because I’m participating in the NaNo this year and once I do make it to bed, Koki sleeps on my legs most of the night and just before dawn Raven crawls on my head and starts biting and licking my hair.  My guess is he’s trying to wake me up.  I don’t know which is better, cat slobber in my hair or him biting my toes like he did in the old days.

Raven is into anything that comes in the house


Such is life at my house where Koki and Raven are finally getting along.  Another piece of good news is that so far the weather is holding in the low 70’s and we’re able to open the windows daily for a while.  I know this won’t last long, but the leaves have hardly started to turn yet so one can hope.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Raven’s First Birthday


Raven - 1 year old

Can you believe my little man is no longer a baby, but is grown up?  I keep telling him not to get old on me.  Time goes by too fast.

He’s so happy he’s big enough to jump on the counters now and get into more things, but he’s good if I tell him to get down.  I don’t mind if he looks out the kitchen window and watches the birds and chipmunks.  I just don’t want him up there when I’m cooking and he knows it and minds well.



 Cat tree destruction and the culprit

He’s still biting on things, as you can see by looking at the corners of the cat tree. It’s even worse now, but that’s the cat’s furniture so I guess its okay except for the fact we have to drag this heavy thing out on the patio and repair it once in a while.



 Raven

Raven’s sleek and shiny.  Overall, he’s a handsome little guy and loves people, always ready to love up on anyone that comes over.  He likes to be doing things and loves to go visiting to the neighbors to see her cat, Snuggles.



 Raven and Koki enjoying the feather whirl

He’s really is happy that Koki is finally playing with him.  That only took her seven months!  It’s on her terms, but he loves it when she’s in the mood.  She seems to like him much better as a grown up cat, even though he’s bigger than her now.

So Happy Birthday to the best natured cat I’ve ever owned.  Raven loves the attention so much that he doesn’t care what I do to him.  He never fusses about anything and always turns that motor on full blast.  I think he’s so grateful to find a forever home and not be out in the cold like he was when they rescued him a year ago.



 Getty Images

On another note, the dreaded day has come to turn the clocks back.  Ugh!  It’s going to be cold and dark for a while.  It’s already crappy here today with dark skies, a brisk wind blowing, rain, and the temp sitting at 57 degrees.  I had to move my tropical’s into the garage two weeks early and about froze out there doing it.

I don’t think this time change would be as bad if we didn’t lose a whole hour all at once.  That’s hard on me every year.  I guess the spring countdown will be starting at my house.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Halloween Baby


The origins of Halloween have a dark side, even though we prefer to think of it as all the things we love, like trick-or-treating, ghost stories told around an open fire while roasting marshmallows, dressing up in costumes we’d never wear at any other time of the year and carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns.  But Halloween didn’t start out that way.

All Hallows Eve and Hollowmas involve celebrating the spirits of the dead.  At the end of the harvest and with the dormancy of coming winter, people thousands of years ago believed the veil between the living and the dead world is very thin and spirits could enter our world.  Candy was put out to appease the spirits when they came to call.  Makes you feel differently about going from house-to-house to gather candy now, doesn’t it?

In olden times, trick-or-treating was a form of begging.  In Europe the begging tradition was known as souling.  Peasants would dress up and go door-to-door and beg for food in exchange for offering prayers for dead loved ones.

Trick-or-treating is mild today in comparison to two hundred years ago when the tricks were violent and a lot of vandalism took place.




The common Halloween game of bobbing for apples started out a bit more sinister.  Young eligible girls wanted to take advantage of the spirits roaming the earth and the quest was always on to find a husband, hence the first girl to get an apple out of the pail without using her hands would be the next one to marry.  To add to this, if you could peel the apple in one long continuous strand and throw the peel over your shoulder at midnight, it would land in the initial of your husband-to-be.  Interesting, huh?  Do any of you remember doing this as kids?

Halloween has never been about evil or the devil.  Samhain (or Halloween) was a pagan holiday and the pagans and Celts had no concept of the devil.  Fairies, witches and warlocks were always associated with ancient holidays and they weren’t evil.  Evil only came to America after the migration of the Irish who, with their belief in the devil, became concerned with the Halloween holiday.  Conservative and religious people have always worried that Halloween had demonic influences.



 from Wikipedia

There’s a long dark, tale to explain how carving jack-o-lanterns came into being.  To tell a brief version, there was a stingy old Irishman named Jack who tricked the devil into turning himself into a coin to pay for drinks they were sharing together.  Jack pocketed the Satan-coin, but also in his pocket was a silver cross, which prevented the devil from changing back.

Jack promised to free Satan on two conditions, that he wouldn’t bother him for at least a year and that when he died, Satan wouldn’t claim his soul.  The devil agreed.  Years later when Jack died, God turned him a way for his trickster ways so he was forced to wander the earth forever with an ever-burning coal from hell for light, which he eventually put into a turnip he carved that he could carry around without burning his hands.  The Irish would always carve scary faces into turnips, beets and potatoes to scare away Stingy Jack and other evil spirits.

The pumpkin is a recent form of the jack-o-lantern.  Years ago they carved the turnips, beets and potatoes, as described above, but the Irish potato famine of 1846 devastated most of the crops and the Irish immigrants were forced to come to America for food where the pumpkin was plentiful.

Halloween wasn’t the original name of this holiday.  Neither was Samhain.  Various versions of this same holiday have been called All Hollow’s Eve, Lamswool, Witches Night, Samhain, Summer’s End and Snap-Apple Night.



Many animal shelters won’t let you adopt a black cat before Halloween.  Legends say that druids and pagan leaders would sacrifice black cats to the fire in a divination ritual to see into the future.  This may be medieval Christian propaganda.  We don’t know that anything like that ever happened.

Halloween has an evil real world consequence.  A lot of children wonder the streets unattended going from door-to-door for treats.  The statistics say that many are hit by cars, more so on Halloween than other days of the year.  I think parents are more diligent these days, especially since razor blades and other items began showing up in candy.  I know parents walk with their children now and wait for them while they ring the doorbells.  This is probably a good idea in light of the fact we have so many pedophiles living among us as well.

When I was going up, we never had any worries about all these things that are prevalent today.  We always went to my grandmother’s house anyway (up the road from our house) where she had homemade goodies for us.  I can only remember going to an actual neighborhood to trick-or-treat maybe once or twice my entire childhood.  And those days were a lot safer than times today.



 I'll probably be handing out candy dressed like this

When you think about it, the world’s a dark evil place.  Please have fun, but be careful and safe out there!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Container cats


If you’ve shared time with a cat you know they love to get into things, things that are even way too small.  It’s funny to watch.  They’re so curious and always investigating, thinking everything holds a mystery.  And maybe it does.  How do we humans know?



 Koki

Today is National Cat Day.  I hope you’ve hugged a feline or, better yet, adopted one today.  There are so many in shelters waiting for their forever homes.

Snuggles - Sherry's cat

I’m sharing the cats in my life with you and some of their container adventures.



 Tootie



 Raven

Tootie
 
Raven

Comet
 
Raven
 
Snuggles - Sherry's cat
 
Sukie

Wizard

Koki

Raven
 
And as a reminder, Halloween is coming.  Please keep your cats safe from anybody who would do them harm, especially black cats.