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, September 24, 2014

Major computer issues at the moment

Yesterday my laptop decided to crash.  It was working perfect the night before when I shut it down.  You never know about electronics.  I spent part of the day trying to get it rebooted but to no avail, so I had to call a computer geek a friend referred me to.  He’s coming tomorrow to look the situation over and run a diagnostics test to see if he can repair it.  It may possibly be a sector on my hard drive, but not the entire hard drive.  Does a hard drive have sectors and how many of them?  I never knew that.

If it is the hard drive, I may as well buy a new computer because he told me that it’s an extensive and costly repair because of the way the laptop is made.  I’m crossing my fingers this isn’t the case because I can’t afford that right now.

I can usually work my way out of most of this stuff that comes along, but I’m not that familiar with this, so we’ll see what happens.  Meanwhile, I had to drag out my desktop and dust it off and get it going again so I could get on the internet.  That took part of last night and today.  I hate electronics issues.

I also have issues with my desktop now because I took out Windows XP back in March or April and loaded on Windows 7 and then I started using the laptop because I wasn’t ready to spend the time to load all the programs, etc.  So today I loaded Word (so I can work on my book) and my program for the internet.  When I tried to punch in my key for Windows 7, it told me it had expired because I didn’t do it within thirty days.  What?  No one told me I only had a certain amount of time to do it.  Why isn’t there a message that comes on the screen to warn you about this?  So now I’m still able to get on the net by telling it to remind me later, so this is another issue for the computer guy to take care of.

I’m just can’t tell you how thankful I am that I back up all my files daily.  I got in the habit of doing that a few months ago instead of doing a once a week thing.  Please get in the habit of doing this because you never know when your hard drive may crash.  I back up my books, documents and photos to three places because I’m a bit paranoid and I figure all three won’t crash at once.  It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to things that you can’t replace.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Little boy mischief


Okay guys, I can’t resist posting about my cats.  They’re always into something around here.  I hope that you aren’t bored with their adventures.

The older Raven gets, the more he can get into and he’s taking full advantage of it.  I keep picking up anything breakable he may get into during the night because he’s up part of the time, although I do have to say he does sleep half the night or possibly a little more than that.  He’s usually up at the crack of dawn and goes out to explore and see what he can get into while we’re still in bed.  At least he’s stopped biting us on the toes as soon as it breaks daylight.

He gets into everything he can spot that he hasn’t explored yet.  I have a candle display in one of the bathrooms that has rock around the base.  He gets those little rocks out and plays with them.  I stopped him for a short while by turning the faucet on him in the sink in there.  So he quit for a few days, but is back at it again.

His latest thing of interest is to get behind the bathroom door.  He ends up locking himself in there so I had to go and buy a doorstop so he can’t close the door all the way.

He wants to chew on everything, so I dug his teething ring out from under the dresser and threw that to him this morning.  I don’t understand why he’s still chewing.  One would think his teeth are all in now.  It won’t be long and everything I own will have teeth marks on it.


On another note, he’s getting along much better with Koki who tolerates him being in the same room with her.  He still wrestles with Tootie who has gotten over her leeriness after the eye infection she had.


Work still goes on in the new house two blocks down from us.  They laid the carpet last week, so I imagine it won’t be long until we have new neighbors.  They haven’t poured the driveway yet and tonight we have wind because it’s supposed to rain again.  The workers piled all the extra dirt on the vacant lot between us and the new house and what a problem that is.  The wind is whipping it everywhere.  The workers won’t move that dirt pile because they aren’t being paid extra for that, they tell us.  I wonder what they’d do with it if there wasn’t a vacant lot there.

 New house - I'll post more new pics of the inside next time

They were evacuating Zion Canyon National Park due to flashfloods earlier today.  The sky is very black, but so far, we’ve only had a few sprinkles.  It’s also very hot here, in the upper nineties, but I won’t complain because it won’t be long and it will be too darn cold here.  I guess us humans are never satisfied.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oh my! I wear a fur hat in bed.

Unfortunately I don't have a pic of Puffer to post.  I didn't have a digital camera then.  I need to scan some old pics into my computer and haven't had the time.

The fur hat I’m talking about is black and has four legs.  His name is Raven.

A week or so ago, I woke up to find him lying on my head, his front paws and head on one cheek and his hind paws on the other.  I couldn’t move.  And being the kind person I am, I endured this situation and tried to get back to sleep.

I don’t know why my boy started doing this or how long it will continue.  He’s there every night now when I wake up.  If I get up, he spreads out on my pillow.  Once back in bed, he’ll usually leave because he doesn’t like me disturbing him to get my pillow back.  He stays gone about twenty minutes, but then is back again until dawn.

I have a hard enough time overcoming my insomnia so I can sleep every night, but I enjoy him wanting to be close to me too.  He’s such a sweetheart that I guess I’ll put up with this as long as he does it.

This brings to mind another cat I had twenty years ago that would do the same thing, but he was a white furry angel that weighed about eighteen pounds.  Once I rescued him, he was my baby.  Puffer wouldn’t let me out of his sight.  He’s been gone since 1995, but I still miss him and talk to him every night before bed.  His urn is in my curio cabinet.

Does anybody else cremate their pets?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rain in the desert can be destructive

It started out with storm clouds

Yes, it’s nice to have free water for the plants, but too much rain in the desert all at once can have devastating circumstances.  As most people know, it rarely rains in the desert and certainly not buckets full.

Water rushing from the rain gutter

Last night and today, it’s rained more here than it has since we first moved here.  The winter of 2004-2005 turned the streets around here into flowing red rivers, it washed out landscaping and flooded homes.  Twenty-plus homes fell into the Santa Clara River here.  Things were a disaster for quite a while.

The street in front of our house

Another view of the street in front of our house

I haven’t seen anything like that until today.  Our street wasn’t entirely covered with water this time, but it did wash out people’s landscaping and rose about ten feet up the driveway.  Our home is on higher ground, thank goodness, but the residents at the end of the street weren’t so lucky.  Four-five homes on that end got flooded.  One house with a basement that has always been a problem had about four feet of water in it.  The other neighbors got about five inches.

 This is our riverbed in the back.  It follows the natural slope of the land so any water drains off.

After the rain stopped a moment and enough water receded to drive on the street, my husband drove around the neighborhood to access the damage.  People had furniture out on their driveways and there were clean up crews there.  We loaned a shovel and warehouse broom to some neighbors we know so they could remove some of the red dirt.  Their entire backyard is history.

The only thing that saved the new house they’re building two lots down from us was the empty pool.  All the mud and water washed down into it instead of flooding the house.  That will be a major clean up job because once the red dirt dries it’s like trying to remove cement.  It’s in all the pipes over there and the pool drainpipe.  I guess once they shovel the pool out they’ll have to get a roto-rooter in there to take care of the rest of it.  The contractors told my husband the new people wanted to move in next month.  Luckily, this doesn’t happen often because that lot is very low and, as I said before, I think they’ll have future troubles with that house.

So we’re high and dry and thankful all we have to replace is a bit of landscaping in the front.

But roads are flooded and closed all across our area.  They’ve even closed I-15 because of flooding and mud.  If anyone’s thinking of moving here, this would be a good time to drive around town and see which areas flood.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Trouble in the Alley - Part Two

That afternoon the cats wondered in for the meeting, some looking worse for wear, or a bit under the weather.  After clambering for places, they started to settle in.

 Wizard and Tootie
 Comet and Ceaser

Squeakie and Unkie

 Koki and Sukie

Snuggles and Raven

A rustle caught everyone’s attention.  As they turned, a lid clanged to the ground leaving the behind and bushy tail of a female exposed.

“Get out of that garbage, Tootie,” Comet yelled and shot her pistol in the air to bring the meeting to order.


“I just wanted to see if the chef threw away any decent scraps today,” Tootie raised her head and then went back to searching the can again.  Some scraps of paper and several wrappers fell out onto the broken cement.

“Hey, I haven’t had dinner yet,” a couple of the cats scurried over to investigate.

Ceaser cleared his throat.  “Let’s get this meting started,” he roared.

“Okay,” Tootie relented and jumped out of the can, stopping to examine her paws and give herself a lick here and there to smooth her dappled fur.  “Come on guys,” she urged and they found places against the warehouse wall.


“Lord you are gettin’ fat, girl,” Wizard said as he watched her waddle over, his hat resting on his knee.

“What do ya mean?  It’s just my fur!”  Tootie exclaimed in her defense.  “I’m skinny under here.  You’re just jealous of my nice coat.”

“Yeah, it’s nice,” Wizard replied, “but I think it hides your body well.”


“Quit fooling around,” Comet yelled.  “This isn’t about beauty or etiquette.  We’re here to defend our territory.  Ceaser has something important to say.”

After some commotion with the felines arguing, flinging garbage to the side, and cans rattling, the cats settled in to listen to the boss.

Comet banged a trash can lid with the butt of her gun, using it as a gong.  “This meeting is called to order.”

“Thanks Comet,” Ceaser stepped forward, looking smart in his leather vest.  Using the trashcan as a podium, he cleared his throat again and began.

“You all know we have a problem with Big Daddy trying to take over the whole town.”  Mumbles and nods went through the crowd.

“He has his own section of the hood,” a cat called out.

“Well, it seems that’s not enough.  He’s wrangled his way into my territory,” Ceaser explained.  “I intend to take care of that matter immediately.”

“That’s not good,” mumbles go through the gathered felines.

“No,” Ceaser agreed.  “So I need you all here to back me up.  We need to settle this.”

“Maybe you could challenge him to a duel,” Comet offered.  “I’ll loan you my pistol.”

“No duel.”  Ceaser held up his arms to silence the crowd.  “I think we need to settle this cat-to-cat in a good old-fashioned scrap.”

“Here, here,” voices rallied from the crowd.


A few days later, Big Daddy showed up to prowl the alley.  He made it his business to sniff the females and pinch them on the behind.  A few slaps ensued, but the big cat just arched his eyebrows and moved on, pushing the males out of the way.

He was a big brute, his muscles flexing under his yellow coat.

“Are you ready for that, boss,” Comet flinched from her place down the alley and made a face.

“I’m as big as he is,” Ceaser exclaimed, “and I intend to defend my territory.”

After a few words, the cats squared off face-to-face.  Ceaser’s gang stood by, waiting and watching for the action to begin.  The girls lifted their skirts as a distraction, but that didn’t do any good.

Hissing and growling, the two big cats became a ball of yellow, black, and white fur as they rolled around the alleyway, punching, scratching and biting.  Ceaser took a big bite of Big Daddy’s ear.

“You think you’re such a bad ass,” Big Daddy roared.  He was mad and tore into Ceaser trying to get some flesh.

“This town is big enough for both of us,” Ceaser yelled panting as he took one to the leg.  He fell in the alley and kicked Big Daddy hard in the gut as he came close.  The yellow tom rolled over and took a swipe with a bloody paw.  With fangs showing, he kept swiping until he could right himself and pounce on Ceaser again. 

Ceaser bit through his shoulder and blood spurted onto the pavement.  Ceaser’s troops moved in to help secure Big Daddy if needed.  Ceaser kept his grip on the yellow guys shoulder, as he darted away from his swinging fists.  The yellow tom finally conceded defeat, so Ceaser let him up.

He sat licking his wounds.  They decided to call a truce with half the town going to each tomcat. 

“Fine, I’ll stay in my half, but I better not catch you over there,” Big Daddy grumbled and finally slinked off to take care of his gashes.

Comet ran to Ceaser to examine him.  “My hero,” she said, throwing her arms around him.  “I’m glad you wore that leather vest I gave you.  I think it really helped.  You saw the shape Big Daddy was in when he left here.”

“You might be right, Comet, but I told you this town was big enough for the both of us.” 

“Let’s get you cleaned up, big boy,” she said, purring. 

“I think this is excitin’ and calls for a celebration.  What did you boys do with that beer?”  Wizard got up from his place on an old wood crate, a lady on each arm. 

“Comin’ right up,” the cats yelled and it wasn’t long the alleyway was turned into a party house. 

 Ceaser and Comet

Ceaser lit up a cigar and sat back to survey his domain, peaceful again, at least for a while.  Comet snuggled into his neck and licked him on the ear.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Trouble in the Alley - Part One

Hello all,

I thought I’d do something different this time and post a short story about my cats.  I’ve been writing stories about them for years.  I wrote this a while back and it’s crazy, as I like to make up goofy stories about them according to their personalities.  I’m posting this in two parts so it isn’t too long.  Thanks for putting up with me.  Fell free to leave comments below.


Ceaser walked around surveying his domain.  Comet, his assistant, stands ready, pistol on her hip.


Cats lounged about the broken pavement and dented trashcans.  The alley behind the local deli was their hangout and home.

Ceaser lit up a cigar, his foot perched on a discarded stump as he bent in conference with Comet.  As they talked, a shiny black car cruised down the alley, going slow, the silver wheels glinting in the sunlight.  Their eyes turned to the car as Wizard drove up in his pimpmobile, his pink fedora cocked on his head, the feathers fluttering in a burst of wind.


“Now you get on over there darlin’ and get some rest for tonight,” the black cat sashayed out and opened the heavy door, a couple of sexy felines got out dressed in leather mini-skirts.  They strutted off toward the brothel as Ceaser walked up, followed by Comet.

“Hey, bro, what brings you out to this part of the alley?  You know some of these cats don’t take too kindly to you pimping around here.”

“That’s right,” Comet jumped in, “You’re in dangerous territory, too soft for this neighborhood.”

Ceaser, Comet, Wizard

Wizard shook his head, leaning back on his slick black Cadillac.  He took off his large felt hat with a flourish, the puffy pink feather hitting Comet across the nose.  “What you mean, man?” he said.  “I’m just dropping some ladies off.”

“You watch that feather,” Comet growled, a hand on her hip touching the butt of her gun.  She backed up to lean against the warehouse door, eyebrows creased, on alert.

“One of these cool hats might brighten up your outfit, girl,” Wizard swaggered over to look Comet in the eye, twirling his hat around in his hand.

“Who is going to listen to me in some sissy hat like that?  You bring me cowboy leather and maybe we can talk.  It’ll go better with my boots and holster.”

“When you going to show a little leg?”  Wizard asks.  “Golly girl, what’s the matter with you?”

“Ain’t nothin’ wrong with me.  You best get in that fancy car and get outta our neighborhood.”

“Come on now,” Ceaser intervened, puffing his cigar, hanging from the edge of his mouth.  “This is my bro you sassing to.”

“I was goin’ anyway,” Wizard replies and ambled over to the waiting car.  “I’ll be back later to pick those girls up.”

Comet kicked a few cans and went on down the alley to start a little trouble with some cool cats down at the other end.  They’re sitting around downing some alcohol, and shooting the bull, bragging about last night’s affairs.

“Don’t go sticking your nose into their business, you hear Comet.” Ceaser warned her as she strutted off.


"Just keepin’ everyone in line,” Comet glanced back, her gray fur bristling.  “Makin’ sure they know who the boss is in this alley.”  The soles of her boots clicked against the cement, silence falling over the group as she drew closer.

“Hey Poncie, Unkie, how you guys?”  She looked into their eyes, drooping and bloodshot, their clothes rumpled and smelling of whiskey.  They passed around a warm beer offering her some.

“Nah thanks.  You cats have a rough night?”

“Lookin’ for Poncie’s fountain of youth,” Unkie shrugged.  “Not found it so far.”

“Hey Squeaky, you okay girl?”  Comet nudged the black ball of fur with her boot.  “You lookin’ rougher than them.  Why don’t you go inside and sleep?”

“I’m okay here, leave me alone,” Squeaky managed to get out before she puked against the wall.

Comet backed up and tried to ignore that.  She didn’t want any vomit splatter on her boots.  How much info can I get out of these pitiful cats?  She decided to venture another question.  “Anybody seen Ringtail and Missy?”


“They was smooching it up downtown last I saw of them,” Poncie answered his voice more of a croak, as he spit beer to the side.  He nudged his partner and they snickered.

“Everybody clean up.  Ceaser’s havin’ a meetin’ this afternoon,” Comet announced.  “Pass the word around to the others.”  She left them in their misery and gave the tin cans another kick as she headed back to find Ceaser leaning up again to the warehouse door, the cigar hanging loosely on his lips with a gray curl of smoke drifting skyward.

“You pass the word around?”  Ceaser asked as he pulled her close and nipped at her ear.

“Yeah, but those cats are in bad shape.  Not sure half of them will show up.  Maybe we better postpone the meetin’ until tomorrow, give everyone a chance to recoup from Mama Wong’s party.”

 Ceaser and Comet

“I’m top cat here.  They better come when I call.” Ceaser nuzzled Comet’s neck, “Why don’t we go upstairs a while, darlin’?”

“Who’s goin’ to keep everyone in line?”


“Maybe Koki will do it.  She has a pissy streak about her at times.”

“No, anyone but her.  We don’t get along at all,” Comet complained.  “I always have to remind her I’m the boss, know what I mean?  How about Tootie?”


“Tootie’s too nice,” Ceaser said.

“Maybe so,” Comet considered that point.

“Aw now you’re not jealous of Koki are ya, Comet, sweetie?”  Ceaser licked her on the cheek.  “You know I only have eyes for you.”

“Then you ask her.  I’ll meet you upstairs.”  Comet winked and swayed her hips as she slinked off to the door and disappeared inside.

Ceaser looked over at Koki sitting on a barrel whittling a point on a stick and wondered what that was for as he walked over.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

We have big thunderheads rising over the mountains again

Sunni's Photo's 
It has really rained this summer, much more than in the ten years that we’ve lived here.  Of course that means it’s been more humid too.  I’m okay sitting under a fan, but cooking and cleaning up is hell.

We have storms coming in for Sunday though next Wednesday unless they change the forecast.  At least the temperature is going down this time to the low eighties and upper seventies.




The cats don’t like this weather much either and lie about like limp rags all day.  I know some of this is due to the fact we try to open the windows around here as much as possible.  There’s only a short window in the spring and fall when you can actually do that in the desert.  I always hope for some breeze or air circulation.  However, this doesn’t always happen.  But I honestly have to say that it still feels cooler outside at times, even when it’s ninety degrees.  In my opinion, we keep this house way to warm in the summer.

When we do turn the A/C on later in the evening, Raven goes crazy jumping for joy that it’s cooler.  He’s been playing with Koki more, but only if Koki is in the mood.  Raven’s always in the mood to play and have a good romp about the house.


Workers are still working on the pool area of the new house they’re building down the street.  Installation of the rain gutter happened last Thurs. and just in time for a downpour that lasted ten minutes.  We’re not sure where that came from, but the water was pouring out of the rain gutters and pounding on the patio, splashing up because it was hitting so hard.  It even knocked the Dish out for a few minutes.  That didn’t go over well because my husband was watching one of his political shows at the time.

My work in the garage is on hold until I get over my earache and it gets a bit cooler out there.  Maybe all this muggy weather is just a trial for the next stage of life if we move south.

My neighbor’s back from Wyoming, so I’m off cat and garden duty for a few days.  She has three more trips planned before winter sets in here, although she hasn’t told me about them yet.  I saw her calendar while she was gone.  I guess she didn’t want to lay that news on me right away.

I’m really getting in the mood to write so maybe somehow I can find time to get back to the edits on my mystery book.